Priority Matrix

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A priority matrix is a way to compare tasks, goals or objectives.

How to create a priority matrix?

Split your tasks up according to the following:

  • Urgent Important,
  • Urgent Not Important
  • Important Not Urgent
  • Not important Not Urgent


Types of task?

How long will it take you to complete the task? Short tasks can perhaps be done right now. Longer tasks / projects may need further planning and this would involve using other organisation / project management tools.

  • Quick (Task) can it be done now?
  • Mid-length (write the feature/benefit) – need scoping.
  • Involved (Epics) – need extended planning.




When setting priorities, decide which quadrant your activity belongs in. Then use the quadrant to prioritize the activity.


Not Urgent




Not Important



Quadrant I: Omigosh!

Quadrant I contains the urgent and important. needs doing now.

Quadrant II: Awesomeness

Quadrant II contains the important-but-not-urgent. It’s the quadrant of Becoming Awesome. Quadrant II is where most personal development activities happen.

Quadrant II is where you get the highest leverage and biggest boost to your life. It’s where you do prevention, redesign systems.

Quadrant III: Social Media

Quadrant III is the quadrant of temptation. Like social media. “Someone on Twitter just said our product sucks!!! We have to respond to this before it blows up!” Well isn’t that just a kick in the rubber parts? Make sure your social media is genuinely important to your business by measuring it. Otherwise, social media belongs in quadrant III unless proven otherwise.

Quadrant IV: Time Wasters

The final quadrant is the your-mom-would-know-better quadrant. This is stuff that’s neither urgent nor important. Remember World of Warcraft? Yeah, it’s quadrant IV. Along with Real Housewives,American Idol, and the Twilight movies. Actually, the Twilight movies might even be quadrant V, which is even worse.

Quadrant IV activities should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Some meetings can be quadrant IV. A lot of email is quadrant IV. Posting pictures of kittens on Facebook is neither urgent nor important.


Get-It-Done Guy : How to Prioritize Your Life :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™

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