Create a list, prioritize and attack. Everyone pretty much knows this much about time management, but there is one notion that has forever changed the way I work. It’s the concept of importance versus urgency.
Our day to day tasks usually reside in quadrant number 1 and number 3. Living a life in these two quadrants isn’t entirely bad and in some work places you will be an all star just working this way, but in all likely there is little room for growth when working this way.
Quadrant 2 tasks are the tasks that sit in the back of our minds brewing. We usually tell ourselves, “only if we had more time, then we would be able to tackle those tasks.” We know it’s important but we never get to it.
Here is the leap in thought that is necessary for success. The more tasks you tackle in quadrant 2, the less tasks you will find coming at you from quadrant 1. When one is always prepared and constantly ahead of certain deadlines then there is no reason to be caught off guard.
Of course there will always be fires that need your attention, and in the end I don’t think anyone tackles tasks only from quadrant 2 through out their entire work day. The point is to reserve time on a daily basis that will ensure that tasks from quadrant 2 is always being worked on. I like to give it 30 minutes or an hour a day, but it can be more or less. As long as some attention is given to these tasks.
Let me know what you guys think. How often are you in quadrant 1 and 3?