Thing1You have the feeling of working hard but not being efficient?

Worrying every day about how to manage your time better to conduct its work efficiently?

You put out fires (urgent tasks) instead of working on what really has value (important tasks)?

If you answered yes to these three questions you are the right candidate to give credit to my post and read it to the end🙂

This "evil" is diagnosable. It is not "lack of time" that you suffer, but lack of priority.

Priority: Urgent x Important

Let's make conscious the four (4) dimensions we can break our time:

1 – Output examples: planned tasks, achieving goals, process redesign, development of people.

2 – Demand examples: emergency requests, urgent requests by superiors, reading / answering emails.

3 – Illusion examples: tracing many tasks unimportant, unnecessary meetings, carrying out activities that do not go against pre-established goals, energy expended in postponement of important tasks.

4 – Distraction examples: mental relaxation activities (pleasant), reading blog, facebook and news is usually idle.



Recognizing its priorities

Now that you know the quadrant "Urgent X Important" is simple to identify where you have framed much of your time.

I suggest the following exercise:

  • Every day write down all the tasks you perform
  • For each of them identify whether it falls in quadrant 1, 2, 3 or 4
  • At the end of the day calculate the percentage of tasks in each of the quadrants.
  • Do this for a week and you get a clear picture of what has been your priorities.

If you spend less than 30% of your time in the dimension "Realization" perhaps this is the time to review how you have prioritized your time.


Getting to the first quadrant: Realization

First we must reflect to understand the reasons why the majority of your time is not being used in the first quadrant (Realization).

Do an individual retrospective (or a team one) wondering: "What prevents me (or us) from investing more time in the first quadrant?" The answer to this question is likely to be the solution to solve this problem.

As exemplified above, which comprise the first quadrant is: "Tasks planned", "targets".

Everything in life, whether on the personal or professional issue is to define objectives, goals and plan to achieve them. Without plan everything that arise will be dealt with as a priority, but not necessarily important. If we do not have definite plans is common to confuse the urgent with the important activities.

Having clear what the priorities are, when an emergency arises you can distinguish between them as:

  • inevitable
  • manageable
  • delegable

The inevitable (demand second quadrant), you cannot escape: make them as soon as possible. But the manageable and delegable (illusion the third quadrant) may be postponed or passed on, respectively, because they are not important, or not to add value compared to what was planned previously.


Plan to Prioritize

If we take these concepts and actions to develop a product using Scrum, we plan at multiple levels, although many have in mind that planning is neglected in Scrum:

  • Planning Portfolio
  • Product Planning (Vision)
  • Release Planning
  • Planejament Sprints
  • Daily Planning

This post was to present the proposed base to understand the value of setting goals and planning in our day-to-day in our jobs, our teamwork, etc.

In an upcoming post I address each of these plans Scrum, but it must realize that this is the will of the majority and therefore I will have to prioritize them among my important tasks 🙂

References and Suggested Reading:


  • First Thing First Stephen R. Covey
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Stephen R. Covey


  • Verken Thoughts and ideas for a better life Priority: Urgent x Important
  • Leadership Simplified Today the time spent