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Assigning Importance and Urgency to Your Daily Rehab Center Tasks to Improve Productivity and Impact
While many of us struggle with productivity at times, it may be a matter of categorizing and prioritizing your tasks to become more effective. You can use the Eisenhower matrix to help you categorize your tasks based on urgency and importance to help you reach your professional and personal goals.
Before you start organizing your to-do list to be more productive and effective, it is helpful to keep a few things about productivity in mind:
Multitasking is a myth
When we think we are multitasking, we are really switching back and forth between tasks in our brain. The more we switch back and forth, the more time it takes to refocus on the new tasks. To be more productive overall, try to focus on one thing at a time.
Focus improves your life
Research shows our experience in life is largely based on what we pay attention to rather than our circumstances. Being able to focus and accomplish tasks can help us develop a life that is productive and fulfilling.
Focus has a time limit
Despite the length of an average workday, people are only capable of one to four hours of focused work per day. Be sure to schedule your most important tasks during your most productive time to make the most of your ability to focus. Remember, it is unlikely you will be able to finish more that one big task per day.
The Eisenhower Matrix
The 34th president of the US, Dwight Eisenhower, was known for getting things done in his life. He created a system of prioritizing tasks which was later popularized in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
The tool, known as the Eisenhower Matrix, can help you consider the long-term outcomes of your actions and help you focus on those that will make you most effective, rather than just productive. The difference is that while it is easy to cross off small, menial tasks on a regular to-do list, this rarely brings your closer to your goals. By prioritizing important tasks and delegating or deleting the rest, you can create a workflow that brings you closer to reaching your goals.
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. -Dwight Eisenhower
Aspects of Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix can help you organize your tasks by assessing whether they are urgent or important:
Urgent: Urgent matters demand your attention now and often have consequences for not completing them. While these types of issues are unavoidable, continually acting in crisis mode will cause stress and burnout.
Important: Important matters are those that contribute to your long-term personal and professional goals. Focusing on these issues helps you spend your time, energy, and attention in a focused way, rather than checking items off a list without an objective. These tasks require thoughtful planning and action.
Categories of the Eisenhower Matrix
Using the two criteria of importance and urgency, the Eisenhower Matrix is divided into four categories that help you prioritize your tasks and determine which you should delegate or delete.
Important (High Impact), Urgent
These are the “do it” tasks which demand your attention immediately and typically get a crisis mode response. These tasks usually have deadlines and consequences for not completing them.
Not Urgent, Important (High Impact)
These are the “schedule it” tasks. These tasks are the ones most likely to help you achieve your long-term goals. They usually don't have a deadline or short-term, immediate consequences, so it's easy to avoid doing them- especially when there are more urgent tasks to attend to. This is where “deep work” happens because you are largely freed of pressing distractions. It is also where personal and professional growth meets planning, prevention, and action.
Not Important (Low Impact), Urgent
These are the “delegate it” tasks and are what can be described as “busy work.” They are typically based on the expectations of others. As these tasks have a deadline, you are more compelled to devote time and attention to them, despite them not bringing you closer to your goals or being meaningful to you. Working consistently on these tasks can create a feeling that you are out of control and not meeting your larger goals.
Not Urgent, Not Important (Low Impact)
These are the “delete it” tasks. These are time wasting tasks, which you should strive to eliminate from your schedule. They may require large amounts of your time, yet rarely have consequences for not completing them and don’t bring you closer to your goals. While these tasks may give you immediate gratification, they will leave you unfulfilled in the long term.
What to do once you fill out your Eisenhower Matrix
Once you have your Eisenhower Matrix filled, you can follow these steps to start completing the tasks you have listed:
Important, Urgent- Review these tasks and make a plan to complete them.
Not Urgent, Important- Set a reasonable due date for these tasks.
Not Important, Urgent- Delegate as many of these tasks as possible.
Not Urgent, Not Important- Delete these tasks if possible.
If you are interested in creating your own Eisenhower Matrix, you can download this template:
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