#034 – Do you know why the matrix of doing what is important and what is urgent is not working?

What is importance and urgency to you?


Question of the week - Importance and Urgency - Flemming ChristensenThe Eisenhower Matrix or the Eisenhower Principle is a matrix of four domains, where activities can be Urgent or Not Urgent combined with Important or Not Important. The idea is, that activities can be categorized in Urgent – Important, Urgent – Not Important, Not Urgent – Important and Not Urgent – Not Important, where the Urgent – Important activities should have more attention than the Not Urgent – Not Important ones.


The matrix can be used in the decision-making process of activities and might give you a sense of direction for how to prioritize your activities.


But why is the matrix not working?


The answer lies in the definition and understanding of what is Urgent and what is Important.


Urgency is related to time, and what might be urgent in one culture or for one individual is not the same as for other cultures or individuals. What is important is related to values, and to make the matrix work, one needs to have awareness about the values at play for the activity.


Also, the matrix is designed to support decision-making about activities, which is related to Projects and not Passions (click here to read more about the difference between projects and passion), and therefore it only works when the activities are about goals, resources, activities, responsibilities, consequences etc.


Your weekly question


To use the matrix, you need to be aware of your values, so this week’s question is about your values and the strength of your values. Here are some questions for you:


  • What has value to you to such a degree that you will fight hard for the values in your own and others’ life?
  • What has been a strong value for you but has lost it’s urgency?
  • What would you like to value at this point in your life but don’t have the energy, time, resources etc. to fulfill?




Your weekly quote


Importance and Urgency can be two guides in your life, but you have to make sure that your guides are well trained.




Your weekly recommended reading


Read the article about why the Next Next Generation is so important to me


Here is a book with the right title, “Higher Purpose. It is written by Robert Holden and it will give you a new perspective on what is urgent and what is important.

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