Today we’re learning how to take 2 of the most commonly used task organization matrices and combining them.
Make sure to stick around to the end because there will be templates!
Now, stand-alone each are pretty helpful but together they become a super-powerful decision making tool that anyone can use to become better managers of their lives and business.
When it comes to business, a lack of task structuring is the number one cause of bad habits I see develop amongst budding entrepreneurs and start-up teams.
These bad habits overtime translate into glaring issues that guys like me eventually get hired to resolve.
The main misconception I see that’s prevalent in almost everyone’s to-do-list is the assumption that importance and priority are the same thing.
They are in fact, 2 different measurements.
Importance should be synonymous with “worthiness”.
Worthiness of your time, energy, and money.
The more important a task, goal, objective, etc. The more resource allocation should be provided in order to facilitate, complete and manage them.
Importance is a direct measurement.
A priority is relative importance or an item’s importance in comparison to all the other items.
It is an indirect measurement by method comparison.
Something important can be tagged as “low priority” if it’s listed amongst other very important items.
Something of no importance can be tagged as “high priority” if it’s listed amongst very low important items.
The 2 task structuring matrices we will be combining together and learning how to use both manually and digitally are:
The Eisenhower matrix and the “Anne-Marie” or action prioritization matrix.
The first one we’ll go over is the Eisenhower a.k.a the Time Management Matrix.
Contrary to popular belief it was not invented by Dwight. D Eisenhower but rather inspired by various famous quotes he said while in office.
“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
It was created by Stephen Covey, a self improvement author some of you may know for “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
In this book Stephen taught a framework around the public insights Eisenhower gave on decision making by putting them on an X/Y axis.
The Eisenhower matrix is well adopted due to the success of Stephen’s book.
It addresses our human psyche’s “Mere-urgency Effect”, a psychological predisposition we have to prioritize urgency over importance.
In conclusion Q3, or non-important but urgent tasks are considered deceptive.
However the downside to this framework is it’s not meant to help you prioritize tasks that fall within the same quadrant.
Especially differentiating Q1, or important and urgent tasks from one another.
That’s where the Action-prioritization matrix comes into play.
The “Anne-Marie” also known as The Impact-Effort Matrix has no clear origin story but that doesn’t take away from its usefulness.
Whereas the Time Management Matrix makes you more effective.
The Action-Prioritization Matrix helps make you more efficient.
It does this by helping you balance risk, cost or difficulty known as “effort” and weighing it against the reward known as “impact.”
This balance in the business sense is how you can properly measure ROI% or the differentiation between the high return tasks from the low return ones in relation to their initial investment.
This is important because instead of arbitrarily deciding a task or project is more valuable than another based on the total outcome.
You are calculating the value of a task or project by the dividing the total outcome by the amount work required to achieve that outcome.
Combining both frameworks together manually can be easily done through “scoring” each individual quadrant by an amount of points.
Then simply tallying both scores by the sum of their points and then organizing your list of tasks or projects from the highest to lowest scores.
For example, a task or project that is Important but Not Urgent and has a High Impact with Low Effort gets 3 points on the Eisenhower and 4 points on the Anne-Marie for a total of 7 points making it a higher priority against items scored 2–6 but a lesser priority against the 8’s.