Use This Chart To Set Your Work Priorities

It doesn't contain any earth-shattering secrets, but this simple four-way priority scale is a useful way of assessing which tasks you should get done first at work.

BBC News produced the chart as part of an article looking at the English you could ensure that you got crucial tasks done and could then skive off work to watch the World Cup mid-afternoon. Given time zone differences and team performance, that may well be less of an issue for Australians right now. However, remembering that any given task can be ranked on this scale is always a useful way of setting priorities when you're being assaulted with multiple requests from every conceivable direction.

What people often find hard to embrace is consciously deciding not to do something: if you have an embedded work ethic, that can feel like slacking. But having an overwhelming set of tasks on your to-do list does nothing for productivity: as we've pointed out before, setting priorities means dumping stuff as well as doing it.

How to manage your workflow around the England game [BBC News]


    This balderdash. This model means that you probably never get around to the important/not urgent -- unless it finally becomes urgent because you kept "putting it off". Then you have to do the work in a rush and the result is often sub-standard. Not good for your reputation. Always make SOME time for the important/not urgent -- don't put it off. Too bad I don't practice what I preach! Lifehacker ... Mark Forster would be ashamed of you! (BTW thanks for introducing me to his books.)

    Wellll.... maybe a good system for the short term, making space for a football game, but I'm not such a fan of this longer term.
    Randy Pausch's last lecture (google it) first alerted me to my tendency to put 'urgent but not important' activities ahead of 'not urgent but important.' I agree that setting priorities means dumping stuff as well as doing it- but if it really is important, it's probably best not left until it's also urgent, right? Regardless of whether it seems urgent. I'd rephrase the 'put it off' (indefinately) quadrant to say 'do it soon'.
    Outside of football season, of course.

    I don't care who produced this chart, do yourself a favour and avoid using it.

    Instead, check out Habit 3 of Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" for proper use of the important vs urgent framework. He actually knows what he's talking about.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now