Quality Time

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.

My work in progress!

Fair enough?

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.

Oh, those new Paramount Star Trek series are SO good!

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! 💗

19 thoughts on “Quality Time

    1. Hi Gil! Moxie is 13 (and a half!), Ludo just turned 7, and Marvel turned 3 in February. Maverick was about 10 in that pic (and passed away a couple of years later). Hope all is well, my friend!


  1. Oh those doggos are just too darn cute! Ugh, I’m just like you I tend to prioritize things but then, poof……I’m doing something that I never planned to do. Like break yo the poorly laid concrete in my back yard. Yes, I’m breaking up slabs of concrete so that I can plant grass……eventually. See what I did there? Is there a quadrant for “Importantly urgent, but more….meh, I’ll get to it eventually?” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! My puppies thank you, Huntress! ❤️

      It is funny how something that seemed unimportant and not urgent just before suddenly becomes urgent and important to us now! My fence, your concrete. But both fall into Q2, though, because home improvement is indeed (1) important, but not necessarily (2) urgent. Home REPAIR is urgent (leaking roof, broken water heater, etc) because they must be attended to NOW!

      Hope all is well with you, sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember the ol’ Franklin-Covey ‘planner’ craze… Mr. Covey is dead. No amount of classification of his tasks could allow him to avoid that outcome. In the end, every bit of his agonizing over his time and how he spent it came to naught. Sure, the living will argue he accomplished a lot. But to what ends? Those living will die too.
    Ultimately, nothing we do amounts to anything. So, if your entire life ends up in Quadrant 4, then that’s just as valid as some manic-do-it-all-Quadrant-1 freakazoid.
    If Q-1 through Q-4 = puppies then, why not?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! ‘Mole, I agree. The irony of the whole exercise was that in my attempt to diagnose my own time management I came to the realization that I’m fine with how I already manage my time – wasted or not – so the process was indeed a “waste” of time. I like irony so, in fact, it was time well spent. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Putting things in their proper quadrants can create quite a quandary, which is why I think you kept wanting to slip that extra ‘n’ in there. Seeing your fence also reminded me of another Tom who was extremely skilled at delegating responsibility–specifically whitewashing a fence, and I wonder if Mr. Sawyer ever realized that, if those other kids really were having fun, maybe he was missing out.
    There’s also an old saying about what all work and no play makes Tom so Quadrant 4 can’t be dismissed as entirely superfluous. Besides spending some time with the dogs, as well as Mrs. C., is something that’s important and can’t be delegated to anyone else, and if you put it off too long it becomes urgent.
    There’s something to consider: it shouldn’t be a grid but a circle since every item moves from one quadrant to another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant! I can’t wait to get around to drawing up a diagram of the “Waldrop Sphere.” Covey was so square! But the circle of life, and the circle of fun and responsibility, cannot be ignored. This weekend I can honestly say I spent good, quality time in each quadrant and I don’t regret it one iota. ✌️

      Liked by 1 person

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