Prioritisation

Urgent vs easy

by Claudia Irmer

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I admit I am a planning, prioritising and controlling freak! I simply love to not only achieve my goals, but to do it in such a way that others will be able to draw some experiences from it and maybe even be impressed.

True, by nature I am structured and I like to plan ahead, but to be honest that is only the beginning. When the phone does not stop ringing, e-mails pour in and I’m faced with several different projects with similar deadlines, here is what I do:

I take a step back, as well as a deep breath, and use the Importance vs. Urgency Prioritisation Grid. It works by differentiating what’s important to me and my job from what’s urgent to others. It allows me to take situational control by not confusing the two.

Across the grid’s X axis I write down Importance, by which I mean my own perspective. What is important to ME and the goals I have committed to.

Along the Y axis I plot Urgency, based on OTHERS’ perspectives. I interpret things that are important to others as being urgent. Others include my boss, team members, clients or colleagues – anyone who is putting tasks on my To Do list. When something is urgent to others and important to me as well, then it is a Critical Few.

I use other sub-divisions as well in order to get myself structured and to decide in which order to tackle the different tasks. What I recommend doing is to read “The Time Bandit Solution” by Edward G. Brown – his book opened my eyes. It even helped me to get better than I was and to gain some valuable time I can now use to perfect my skills.

Claudia Irmer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management. Within the European Team, Claudia covers the territory of UK, continental Europe, and the Middle East.

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