How to Prioritize Projects (Organize Your Overwhelm Part 6) | #25

In this episode, I’ll share how to prioritize any project, big or small. This is part 6 of my series on goal setting, and how it can help you organize the overwhelm of your life and set you up for success at any time of the year.

Scroll down for more and links to listen.

How to Prioritize Projects
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You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and more. Find links to all the apps here. You can also read the transcript for the episode, too (you'll find it at the bottom of the page).

After you listen, comment below and let me know: Have you used the prioritization matrix before? How did it help you?

Here's a graphic of what the matrix I use looks like:

How to Prioritize Projects

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[00:00:00] Today, I'll share how to prioritize any project, big or small. This is Part 6 in my series on goal setting and how it can help you organize the overwhelm of your life and set you up for success at any time of the year, so please keep listening.

[00:00:37] You may write alone, but you are not alone. Inside the Writer's Soul focuses on how personal experiences can inform your writing and help you speak from the soul to really connect with readers and other authors as well. Your writer's soul doesn't need to take the writing and publishing journey alone. Join me, your host M. Khan, and let's move forward together.

[00:00:38] Hello and welcome. Today we're talking about how to prioritize projects. Now, this is another podcast where I recommend you head to the blog because I'll have some images there and more information to help you really visualize what it is I'm talking about. Now, whenever I need to prioritize something, whether they're projects or tasks or anything else, I use what I call a Prioritization Matrix. So it sounds kind of fancy. It's really not. All you need to do is imagine a square in your head. And imagine that square is then divided into four. So you basically have two squares on top and two squares on bottom. So it makes a matrix of four squares. Now, each square or quadrant represents something different to help you prioritize things. And I'll go through what each of those are. And again, I do have a visual aid on the blog to help you.

[00:01:29] Now, just some background. So this matrix has also known as the Eisenhower Matrix because something President Eisenhower used to help him prioritize as well. You might have also seen this in other productivity tools or courses such as those by Stephen Covey.

[00:01:46] So like I said, you have basically a matrix of four squares, two on the top and two on the bottom. The one on the top left is going to be Quadrant 1. The one on the top right is Quadrant 2. So the two squares on the top are one and two going from left to right. The two squares on the bottom will be quadrant three at four going from left to right. So you have one and two on the top, three and four on the bottom going from left to right. Now, if you look at this, you also have two columns that make up this matrix and you have two rows. So you're looking at it kind of like a table with four squares. So the top row, which is quadrant 1 and two, those are also designated as important. The two squares on the bottom or quadrants are designated as not important. So the top row is important. The bottom row is not important. One and two are important and three and four are not important. Now, let's take a look at the columns. So you have two columns. So you have one column that has Quadrant 1 on the top in quadrant three on the bottom. And that column is urgent. And you have quadrant two on the top in quadrant four on the bottom. And that column is considered not urgent. One and three are urgent and two and four are not urgent. Now, I know that might seem like a little bit of a mess if you're just trying to visualize it without looking. But I'll go through what each quadrant or square means.

[00:03:12] Q1 or quadrant one - That is something that's important and urgent. Any projects in this quadrant would receive the highest priority level. It should be your primary focus to complete as soon as possible. Most often the same day. Q1 is also the square that's for doing. These are the things you may not necessarily want to do, but you need to do them.

[00:03:36] Quadrant 2 is your decide square. So these are things you want to do and you need to do. There are also important tasks, but they are not urgent tasks. So these could be your long term projects and tasks that are important but don't have a firm deadline yet. So you should schedule them in a timely manner doing the most urgent ones right after you've finished everything from Quadrant 1, that doing quadrant.

[00:04:01] Now let's go to that bottom row quadrant 3. This is your delegate or automate square. These are things you want to do, but you don't need to do. These are not important, but they are urgent. So these are ones you can delegate to other professionals if you're able to, but only after you've finished tasks in Q1 and Q2. So you finish the top row first, then you move down into quadrant 3. So these could be automating social media, hiring a bookkeeper to help with finances, things like that.

[00:04:33] And your final square, your quadrant four is called delete. So these are things you don't want to do and things that you don't need to do. These are not important and not urgent. So things in this square basically should be eliminated. So they may vary due to the perception of urgency and importance, but mainly these tasks don't even need to be done and would be considered a complete waste of time by most people.

[00:05:00] So that was just a quick overview. On the blog, I'll go more in-depth into each one of these quadrants or squares, and I'll also give you some tips or techniques to help you decide where to put projects on the Matrix and also some mindset tricks to help, so be sure to head to the blog for that. Now, I would love to hear from you. Have you used the prioritization matrix before? How did it help? Head to the blog or join our community on Facebook to let me know, the link's in the show notes. I'd also be very grateful if he could leave a review for this podcast wherever you'd like to listen. Thank you.

[00:06:09] Thank you for listening to this episode. Check out the show notes for links to my blog and our community where you can get involved in the discussion and support others. While you're there, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to get to free and powerful tools to help you. One: access to my growing library of free resources for authors; and Two: you'll also get access to my exclusive writing challenge "How to Write Faster in 14 Days" where I share all my tips and techniques that helped me finish over 20 works in five years. Check out the show notes for all the links and thanks again for being part of this community.


M. Khan

M. Khan has authored over 20 novels/novellas/short stories under a pen name, and is now working on a fantasy series under her own name. She teaches others how to plan holistically to get all the things done, and provides guidance and coaching to fellow authors.
How to Prioritize Projects
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