July 16, 2013

Leadership Time Management with the Four D’s

TAPP Time Management  Book

Dwight D. Eisenhower came up with a way to prioritize tasks using four D’s:  Do, Delegate, Defer, or Dump.  This is also referred to as the Eisenhower Matrix.  It is basically a method to decide what tasks are urgent or non-urgent, and which are important or unimportant so that they could be placed in the appropriate D quadrant to plan actions. 

I think it is a little more complicated than the TAPP Steps in Time Management priority method and techniques which I highly recommend most people use for their “To Do” lists.  The TAPP priorities cover all 4 D’s in High, Medium, or Low.  When I speak to leadership teams on TAPP, I recommend they add a “WHO” column on the right-hand side of their task list for delegation purposes.  They already have the “WHAT” listed in their tasks. So this extra column helps them to remember to plan “WHO” to assign the action to, “WHEN/”WHERE” to meet with them, “HOW” to assign it and explain “WHY” it is necessary, as well as “WHEN” to follow-up for accountability and completion.

However, I can see how people in a leadership role or project managers might find the 4 D’s technique helpful too.

If you already use the 4 D’s or H,M,L priorities, please share with  us know how you use it to improve your personal or professional time management in the comments.

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