How To Manage Your Time With the Priority Matrix!

Hello, friends! I’m kind of amazed that we’ve gone a whole week now with brand new content. Hopefully, I’m covering topics that have interested you! Today’s post is something super new to me, but I’ve loved how it’s altered how I think about my tasks and has made me more efficient than I’ve ever been! I’ve started attacking my planning each week based primarily on where my tasks stack up in my priority matrix! Never heard of it? Me neither.

It’s one of those gems that I picked up during my internship here in San Diego, and I’ve started adding it in when it comes to my planning and it can actually help you address purpose and intent in your daily schedule. It also has helped me cut the procrastination and really stay focused on my tasks. Now, let’s get into this new thing!

What is the Priority Matrix?

The priority matrix is one of the most simple ways I’ve seen to easily split up your tasks into groups. If you’re like me and have such a hard time trying to figure out what things you need to do and in what order this can seriously help. The priority matrix splits up everything you need to do based on importance and then relates that to time. So, you can have things that are super important and crazy urgent, that you need to do yourself and that you need to do now.

On the other hand, you could also have things that aren’t super critical, and that you can either delegate to someone else or just put on the back burner and get to it when you have time. I figure I would go more in depth on things that I put in each category and then show ya how I work that into actually planning out my week!

What is Urgent & Important?

I know it can feel like everything is super critical, but truthfully there are some things that are just way above everything else and need to get done by a certain deadline. For me, these are things like:

  • paying bills
  • homework
  • important exec deadlines
  • exams and projects
  • application deadlines

I’d classify any bills that need to be paid or things with hard deadlines that you could face penalties for as urgent and important.

What is Urgent & Non-important?

There are those things that don’t really feel like they are super important because there probably isn’t any hard deadline or punishment if you don’t do them, but they are time sensitive. For me these are things like:

  • checking and sending emails
  • checking blog comments
  • calling my parents
  • editing details for events

Delegating certain tasks to others is super important. As far as emails go, I can collaborate with Hannah to strategize the best way to divide and conquer the email inbox and when it comes to calling my parents, I usually will tell them to call me and let them know the best times to do that. That way I won’t forget, and no feelings will be hurt!

What is Non-Urgent, but also important?

Most of my weekly maintenance items are in this category and are super simple to make sure I hit if I plan it in advance and separate them out throughout the week. They are things like:

  • planning the blog editorial calendar
  • making hair appointments
  • laundry
  • making plans to hang out with friends

These are all things that I need to make sure I’m keeping up with but can be pushed around and aren’t super critical when it comes to a time standard.

What is Non-urgent and not important?

When I first heard of this strategy, I didn’t really understand the point of non-urgent and non-important category. BUT, I think it’s important to make sure you fill this section out because it can also help with cracking down on procrastination and seeing your time wasters. But, it can also help you make sure to make time for hobbies and things that you don’t do very frequently! I classify things like:

  • booking shoots
  • mani/pedis
  • surfing the web and social media
  • blog maintenance

These are all my time fillers and infrequent responsibilities!

How do I convert this to planning?

How do I work this into my weekly planning sessions? Easy, I start with Urgent and Important and work my way across the matrix until my week is done! That way I can prioritize important and time sensitive things into my week first and then fill in what I have time for into the week last. It’s really helpful to do this because then I know I have enough time to get all my must dos and feel really productive when I can work in my, not at all needed activities. I use the dashboard of my Erin Condren to change out different tasks that don’t apply, but most of the time the sections remain the same. Here’s a sneak peak at my priority matrix!

How do you plan for the week and do you have any special strategies? I think the priority matrix was a really great starter to really help me prioritize and delegate my tasks in a super effective way which is going to be crazy important for my senior year!! I’m going to be crazy busy, but it’s nice not being stressed out for once!