Maintaining Organization Means Setting Priorities

What is so hard about prioritizing? A lot actually. Knowing how to prioritize is one of the key ingredients for organization. Prioritizing means:

  • a decision has to be made
  • a value as to be assigned
  • a cost has to be counted.

Whether it’s household repairs, homework assignments, or other projects, we set priorities each and every day. Whatever we spend our time on, takes priority. How we spend our time, tells us what decision we have made and what value we have put on that activity. The activities and tasks we do don’t always equal their importance in our day. That’s where we all end up wasting time, myself included. When we allow ourselves to get distracted from what really has to get done, we suffer and people around us suffer.

So the question of the day is, how to do we determine what’s a priority and what’s not? Harold Taylor from Harold Taylor Time Consultants puts it in perspective for us by using a Priority Grid. Basically, it’s about putting tasks into one of these four categories.

  1. Urgent and Not Important
  2. Important and Urgent
  3. Not Urgent and Not Important
  4. Important and Not Urgent

What we care about is the word IMPORTANT. Things that are important become URGENT because we haven’t taken care of them like we should have a long time ago. So if we can prevent urgency, we’re making progress. After placing your to do list into one of these four, here’s how to approach getting things done.  

  1. Urgent and Not Important- Do these last or let them go.
  2. Important and Urgent- Get these things done first!
  3. Not Urgent and Not Important- Cross these off your list or delegate them to someone else.
  4. Important and Not Urgent- Get these things done second! Notice the word important underlined.

If you’re having trouble deciding where to place things, I like to ask myself these questions:

What will happen if I don’t do this?

Who will be affected if I don’t do this?

What it cost me financially, psychically, or emotionally if I don’t do this?

If I died in a month, would this uncompleted task affect or burden my loved ones?

This entry was posted in General Organizing. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.