Your day has begun. How should you choose where to begin with your To Do List?
Next simplest: The 1 – 3 – 5 Rule from the Muse: 1 big thing, 3 medium, 5 little.
Julie Morgenstern’s Return on Investment:
- Estimated time
- Steps to results
- A-important tasks that contribute to goals MUST do
- B-moderately important SHOULD do
- C-least important COULD do
Stephen R Covey’s time management matrix:
- Quadrant I-important and urgent
- Quadrant II-important but not urgent
- Quadrant III-urgent but not important
- Quadrant IV-not urgent and not important
Increase Quadrant II activities, decrease Quadrant III and IV activities, and manage Quadrant I activities.
Also Known as the Eisenhower Box
See also Time Management is Self-Management at Semidoppel’s Reports.
Ask which tasks…
- are High Value (urgent and/or important?)
- will fit the amount of time available now?
- will fit the amount of energy available now?
- Quadrant I (Important/Urgent): includes Repeating tasks, recurring, routine tasks
- Quadrant II (Important/Not Urgent): includes Goals and planning
- Quadrant III (Urgent/Not Important): includes Distractions, interruptions
- Quadrant IV (Not Urgent/Not Important): includes Time wasters
When nothing is urgent, consider looking for The Sweet Spot.
Remember the Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule. Jim Temme in the book “Productivity Power” says that we spend about 80 percent of our day working on job description activities (what I think of as repeating tasks) that yield only 20 percent results. The challenge is to use the remaining 20 percent of discretionary time on goal-related activities that yield 80 percent results. See also The Pareto Principle Illustrated and Measuring Productivity.
Always ask: “What is the best use of my time right now?” -Alan Lakein