Smack dab in the middle of an ebb
Agency life has its ebbs and flows, ammiright?
With a couple of crazy-busy months, I think I’m smack dab in the middle of an ebb.
Not that it’s necessarily bad, it’s just been (really) busy.
When the todo list stacks up longer than I’m comfortable with, I find myself coming back to the Eisenhower Matrix.
If you’re not familiar with it, it’s pretty simple… You put all your tasks into 1 of 4 categories:
Q1: Important & Urgent (Do First)
Q2: Important & Not Urgent (Schedule)
Q3: Not Important & Urgent (Delegate)
Q4: Not Important & Not-Urgent (Don’t Do)
“Urgent” is in my original understanding of this concept, but I often think of it as time-sensitive.
What I really like about this is it makes me think about what I’m working on and if it’s really the best use of my time.
Q1 items are emergencies that either came out of nowhere, or we’re former Q2 items that are now due.
Q2 is where your time is best spent— scheduled & important tasks. This is where you’ll get your most important work done without your hair on fire.
Q3 items will quickly eat away at your time, leaving you nothing to show for it.
Q4 items should generally be ignored.
What I’ve found is when I go and classify all my tasks, I find that I’m spending way too much time in quadrant 4 — where even one minute spent is too much.
Just the decision making process of “what should I do next” can be overwhelming (and probably leads me to more procrastination than I’d like to admit), but this Matrix helps take some of the decision making out of your hands. With all of your tasks tucked nicely into their quadrant, you don’t have to use brain power on deciding what to do, you know exactly what needs to be done first.
Even with the same amount of work on my plate, separating the tasks this way gives me a better perspective that eases the stress.