Many times in both my career and personal life I’ve fallen back on the Urgent vs Important grid (thank you Stephen Covey!) to help me through the “what to do now” decision process.
Important & Urgent: Things that really, really need to be dealt with right now (house on fire, etc.)
Important & Not Urgent: Things that need to be done, but don’t need to be done right now (long-term planning, etc.)
Urgent & Not Important: Things that probably never need to be dealt with, but take up our precious time (telemarketers, etc.)
Not Urgent & Not Important: Not only do these things not have to be done right now, chances are they don’t need to be done at all (watching videos of dancing cats on Youtube, etc.)
Here’s some of what was left on my “to do” list as of this morning and how they ended up getting categorized:
- Prepare house/pet information for sitter: Important & Urgent
- Homework assignments for Coaching Class: Important & Urgent
- Listen to tele-class before it expires: Important & Urgent
- Ironing: Important & Not Urgent
- Office Filing: Important & Not Urgent
- Yard work: Important & Not Urgent
I generally don’t put Not Important stuff on my “to do” list, so two of the categories were easy to eliminate.
Granted, there were a lot of other things on my list, but these represented hours worth of things I needed to do, in addition to my regular job. The result: #1-#3 got done; #4-#6 will be saved for another day.
Suffice to say, with my list prioritized, I’m feeling much better about my preparation for the trip and possibly may have just a couple minutes to watch dancing cat videos!
How do you prioritize your “to do” list?