How Do You Prioritize Your Professional Life? Try the 4 D’s of Discipline

Ken Larson

Ken Larson

You’re having trouble prioritizing your workload, and you’re constantly rearranging your schedule.

This creates at least one of these troublesome situations:

  • You absorb too much responsibility
  • You sacrifice the quality of your work in the effort of saving time, eliminating the personal satisfaction you get from high-performance
  • You throw away tasks that might be worth completing at a later date

Listen, I get it. It’s tough.

Prioritization and scheduling remain some of the most bothersome obstacles on the path to business and personal success.

However, these issues can be fixed by understanding how to adjust your priorities based on two metrics: Importance and Urgency.


Here’s how I help my business coaching clients ramp up productivity while removing stress.


I call it, “The 4 D’s of Discipline.”

Find a piece of notebook paper and draw out this design:

The “Do” Quadrant

Urgent & Important

Complete the task now.
The projects that belong in this quadrant are crucial for business success and should be completed thoroughly and with efficiency.


The “Delay” Quadrant

Not Urgent but Important

Schedule it for later.
This task is relative to your goal, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be completed right now. Concentrate your time and effort on the tasks you’ve placed in the top left quadrant.

If your “to do” list isn’t accompanied by a methodology for implementing these tasks, they can typically be moved here.


The “Delegate” Quadrant

Urgent but Not Important

The “Quadrant of Deception.”
In business, we consistently confuse “urgency” with “importance.”

Because of this, we scramble.
We rush to complete projects, and the effort that could be used to complete tasks in the “Do” quadrant gets displaced.

Understand your limitations and delegate accordingly.
There are most likely employees within your organization who can take this project off your plate. Remove some stress, and return your focus to the top left quadrant.

Here’s the thing.
[bctt tweet=”If you trusted your employees enough to hire them, you can trust them to carry out the task with expertise and efficiency.” username=”coachkenlarson”]


The “Dump” Quadrant

Not Urgent or Important

Do you really need to worry about this task?
If the completion of this project isn’t going to remove stress or help you reach your goal, then there’s a great likelihood that using time and energy on this task is a waste of time.


Start arranging your busy schedule appropriately.

This process of time management and work elimination will help smooth your day-to-day workflow and decrease the stress of scheduling.

For more help with executive coaching, let’s talk!


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