The 4 D's of Priority Management: Focusing on What Matters the Most
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
What is Priority Management?
It's a plan to value and maximize your time by putting first things first. Time is a scarce resource, meaning that you don't have all the time in the world to do everything, but you can achieve the highest productivity by focusing your energy, time, and resources on what matters most.
Priority Management Model/Matrix
The most common model is the Eisenhower Priority Management Model named after the former U.S President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who once said, "I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent." This model places an activity's importance on the vertical axis or the Y-axis and its urgency on the horizontal axis or the X-axis.
The model/Matrix has four quadrants:
Important and Urgent: Do it right away. For example, returning a significant missed call.
Important but not Urgent: Delay (Do it later): For example, being asked to send some documents within seven days from notification time.
Not Important but Urgent: Delegate. Let somebody else do it. For example, going to the post office to send or pick the mail.
Not Important and not Urgent: Discard. Eliminate the activity. For example, planning to attend a work-related conference, which is not mandatory.
Recommended Readings and other Resources
How to Focus on What's Important, Not Just What's Urgent: https://hbr.org/2018/07/how-to-focus-on-whats-important-not-just-whats-urgent
Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle. Using time Effectively, Not Just Efficiently: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_91.htm#:~:text=Urgent%20but%20not%20important%20tasks,to%20solve%20the%20problem%20themselves.
Managing Priorities and Deadlines: 28 Secrets to Time Management Success by Marcia Dennis.
The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler.