Too often, productivity tools try to make us more ‘productive’ by making us tick as many tasks as possible. Instead Week Plan will help you keep your goals in mind so that you can work more effectively. It is not the number of tasks you do that matters, it is what tasks you do.
An introduction to the 4 Quadrants
All tasks fall into one of the following four categories:
People who spend most of their time in Quadrant I usually have stressful lives. What they need to do is both important and urgent. They have to respond to tight deadlines, they need to solve crisis and have to put out fires constantly.
People who spend most of their time in Quadrant III usually have a short term focus. They feel out of control.
The Quadrant IV is all about time wasters or activities that don’t provide any value. Anything done abusively could enter this category too (TV, video games, internet surfing…).
Quadrant II is THE quadrant where you want to spend more time. It is the quadrant of planning, preparation, balance and proactivity It can help you reduce the time you spend on urgent things overtime and is the heart of the First Things First methodology.
In Week Plan, you can mark a task as urgent and/or important. To categorize a task you can click on the icons next to the task textbox, or you can suffix your task with !1 !2 or !3 where the number corresponds to a quadrant.
Exercise: in Week Plan, schedule the tasks you would like to achieve this week and try to categorize them according to the four quadrants.
By developing the habit of marking your tasks as urgent/important, you will internalize the concept of categorization and you will be able to differentiate what is truly important to what is only urgent (but not important, Quadrant III).
In the next article, we will see how we can spend more time in Quadrant II.