How to Prioritise When EVERYTHING is a Priority (Part Two)
Here at PlanBee, we’ve tried several strategies for organising and prioritising tasks, and honestly – there’s no single strategy that suits everyone. Different things work for different people: that’s why we’ve collected some of our favourite strategies to help you prioritise your teaching tasks, and things that need doing in your personal life.
In How to Prioritise: Part One, we focussed on the ‘A-E’ method of prioritising, which you should definitely take a look at! Here, in part two, we take a look at the ‘quadrant’ method. Which one will help you prioritise best?
Prioritise All Your Tasks With Quadrants
Separating your tasks and responsibilities into quadrants can be a great way to visualise everything you need to organise.
Quadrant 1 contains tasks that are both urgent and important. These are often time-sensitive deadlines which, if left, will have very serious consequences.
Don't spend too much time in Quadrant 1; although it can bring short term gains, it'll cause you to burn out quickly.
These tasks should be directly related to your long term goals. Notice they are non-urgent but still important; spending time with family, exercising more or developing your career are all important, but non-urgent tasks. Focusing on these will help you feel more in control and happier as you focus on what is important to you.
Aim to spend most of your time here.
These tasks, while urgent, also give the illusion of importance. Yes, creating the best science display in school, in time for science week is urgent, but is it important that you spend hours on hundreds of colour coded flappy bits, organic glitter borders and a scale model of the Hadron Collider? There is nothing wrong focusing on these tasks, but when you spend more time in this quadrant than Quadrant 2, then you are moving further away from your long term goals and what is truly important to you. Refocus and put the glitter down.
These tasks need to be limited, if not eliminated altogether, freeing up time to spend in the Quadrant 2.
Now we’re not saying get rid of your personal down time, (who doesn’t love searching for mug cakes on Pinterest) but the goal is to get a good balance between work and personal life. Something we at PlanBee strongly believe in. The aim is to spend as much time as possible in 2, while dipping your toe into 4 every now and then to keep you topped up.
Which quadrant are you in?
It’s easy to spend too much time in 4, while neglecting 2 and then worrying about 1. Have a think about where you've been spending your time, and about how you can re-balance your day to feel more in control.
Other ways of prioritising
There are many other methods out there you can try, it’s always good to try a few and see what other result you get. Others to try include breaking tasks into smaller manageable chunks or doing the task you dread the most, first.
By learning to recognise what is a priority from what is pretending to be one, you can start getting more control of your time, so your day ends with more You Time and less To Do Time.
Previously: Part 1 – The A-E Method of Prioritising