The Action-Priority Matrix

Mindtools has a good overview of the Action-Priority Matrix.

The Action Priority Matrix is a simple diagramming technique that helps you choose which activities to prioritize (and which ones you should drop) if you want to make the most of your time and opportunities.

It’s useful because most of us have many more activities on our “wish lists” — whether these are bright ideas to pursue, exciting opportunities or interesting possibilities — than we have time available. By choosing activities intelligently, you can make the very most of your time and opportunities.

You unfortunately have to register to read the whole thing (What’s Not Best!), but you still get to see the four quadrants, which are:

  1. High impact, low effort: Quick wins
  2. Low impact, low effort: Fill-ins
  3. High impact, high effort: Major projects
  4. Low impact, high effort: Hard slogs (now called “thankless tasks” in the article, but I like “hard slogs” much better)