I remember a few years ago some very resonating training I received from Steve Covey (via a book, CD, DVD or something like that).
It’s all about prioritising your work and revolves around two key concepts: Urgency and Importance.
Importance means alignment to your strategy, your goals, your purpose. “If I do this, good things will come to me”. These are good things to get done.
Urgency means it is time critical. If it is not done quickly, something happens or does not happen, usually not something you want. Not the ideal to have, but for some reason they exist in our lives and must be delt with somehow, and quickly!
By using 4 combinations of these two concepts (with their negatives) you can categorise any task/project/activity you are working on at any point in any moment in your life. It’s pretty cool how it is so. Once you are clear with why you are here and what you are doing, then EVERYTHING can go into one of the 4 boxes.
Covey used a large square (a box) and drew up each combination into the quadrants of the large box. I think you’ll get the idea if I just type them:
The four boxes:
1. Important and NOT Urgent
2. Important and Urgent
3. Not Important and Urgent
4. Not Important and Not Urgent
Points on each one:
1. Do these at a nice and steady pace and life feels good. You’re on track, whatever that means for you. You achieve your goals, what ever they may be. There’s a fun light feeling to everything.
2. OK, must be done so do it, but WHY has it become urgent. What happened to make this urgent. (“Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”). Obviously these must be done, and then work out how to stop them from happening again. They cause stress and are not conducive to having fun. They interrupt healthy living. Delegate, change the rules, change the strategy, simply say NO! Do what ever you can to stop these landing in this box.
3. OK, what happened here. Can you delegate this non important task and get rid of it? Can you not do it and nothing will happen? Try to avoid doing these as much as you can and study a little how they come into your life and take steps to avoid them.
4. Why am I looking at this? This box is really a bin. Bin it. And get good at binning stuff. Most of the fluff that approaches us in life goes here.
Make more sense?
And if it gets confusing about what goes into what box, meditate on it. The answer will come from inside you, very clearly.