July 20, 2020
When there is simply too much to do and I’m at risk of mismanaging my priorities, I create a quick pay-off matrix.
At its most basic, a pay-off matrix helps prioritize everything on your plate by forcing you to answer this question:
What’s the highest, best use of my time and resources.
Which activities will have the greatest impact on achieving our vision?
As you can see in the diagram, a basic matrix is four quadrants—numbered 1-4:
In the lower right corner of the matrix you’ll see the addition of a fifth “quadrant” that represents the parking garage (hence the “P”). The parking garage contains important things I don’t want to forget but can’t, for a number of reasons (time, budget), address right now. I have “parked” them for later consideration.
|PAY OFF MATRIX||EASIER To Implement||MORE DIFFICULT To Implement|
|GREATER IMPACT On Organizational Success||1||2|
|LESSER IMPACT On Organizational||3||4||P|
In the 25+ years I have been using the matrix I have learned key lessons about using the pay-off matrix. Here are the five most important:
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