Set Priorities

Today we continue our discussion of time management by talking about priorities.  Your friend left you a message and said they really need to talk to you, you have a paper due tomorrow and you would like to catch the latest episode of Glee…what is YOUR priority?

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Managing your time effectively requires you to decide what is important and what is urgent.  What is important is not always what is urgent.  So how do you decide?

Have you heard of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective People?  I hope so because I found his time managment matrix to be quite helpful and I want to share this approach of prioritizing with you.

Think about all the things you do each day, you can probably divide them into 4 quadrants.  urgent, not urgent, important and not important.  Some things will be urgent and important, others might be urgent but not important.  Covey suggests that you spend less time on things that are not important even if they are urgent.  He suggests that if you shift your focus to the important activities that you will gain control of your time and possibly reduce the number of important tasks that become urgent…like the paper you knew about 2 weeks ago but have not written yet.

The best way to do this is to make a to do list, it can be daily or weekly.  Once you have written down every to do on your list from call your mom to study for an exam you should rank the activities based on their importance and urgency.  This becomes your priority list, you can order it by number, group them based on high-medium-low importance…find a system that works for you.  Your goal should not be to mark every item off of the list,  but to mark off the items that are of high importance.

Once you know what your priorities are you can gain control of your time.  When you have better time management you will find that you will not have to say ‘there is not enough time’.

check out this site for more information on the time management matrix, click here

tell us how you decide what is a priority in the comment section…

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie Williams on October 8, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I decide what is priority by making list and finding out what is more importance, like studying for a test than going out with friends to target or walmart, i do this every day but i still feel like there is not enough time because i want to do everything on that list not only the urgent and important items.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Travers Swan on October 8, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Priority is the closest due date. And after that I just try to get it all done.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Mark McCall on October 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I have always assumed that my biggest priority is the one i will get the most hurt from or the greatest consequences from if i dont do it or do it poorly. I feel it’s the one I need to do on time in order to make it easier for myself. Now, just because it may be a priority, doesn’t mean I don’t get distracted.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Rachel Slovacek on October 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Priority for me is trying to keep myself healthy then it’s determined by due dates for stuff… Life is crazy.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Brenda Davila on October 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    To me, my priorities are set in order of due date and the amount of work they require. For instance, if I have 2 things due the same day, my first priority is to complete the one that requires the most work. I carry a planner with me EVERYWHERE!!! it is pretty much the way i handled not having my mom around to tell me what to do; it tells me exactly what i need to do and when i need to do it 🙂

    Reply

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