A while back, I shared a quote from Goethe: “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” Today, we’re going to look at how we can incorporate this approach into our ‘To Do List.’
As a teacher facing a massive workload, I always knew that prioritising what important. Since starting my business though, I’ve realised it’s basically a matter of life or death.
Dramatic? Me? Maybe slightly!
But honestly, on the occasions since January where I have failed to follow my own advice, and done what matters least first, I’ve
fallen plunged towards the ground. Everytime. And there has been tears.
To avoid this, I did a bit of research and decided on the Eisenhower Matrix, or the Priority Matrix. Whichever you prefer. Basically, it’s a grid which designates items in order of their importance and their urgency. Like this:
Before this, my list was always just a list. As a teacher, I basically just listed things under the different hats I wore and kept the most urgent items for the day on a post-it note. Looking back, I know that I often did the least important and least urgent things before the mundane but urgent tasks. I know that this increased my work stress and anxiety when I was eventually forced to to the things I didn’t want to at the last minute.
Remember, when you fail to prioritise or fall into procrastination, there’s always a cost.
Since using the priority matrix, I’ve had a lot more success. And before I begin ‘work,’ I make sure that I’m not just a busy fool and that I’m actually doing something worthwhile.
In the last month, I’ve adapted the matrix again to suit my own business needs. See my tweaks as follows:
Basically, I realised that my definition of ‘important’ wasn’t really working on me.
I was spending hours on things that had the potential to bring in publicity, or make money down the line, or increase my skill-set. Nothing wrong with any of that! Only there was, because I was doing this at the expense of things that actually gave me a tangible result.
As soon as I reorganised my priorities, I felt a greater sense of calm and confidence when approaching my tasks.
Would this work for you? Do you already use something similar? Are you still attached to your lists? Or are you an organisational rogue, going without anything at all?! Comments welcome: