Yesterday I categorized the things I do into Covey Quadrants, just for the hell of it. It helps me understand just how much of my time is spent on frivolous things, and just how much is spent on stuff that’s really important.
Now, “important” can be subjective, as I understand it. I can find “gaming night with the wife” to be extremely important, subjectively. You might find “taking time to write” or “golfing on Sundays” to be important and I might find such things to be luxuries or distractions. So, yes, there is some subjectivity to our priorities.
But if you’ve never seen the Covey Quadrants, they are a way to kind of take what you do – daily or otherwise – and slot them into 4 categories: urgent and important, urgent and unimportant, not urgent and important, or not urgent and unimportant.
Important and urgent things you cannot put off and must do now, whether you want to or not. An example there is when I’m writing a blog and it gets to be around 7:30 and I realize that right now I must get up and shower. 8:30 will come and I must be at work, no matter what. Another example might be “vehicle repair,” which I had to do this week when my brake lights would not SHUT OFF even when the car was parked. I might have wanted to “work on my fence,” because that’s what I do for fun lately, but the car thing took precedence because ya just cannot roll without wheels.
Okay, that’s Q1. Q2 is “important but not urgent” and that’s the box you wanna play in. That’s the “exercise” box, the “home improvement” section. That’s the box where you’re “writing for a purpose,” or “reading for growth,” or even “maintaining quality relationships.” It is the stuff we often put off for Q4 (below) but where most of our time should be spent. Covey called it the “Quadrant of Quality.”
I keep wanting to spell “quadrant” as “quandrant” today. 🤷
Q3 is the urgent but unimportant stuff. A lot of daily news I get caught up reading from my emails fall into this category. It’s happening today, so it’s urgent. It’s not happening to me, anywhere near me, and don’t affect me one iota, so I should set it aside. It’s also the phone ringing. The group text. It is the qua(n)drant of distraction. It can’t be helped sometimes. If the missus walks in while I’m writing a blog to see what I think of her new blouse she takes center stage, distraction or not. If Ludo wants love now, he gets it.
Finally, there’s Q4. Q4 is entirely a waste of time. It is not urgent. It is not (really) important. It is the Quadrant of Waste, and my favorite one to hang out in. It is the Madden Quadrant. The Reading for Pleasure Quadrant. The Star Trek Quadrant.
It is also, alas, the Blogging Quadrant.
But that’s okay. This exercise wasn’t meant to end a damn thing, though that’s what Covey would want:
I’m a time-waster. I often welcome distractions. I handle necessities and also plan ahead. I like to prioritize but I won’t stop playing Madden, watching Star Trek, or being Tom. I won’t delegate Ludo’s love. I’ll hang out in all the quadrants. I don’t even know what the hell “diarise” means.
So, was the whole process a Q2(quality) or Q4 (waste) exercise? You decide. In the meantime, here’s some dogs:
Thanks for hanging out for a bit; sorry for the distraction. 😏
Stay cool! 💗