Today I’m answering a reader question I received in response to a previous post: How to Setup an Eisenhower Matrix in Nozbe. They wanted to know if I use Eisenhower Quadrant Categories the way Stephen Covey recommends in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Do you still use other categories or do you just stick to these (Eisenhower quadrant) categories?
Also looking at the quadrants that you made, Stephen Covey always talked about working on the important but not urgent items as those end up having more of an impact than working on the important urgent items…The important and urgent items end up distracting us and not allowing us to work on the big picture items.
So, let’s break this down.
I still use several different categories to keep all my different tasks on track (calls, waiting, email, errands, etc.).
I mostly use these categories when my projects get too big and I need to batch specific types of tasks or refocus on what really matters.
This reader was totally correct in describing how Stephen Covey places emphasis on Quadrant 2 (important/not urgent).
For me, these Priority 2 tasks are things where I need to add a date and time needed. This quadrant helps me block out time on my calendar to actually achieve those tasks.
Examples of Quadrant 2 activities include scheduling a date with my wife or the oil change for my car. It’s all about being intentional with time so things don’t become urgent later.
Priority 1 tasks are only the ones that are truly urgent. By that, I mean that something catastrophic will happen if it doesn’t get done. These are tasks that have a firm deadline or deliverable that is non-negotiable.
By describing Priority 1 like this I get clarity about what’s actually urgent versus what I feel is urgent. If something can be delayed for a day or two, then it’s not really urgent and should be handled in another quadrant.