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The Battle Of Urgent Versus Important

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The Battle Of Urgent Versus Important

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Having trouble managing your time effectively? By thinking about how you spend your days, you’ll be able to focus more on what’s really important for your business.

Having trouble managing your time effectively? By thinking about how you spend your days, you’ll be able to focus more on what’s really important for your business.

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The Battle Of Urgent Versus Important

  1. 1. THE BATTLE OF URGENT VERSUS IMPORTANT
  2. 2. One of the best time management tools around is the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. Created by US President Dwight D Eisenhower, the matrix was later popularised in business educator Stephen Covey’s bestseller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. 1 2 43
  3. 3. URGENT NOT URGENT NOTIMPORTANTIMPORTANT 1 2 3 4
  4. 4. By using this simple tool, you can better distinguish urgent tasks from important ones – which are often not the same thing. It will also help you recognise which activities usually grab your attention first, but also end up consuming too many of your working hours. 123 4
  5. 5. Armed with this information, you can then find ways to spend more time on the important, high-value tasks – the ones that allow you achieve your long-term business objectives. You may also be able to minimise the urgent tasks and find there are some you don’t need to do at all.
  6. 6. Classify your tasks Use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to divide your to-do list into four quadrants: 1 Urgent and important 2 Important but not urgent 3 Urgent but not important 4 Not urgent and not important By mapping out your activities in these four quadrants over a few weeks, you’ll have a clear snapshot of how you’re spending your time.
  7. 7. 1 Urgent and important  Regulatory deadlines  Conducting staff performance reviews  Actions needed to retain key clients  Family emergencies These tasks will be your main focus whenever they arise. 1 2 3 4
  8. 8. 2 Important but not urgent  Updating your firm’s business strategy  90-day business plans  Ongoing education  Partner succession planning  Building digital presence  Activities that support your long-term objectives  Self-care activities like exercise and relaxation 1 2 3 4
  9. 9. 1 2 3 4 3 Urgent but not important  Immediately responding to emails, client calls and ad-hoc requests that could instead be managed by another team member  client emails And just because a task is important to someone else, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s as important to you.
  10. 10. 1 2 3 4 4 Not urgent and not important  Chatting with colleagues  Dealing with non-work tasks in work time While these distractions can help alleviate pressure, they should be kept to a minimum
  11. 11. Get where you want to be  Divide  Diarise  Delegate  Delete
  12. 12. Divide larger tasks up into smaller and more manageable ones at the outset, and complete a few each day. By allowing more time than you think you need, you’ll find that fewer tasks end up in the urgent and important quadrant. Diarise and schedule time for business planning, following up with clients, staff training and looking after your wellbeing. You can always reschedule if something urgent comes up, but don’t make a habit of it.
  13. 13. Delegate tasks where possible. Not only will it free up more of your time, but it will allow your junior staff to develop their own skills and take on more responsibility. Delete tasks that aren’t necessary. Unsubscribe from emails you don’t read, and try to hold off your non-work tasks until after hours. Learn to say no to non-essential activities that take up your time but don’t support your business goals.
  14. 14. Aim to spend most of your time in the important but not urgent quadrant, where you can be at your most productive and creative. This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232 (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. Count Wealth Accountants® is the business name of Count. Count advisers are authorised representatives of Count. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document. 22831/1016

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