Avoiding jail time by using the Eisenhower box


Avoiding jail time by using the Eisenhower box

Matt Turner | Managing Director

How “I don’t have the time” can end up being “I wish I had found the time.”

Life is not getting any simpler or less busy. There is always something or someone demanding your focus and attention, and often those things are not really on your must do list.

This is where the subtle art of prioritisation is crucial – trying to work out which things need to be at the top of your list. A popular prioritisation tool is the Eisenhower Box, also known as the Urgent/Important Matrix.

The Eisenhower Box

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” – Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

The Eisenhower box helps put things into perspective when juggling competing priorities by considering the attributes of an issue or task in terms of its urgency and importance.

We work with thousands of companies helping make sure their machinery safety is managed well and we have never met anyone who has direct responsibility for machinery safety who didn’t believe that it is very important.  

The level of urgency generally revolves around their experience with catastrophic machinery safety incidents.

Having said this, time and time again we meet with clients and prospects with so many competing priorities, that they get sucked into a VORTEX OF URGENCY. When you enter a vortex of urgency, your perception of importance is impaired – and bad prioritisation results.

It is remarkable how often we see this, and consequently see machinery safety pushed down the priority list because it is not a “burning platform”.

Interestingly, the decision to park machinery safety improvements in larger organisations is often due to consideration of other systems and organisational confusion as to where their machinery safety system fits with the other operating systems currently in place or under consideration.

When an organisation is in this paralysed state, it is extremely vulnerable. Its machinery safety system is under par meaning the risk of catastrophic incidents continues to be higher than it should be.

Ironically, a catastrophic safety incident during this period will often elevate machinery safety to “burning platform” status. That’s often where we are deployed to deliver a quantum leap in machinery safety systems and standards.  

At this point, the client recognises several things:

  • They shouldn’t have procrastinated about the decision to invest in machinery safety
  • Their procrastination is likely to have led to a higher level of culpability
  • Plant Assessor can easily be used side by side with any other operating system and integrated with existing or future systems if required

In closing, the critical questions to ask yourself are:

  • Where does machinery safety fit inside your Eisenhower box?
  • Can you afford not to spend time on this right now?
  • Do you need to schedule a time to make it happen?

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information. 

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