Priority Quadrants are often overlooked, as there are many other popular ways to manage tasks. A few of them include:
- Manage by calendar. All tasks have time and date. Everything is scheduled.
- Manage by lists. Everything is written down linearly.
- Manage by “post-it’s”. The most important tasks are sitting on some prominent space thats visible at all times, forcing you to get it done.
Using a Priority Quadrant
Today, I’d like to talk about another task management strategy: the 4-quadrants method. In this blog post, I’ll tell you why it’s a preferable way to managing tasks than all 3 of the methods above.
What does it mean to manage by 4-quadrants? First, you’re essentially categorizing all tasks into one of 4-quadrants. For instance, one approach, known as the Eisenhower Matrix, is to categorize tasks into critical and immediate quadrants. This covers 2 basic dimensions: time and priority.
Tasks that are high priority and need to be done soon go in the upper left part of the time management matrix, quadrant 1. The other 4 quadrants are also self-explanatory.
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Why is this approach better than the methods of calendar/post-its/linear list of task management?
- You get all the advantages of tracking when tasks are due, but also gain visibility into the priority. In a traditional calendar view, you see when you have to do things, but you never understand why and whether it could be dropped. Calendar driven organization lacks the ability to manage ideas and strategic items.
- A linear list leads to clutter and confusion because it creates a mentality of either “FIFO” or “LIFO”. Instead, using the four quadrants, you know that you only have to work on tasks in the first quadrant, making it a lot easier to focus your effort. Linear lists are good for capturing ideas that do not have dates and time, but lack good categorization.
- In a post-it’s system, you are working on important or urgent things. However, you lose the concept of time. Therefore, you’re not able to understand which post-it is most important. Furthermore, over time, you start losing track of the post-its, leading to information loss.
Benefits of a Priority Matrix
By categorizing tasks into 4-quadrants using Priority Matrix, you are able to capture the benefits of all 3 methods of time management. With Priority Matrix, you are able to:
- Keep track of high level ideas like linear to do lists
- Keep track of time and effort like calendars
- Keep track of what you have to do now like post-it notes
Given this, we want to encourage you to see for yourself why our Priority Matrix app is the best Priority Quadrant task management app.
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