As educators, we recognize the amount of tasks that come across our desks each day, not to mention the number of decisions that we must make on a regular basis.
It is critical to wade through everything to find that which is truly important. One of the tools that I use to figure out what truly matters is the Eisenhower Matrix. The tool was developed by President Eisenhower during his time as an Army General to help prioritize all of the issues he faced every day.
Below is an example of the Matrix:
As a teacher or administrator, it’s easy to label every task or decision as important. But with the sheer amount of daily input, we need to immediately decide what’s important (and eliminate when possible).
Focusing your energy on the top right quadrant by doing the important and urgent stuff and delegating some of the urgent but not important stuff to students may allow you to get more meaningful work done.
The hardest part may be admitting what stuff you do that is actually not urgent or important. While it may be stuff that you enjoy or that you’ve been doing for years, it’s time for that stuff to go.
Use the matrix as you start the begin the school year.
Decide what’s important (and eliminate when possible).