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Task prioritization matrix; How can we make better use of our time and talents?

Study guide

Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves. Maybe we have big and ambitious ideas, exciting opportunities, or we like to experience exciting and fascinating things. But what good is it if our time is too limited to achieve all of this?

But if the choices we make from the items on this long list are clever, we can make the most of our time and not let the opportunities that come our way be wasted. But when our choices are bad, our work may get to the point where we drown ourselves in the mire of time-consuming and inefficient activities and stumble.

This is where the “task prioritization matrix” comes into play. This chart, with all its simplicity, can hold your hand and help you decide which tasks to prioritize and which to avoid. This way you can save yourself from that deadly swamp and make the most of your time and opportunities.

About the task prioritization matrix

With the task prioritization matrix, you will learn how to prioritize to make the most of your time, energy and talents. In the figure below you can see the details of the task prioritization matrix.

It is rare for someone to have enough time to do all the work they love. But with good credit, you might find exactly what you need. You can also identify things that are not very useful and eliminate them from your schedule.

The way the matrix works is that you have to rate each task twice. Once based on how important they are and the second time based on the amount of effort required to do them.

Using these points, you can categorize tasks into the following groups:

1. Fast wins (high importance, low effort)

Quick wins are the most attractive projects! These projects have good results but do not require much effort. Include these in your schedule as much as you can!

2. Large and important projects (great importance, great effort)

These projects are productive and effective, but they take a lot of time. This means that by including an important project in the to-do list, there may be no time left for quick wins.

3. Fillers (low importance, low effort)

Do not worry too much about doing these things. Do them if you have extra time. But if the work is more useful and better, do not neglect the fillers or leave it to someone else.

4. Useless programs (low importance, high effort)

Avoid this kind of work as much as you can! Not only do these kinds of projects not have much success in the end, but they also take away from you the time you could have left for quick wins.
When you understand the logic behind this matrix, you will find that you automatically process the classification into 4 groups faster and automatically apply the matrix principles to your new tasks and projects.

How to use the task prioritization matrix

To get started, follow these steps:

step one

Write down everything you like or need to do on a piece of paper.

Step two

Give each item a score twice: once based on importance (zero means insignificance and 10 means maximum importance) and once based on the amount of effort required (zero means less effort and 10 means need for effort). Too much effort)

Step three

Put the task prioritization matrix in front of you, and according to the scores, see which of the four quadratic matrices each task fits into.

Step Four

Categorize tasks based on the group in which they are located. Eliminate trivial tasks or delegate them to someone else.
When the score of an activity is on the border between two groups (close to the axis), use your own sham to identify the group and do not tighten the dividing lines too much. Finally, a “fruitless plan” with a magnitude of 4.9 and a “large and important project” with a magnitude of 5.1 are not so significantly different.

Other versions of this matrix

The method we described in this article was for your personal and informal use so that you can prioritize your personal tasks. However, the prioritization matrix can also be used on a larger scale. For example, you can put “financial return” in the vertical axis and the horizontal axis in the amount of “hours” required.

Another way is to replace the “amount of effort required” with the “amount of feasibility”. This way you can prioritize tasks based on your ability to do them. This form of matrix is ​​sometimes called the “significance / feasibility matrix”.


Eisenhower Principle of Importance / Urgency There is a similar way to prioritize tasks. This principle is especially useful when you have a lot of work to do when the delivery time is all in a row and tight.


Task prioritization matrix; How can we make better use of our time and talents?

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