Got tons of stuff to do? Do not know where to start? Cannot choose one thing one over another? Juggling too many things at once?Another day’s gone and you look back scratching your head asking yourself “what have I accomplished today?”
You need to prioritize to achieve results while keeping sane lifestyle. But how do you prioritize one thing over another?
Adopt Steven Covey’s advice – Urgent/Important quadrants as he outlines it in his First Things First book. It works for me and it should work for you too.
Steven Covey offers simple technique – Urgent/Important quadrants – to prioritize your activities should your care for achieving results.
Chance Brown shares absolutely coolest mindmap images of the concept.
Below is how it’s represented on Wikipedia:
Important but not Urgent
Focus here. This is the main focus area. Day-to-day work. Directly impacts your personal achievement. This quadrant includes the following areas:
- Planning. Plan Ahead Or Plan Your Back Up Plan
- Exercise. Grow Quality – Not Quantity
- Delivering. 3 Easy Steps To Become A Superhero
- Recreation. 4 Dimensions Of Personal Power
Important and Urgent
Switch quickly. Identify the event as Important and Urgent. quickly switch, enter [SWAT/under fire] mode (custody of J.D. Meier). Hit the goal. Return to “Important but not Urgent” quadrant (usually recreation).
- Urgent family matters.
- Lifetime opportunity.
Not Important but Urgent
“Say NO until your tongue bleeds” – adopt this advice from Harvey Mackay. For more cool real world advices read his book – Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition. The technique seem to produce more enemies than friends, but in the long run it pays off. You are your best friend. Take care for yourself first when you need to balance your time (notice – you are in “Not Important” quadrant!).
- Interruptions. Keep Your Inbox Clean , Stay Focused And Productive – My 4 Simple Rules
- Meetings. Avoid Meetings At Any Cost, Or At Least Get Most Out Of It
- Distractions. Remove Distracting Email Notifications – All Of Them
Not Important and not Urgent
Careful. Do not mix this one with recreation in the “Important but not Urgent” quadrant. Stay away from this one! Just stay away from it.
- Email shuffling.
- Time wasters.
- Define your life projects. Do you know what you spend your life for? If you do – can you write down it as a simple list?
- Set goals in each. Do you know what you want to achieve? If you are – can you write down it as a simple list?
- Allocate time. Are you aware of how much time you invest in your life time projects? If you are – how much for each project?
More details in Time Management – Do You Control Your Life Or Life Controls You?