Time is the most valuable resource we have.
Because there is only 24 hours in the day, we all practice time management to some extent.
Highly efficient executives complete a large number of tasks during the working day, while highly effective executives complete those tasks that are important and have a significant impact on how well he/she achieves his/her key goals and objectives.
Time management is an important requirement for all executives and good time management can frequently be the difference between a highly effective executive and one who struggles to complete important tasks.
Time management refers to organizing, planning, and the utilizing our time to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. The familiar To Do List is a time management tool that we all use in both our professional and personal live. The dilemma we face is that the To Do list does not discriminate between the importance, urgency or time required for any of the activities listed.
The Action Priority Matrix and the EisenHower Matrix both address this shortcoming. They allow activities to be prioritized and scheduled using defined criteria.
The EisenHower Matrix is also known as Urgent Important Matrix or the EisenHower Decision Matrix. On the one hand, it compares urgency, and on the other importance of each task and helps to set priorities.
In an Action Priority Matrix, the Effort involved is plotted against the Impact of each task.
Choosing between these time management tools can be tricky. However, the good news is that we provide both, so you can try them, keep both and use the one that you find most useful.
You also get three different designs for each template, i.e. a total of 6 options. The designs are text option, a graphic version and a Red, Green, Orange version to indicate the required action/priority for each task.
The EisenHower Matrix/Urgent Important Matrix
The EisenHower matrix is a useful tool in identifying and managing in a consistent fashion those tasks that should have the highest priority and be completed first.
For purposes of time management, all tasks and activities can be classified on a scale from very important to not important. Similarly, they can be rated on a scale from very urgent to not urgent.
Important and Urgent Tasks
Logically we should first address those tasks that are most important and most urgent.
Less Important but Urgent Tasks
Other tasks that require urgent attention but are not important can frequently be delegated to somebody else.
Important but Less Urgent Tasks
There are always tasks that are important but do not require immediate action. These may become major and urgent issues if not addressed in a timely fashion. A highly effective executive balances his time between addressing important urgent tasks and equally important tasks that may not have the same degree of urgency.
One approach to ensuring that time is made available for these less urgent, but important, tasks is to diary schedule some time on a daily or weekly basis to address these, perhaps during a quieter time of the day or week.
Not Urgent or Important Tasks
Every executive’s in-tray has many task requests that are neither urgent nor important. In many cases these can be postponed indefinitely or ignored.
The EisenHower Matrix has four quadrants; do Now (important – urgent), schedule (important – not urgent), delegate (not important – urgent), and eliminate (not important – not urgent).
The EisenHower Matrix is an invaluable tool to analyse one’s activity/task list into one of the four quadrants and is an essential first step in becoming a good time manager and highly effective executive.
Action Priority Matrix
An Action Priority Matrix focuses of the effort required to complete a task relative to the impact on the completed task.
An Action Priority Matrix creates a four-quadrant matrix by plotting the Effort to successfully complete the task (x-axis) with the Impact/ (y-axis) completion of the task will have.
This creates four categories:
Quick wins are those activities that have a high Impact, when successfully completed and require a low Effort. It is clearly attractive and good use of time to complete these tasks, as they give good returns for relatively little effort.
The successful completion of major projects typically has both a high Impact and takes a high Effort. From a time management perspective, it is useful to break these down into smaller work packages and that time is scheduled to complete these packages and monitor progress.
There are always low Impact tasks that don’t require or merit significant Effort. While these will eventually need to be addressed, it is useful to identify them so that they can be dealt with when one has time to “fill in”.
As one categorises the task list, inevitably there will be tasks that require a lot of Effort but have little Impact. It may be appropriate to outsource these tasks and to deploy the resources, that would otherwise be assigned to complete them, to other tasks with a higher Impact.
Key Features: EisenHower and Action Priority Matrix MS-Word Template
- You get both the Action Priority and Eisenhower/Urgent Important Matrix included.
- Three design/layout options for each template
- Fully customizable MS-Word templates
- Uses only standard Word features
- Suitable for all versions of MS-Word
- Each Matrix Word template can be used as a stand-alone document or alternatively be copied and pasted into any Word document or report.
- Once it is pasted into the desired location in the document, it can be edited and customised as a regular part of the document.
- Simple to setup – if you have Microsoft Word, you are ready to go!
- User Guide
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