Where Am I Now?

I started off the day last Wednesday with a clear plan. I’d done my daily agenda and knew what I needed to get done. Then it happened – real world “stuff” started to pop up.

The phone rang, someone walked up, an urgent email from a business user….. Before I knew it, I was off plan and had allowed myself to get pulled into several seemingly simple, quick tasks that took longer than expected (imagine that?) and before I knew it I was into the afternoon.

Which left me thinking “uh, where am I working now?”, meaning which quadrant of Stephen Covey’s 4 quadrant time management model had I stumbled into, and how quickly could I get myself back out!

If you’re not familiar with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the key time management strategies it offers is this “4 Quadrant Model”. This model tells us that the events of the day generally tend to fall into one of these 4 areas:

The objective, you see, is to deal with those issues that arise in the realm of Important and Urgent, but to move as quickly as possible to Important and Not Urgent, because that is where the true progress is made.

I know this, I believe it, and yet nearly every day I find myself drifting into Urgent but Not Important (faux-crisis), and having to pull myself back to the Important side. The point is this: It’s a never ending struggle, worse some days than others, but we have to realize that the gravity of life will pull us into unimportant things all the time that sound urgent, but really aren’t. It’s our job to keep our awareness on high alert, so we can stay on the Important side of the grid. That’s where we get the meaningful things done, the things that ultimately make our lives better.

You probably already know most of this, but it’s such a good topic and since it seems I have to relearn it about once a month, that I thought I’d post about it anyway. Sometimes the “Unimportant” is the easiest stuff to do, and the Urgent always demands our attention like a nagging (kid/husband/wife/??) and that’s why we drift toward it. Many times these tasks are quick, rewarding and always around. But we need to stay vigilant – progress comes when we decide what’s Important and where we should be spending our time – not someone else.

Now if I can just get this disgusting file folder organized, I’ll finally be able to get back to finishing that plan for world peace. 🙂

Next post: “That’s Crazy Talk!”

2 Responses to “Where Am I Now?”

  1. Ayhan says:

    before, I bear you nor your blog any ill-will. (Despite having some "fun" with Wally in the last few posts which may be coensrutd as inconsiderate to the feelings of you and some others.)It's sad, we have to come to this – I really think many of your viewpoints etc are reasonable and valid and some of the debates/discussions with you have been mentally stimulating and interesting. (When I said earlier, that your blog was interesting and I was looking at the contents/tone, I meant it.)I guess some of the disagreements could have been managed better. I guess in the end, although we may share some values, there are others that we do not.You may or may not choose to reply to this comment. Whatever your decision, I will not be posting ant further comments/responses to comments on this blog. I think, rightly or wrongly, that would be best. And, when I wished everyone "all the best" in my previous post was made as part of the satire I had with Wally, I end this comment with my best wishes again, and this is not part of the satire..

  2. Mizuta says:

    he wants to leave. This means that when the "real" Robert Tan denies that the "fake" Robert Tan is inpsreonatimg him, the "real" Robert Tan shows he is still lurking around.O1K