The priority matrix is a time management tool that helps to determine the activities that are urgent and/or important and those which are less urgent and/or important.
The priority matrix allows people to identify and distinguish between those activities that may be urgent but not as important as other activities. The task that are important are classified as activities which have an outcome that leads to the achievement of any goals set. Whilst, urgent refers to activities that require immediate attention but are more likely to be associated with achieving other people’s goals. Typically people focus on urgent activities because they tend to have an immediate effect on the business if not dealt with.
The matrix emphasises that tasks are usually split into four quadrants namely:
This refers to activities which are important but not urgent at the moment. However, if these are not worked on in the time span given may eventually turn into urgent and important activities.
This refers to activities that are urgent and important. These types of activities are crucial and need to be dealt with immediately. Typically people’s task become urgent and important when they leave activities to last-minute or get unexpected tasks to deal with. The key towards dealing with this issue is analyzing the level of procrastinating done to prevent “important goals” becoming critical activities.
This refers to activities that are urgent but not important. These tasks are usually unforeseen or workload from other people. Ensuring that enough time is kept to deal with any unexpected workload is critical to preventing a sudden increase of the level of workload.
This refers to activities that are neither important nor urgent. These type of activities need to be avoided, ignored or cancelled as they simply increase the pressure and workload of other activities.