Getting Things Done – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a blog series on Getting Things Done.  See also: Part 1 (Categorizing Your Tasks).


Living in Quadrant 2: Important/Not Urgent

In Part 1, I shared a model for categorizing tasks.  I stated that Quadrant 2 (Important/Not Urgent) is where we want to live and be.  This is the important quadrant to manage because failure to do so leads you to Quadrant 1 (Important/Urgent) in which the result is stress.  So the following are some ways to manage ourselves while in Quadrant 1:



We all have important things to do and the best thing we can do is properly prepare to physically get them done.  I will share a methodology regarding specifically how to go about this in Part 3 of this series, but suffice it here to say that you must prepare.  You have to have a methodology, an organized way that allows you to properly prepare to get things done.



Closely related with preparation, is the plan.  How exactly and when exactly will you do Task 1, Task 2, Task 594?  We live busy lives, we have families to attend to, work to do, school and meetings to attend, homework to do, papers to write, books to read, fun to have, trips to take, projects to complete.  What is your plan to get these things done?  Are you just free-wheeling it and coasting, or have you sat down with a notebook and paper and actually planned how to get your stuff done?  Again, in Part 3, I’ll lay out a methodology.



Prevention must be looked at from two perspectives: 1) Avoiding procrastination and 2) holding fast to your preparation and planning in order to prevent it from being overcome by other stuff.  When stuff is in your important/non-urgent quadrant, it is your responsibility to avoid procrastinating so that it does not make its way to important/urgent.  Similarly, when you have your preparation done and your plan set, you have to take some measures to protect that.  Accepting new tasks is a continual process, but with a carefully though-out plan, measures can be taken to organize your incoming tasks such that they do not negatively impact your workflow.



When you’re actually able to work and live out of the important/non-urgent quadrant, take measures to train and coach others.  Try to get out of the “I’ll just do it myself” mentality while in this quadrant.  The goal here is an appropriate dose of delegation.  Often times when living in Quadrant 1 (Important/Urgent) this is not possible or feasible; but, if you can remain out of the urgent quadrant, take the time raise up others so that everything doesn’t necessarily have to funnel through you.


Build Relationships

This is one of those things that simply is important, but often not considered urgent.  Our tendency is to let this one slip.  Make it a part of your plan.  As you prepare and plan your methodology for getting things done, don’t overlook personal commitments. 



This post has been focused on living in Quadrant 2 where you focus on the important things while remaining (as much as possible) out of the realm of urgency.  In Part 3, we’ll look more in depth at the preparation and planning portions via the context of a methodology (largely based on the David Alan method).

~ by toddbumgarner on May 8, 2008 5:40 am.

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