Managing your priorities

Even if I have to repeat myself, organization remains the key word for better management of your time. This strategy will always orient your studies more towards success than towards failure. If you ignore your priorities and how to manage them, you may not organize yourself well and therefore waste your time.

It is the starting point of this management to be able to identify your priorities beforehand. This already implies having a global vision of all your tasks. Initially, it is not useful to worry about their importance, even if it is an essential factor in determining the relationship between the importance of your tasks and their urgency within your schedule.

Eisenhower’s matrix

There is an analysis tool, which is not in itself very sophisticated and which will therefore have the merit of being easily understandable, dedicated to the classification of tasks according to the cited relationship: it is Eisenhower’s matrix. Concretely, you have two axes, the horizontal axis, intended to follow the importance of the tasks, the vertical axis being dedicated to their urgency. This matrix is made up of four zones containing :

  • the important and urgent tasks
  • important but less urgent tasks
  • urgent but less important tasks
  • tasks that are generally less critical

This tool makes it possible to highlight :

  • through the first and third zones, what needs to be done first,
  • through the second zone, which can be put on hold.

It’s simple and it can’t hurt your organization, quite the contrary. In fact, it is a good introduction to time management learning.

Your first difficulty will be to make sure you don’t enter the wrong area. On a daily basis, it can also be difficult to update this tool with each new emergency that arises.

Lists: priorities and non-priorities

Day after day, it can be useful to make lists:

  • a list of your priorities
  • the list of your non-priorities

Earl Nightingale’s method goes in the direction of making a list of the 6 most important tasks to perform, ranked in order of importance. In the evening, you prepare it for the next day, so that you have an up-to-date list. That is to say, you should avoid preparing these lists at the weekend for the following week, or else carefully, if it really saves you time: you will not forget to update them beforehand without trusting them too much. The trick is to remember to consult this list very regularly during the day, until these 6 tasks are finalized. You can of course adapt the number of tasks according to your concrete needs.

At the same time, you can use the fourth zone of the Eisenhower matrix to take stock of the least useful or productive tasks that are the most time-consuming.

However, you may not be able to ignore even the non-priority tasks. This is when the list of your lower priority tasks can be a good complement.

Regular awareness of these lists can help you to distinguish the useful from the useless, which can only make it easier for you to situate each task in the future.

As it is the same for your lists that you have to make live without moods, it must be understood that your tasks should not remain clinging to a status :

  • as your tasks are completed, you must not forget to archive them,

Above all, their status is not fixed regarding their urgency: what was not fixed a week earlier can become fixed a week later.

It is therefore advisable to follow the evolution of these tools on a daily basis so that you do not get lost in the management of your priorities of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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