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"The function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential."
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The Four Quadrants

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM Comments comments (0)

(from dumblittleman.com)

How to Prioritize by Importance – And Stick to It

How can you start concentration on what really matters, instead of on what seems most pressing?

 

The Four Quadrants

There’s a useful technique in time-management that involves dividing your tasks into a grid with four “quadrants”, which are:

Urgent and Important (eg. “My big report is due in three hours”

Important but Not Urgent (eg. “I’m delivering a presentation next month”

Urgent but Not Important (eg. “My library books are due back today”

Not Important and Not Urgent (eg. “I’m watching YouTube clips”


Focusing on “Important”

So how can you draw your focus back to the stuff that matters? How can you make sure you’re working on what’s truly important before it becomes urgent?

 

I’d suggest a few simple things:

- Get rid of your “not urgent and not important” activities. (Note – that doesn’t mean get rid of things that relax and recharge you: they are important.)

- Make sure that “urgent and not important” activities never get in the way of “important and not urgent” ones. Frankly, it’s probably better for you to work on your dissertation for two hours, instead of spending that time racing across town with your soon-to-be-overdue library books.

- Remember that “important” is a matter of perspective. Be honest with yourself about what’s important to you. Important tasks are ones which enrich your life: they don’t have to be ones that involve making money or advancing your career.

- Start off your day with an “important and not urgent” task. This might be writing a chapter of your novel, getting some exercise, sorting out your tax return, learning a new language... as per the previous point, you define what’s important to you.


How to Prioritize and Get Things Done

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM Comments comments (0)

(from lifeorganizers.com)


When you prioritize, you're determining what needs to get done, and in what order you should perform those actions. Very often, one may concentrate on getting lots of easy tasks done. But just because you're crossing off tons of items on your To Do list, doesn't necessarily mean you're completing the important stuff--the tasks that will help you achieve your goals.


 

1. Look into the future. What do you want out of life? Do you want to play guitar well enough to be able to perform for your children? Do you want to travel the country? Do you want to have a beautiful vegetable garden in your backyard? While it is certainly important to get your day- to-day things done, it's also important to schedule in time for activities that will help you achieve the 'higher level' goals you've set for yourself.


 

2. Make a Master List. This is simply a long running list of everything you want to accomplish. It's in no particular order, but is essentially a holding place and a reference so you don't forget any activity and so that you're not trying to remember everything that needs to get done.


 

3. Scan your list and assign A, B or C. Assign each activity one of the following letter codes:


A - Those activities that are important AND urgent and will impact you greatly if you don't accomplish them right way.

B - Those activities that are important to be done, but not urgent. You have time to accomplish them before they have a great impact on your life.

C - Those activities that may be nice to do sometime, but if you don't do them, you wouldn't be terribly disappointed.


4. It's not set in stone. Your letter assignments may change over time. Just because you assign an B priority to one of your activities today, doesn't mean it has to stay a B priority. It may turn into an A priority or a C priority in the future. Use your priority assignments as a guide, but don't be reluctant to change them if the need arises.


5. Focus. Now it's time to focus on just a few activities listed on your Master List. You'll want to include a mixture of activities on your Daily To Do list. I recommend you choose three A priorities, two B priorities and one C priority. So each day, you'll have a total of 6 activities to focus on.


 

6. Make a schedule. Use a tool, such as the Daily Planner in the Get Organized Now! Easy Organizer, http://www.getorganizednow.com/ezorganizer.html to plan your day. Schedule in time for each of your priorities, leaving some free time throughout your day for getting daily things done (dusting, cooking, etc.) and for rest and relaxation.


 

7. Early bird or night owl? In general, you'll want to schedule so that you actually get those A priority tasks done, no matter what. I find that if I do my top priority tasks first thing in the morning and get them out of the way, than it's pretty smooth sailing the rest of the day. However, some people are able to better focus in the afternoon or the evening, so A priority tasks are sometimes better left for this time of day for some people. No matter what time of day you choose to focus on your A priorities, be sure you don't allow anything (except dire emergencies) to take over the time you originally scheduled to complete those priorities.


 

 

8. If something comes up . . . There are going to be times when you decide to do something in place of the activities you have initially assigned. For instance, the other day I had some activities planned for the afternoon, but a friend called and asked if I wanted to go to a local event with her in town. I weighed my options. I still had one B and one C priority on my list and I knew if I went to the event, that these would not get done today. I decided to meet her at the event, and complete the B priority I had assigned when I returned home afterwards, and I also decided to move the C priority to tomorrow.

 

Of course, while I do allow for flexibility in my schedule from time to time, I don't make a habit out of doing this.

Most of the time, I stick to getting my priorities accomplished unless something very palatable arises that is important enough to me to push some of my originally assigned activities to tomorrow or another day. Check out dozens of other scheduling tips in my book Finally Organized, Finally Free. Visit: http://www.getorganizednow.com/newbook.html


 

9. The next day. You'll always want six activities on your Daily To List, again three A priorities, two B priorities and one C priority --or less than 6 if you can never get 6 completed. If you did not accomplish one or more of your priorities from yesterday, those priorities should be on your list the next day--along with other priorities from your Master List to take the place of those priorities that you did manage to accomplish yesterday.


 

10. Reward yourself. If you follow this system, you will get an enormous amount of important things done, and you'll more easily be able to reach your goals. As you get things done, particularly your A priorities, reward yourself along the way. For instance, you can sprinkle mini rewards throughout your day, such as a walk in the park or an outing with a friend. A more major reward should be enjoyed when you accomplish something big, such as passing a major exam or remodeling a room in your home.


Setting Better Priorities

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

"The best method for setting priorities on your list, once you have determined your major goals or objectives, is the A-B-C-D-E Method. You place one of those letters in the margin before each of the tasks on your list before you begin.


“A” stands for “very important;” something you must do. There can be serious negative consequences if you don’t do it.


“B” stands for “important;” something you should do. This is not as important as your ‘A’ tasks. There are only minor negative consequences if it is not completed.


“C” stands for things that are “nice to do;” but which are not as important as ‘A’ or ‘B,’ tasks. There are no negative consequences for not completing it.


“D” stands for “delegate.” You can assign this task to someone else who can do the job instead of you.


“E” stands for “eliminate, whenever possible.” You should eliminate every single activity you possibly can, to free up your time."


a.k.a Prioritizing the Brian Tracy Way!!