Before you start on a task, ask yourself the question “Am I the only person who can do this?”
If you answer that question with a yes, you can then apply Eisenhower’s model to prioritise your workload. If you answer no, delegate the task to someone else.
“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” – Dwight Eisenhower
If you classify your workload into the boxes below:
Then you can apply this set of rules to manage your time.
Box C should be done immediately
Box A should be scheduled for a time that suits you. Friday afternoon is when I write my newsletters, for example.
Box D If it is not important why are you doing it? Outsource it or delegate it.
Box B Don’t do it unless you really want to. That’s an indulgence, in the business world.
It’s worth considering these rules every six months or so. Tasks that are not important have a sneaky way of finding themselves back on your desk every few months.
Spend your time in boxes A and C to have the most impact on your business – and actually an easier life.