2×2 Matrix

Two-by-two matrices are used to express the relationships between two separate, but connected factors.

For example, a common problem experienced by people who have difficulty in managing their time effectively is that they confuse the two factors of Urgency and Importance.

These are two separate, but overlapping factors. A simple two-by-two matrix can illustrate this, and help us to a) recognise the urgency-importance profile of issues and b) respond to each issue appropriately.

An issue may be very urgent, but not very important. Another issue may be important but not very urgent. A third issue may be both important and urgent, whilst a fourth may be neither urgent nor important.

2X2 models can demonstrate the effects of a simple relationship between two different factors. In this example, for instance, the degree of urgency of an issue only tells us about one dimension of its priority. Something might be very urgent – but of such low importance that we may decide to do nothing about it, and let the deadline pass. Something may not be at all urgent – but of such high importance that we decide to start working on it now.