Deciding priorities

One of the very useful things I picked up from Wait but Why’s procrastination post was the Eisenhower matrix.

Urgent Not urgent

Important

Quadrant 1 Quadrant 2
Not important Quadrant 3

Quadrant 4

Now I had come across this before, but in the context of sorting out work flow in my day job. I had never thought of using it for a ‘whole-of-life’ matrix.

So, I thought I would see what happened if I applied to my life.

My first run through was what I want my life to look like. Most things ended up in Q2 – the things that are important in my life or to achieve my dreams –ย  or Q4 – the fun stuff. Blessedly very little of my everyday life is urgent.

Then I picked up a different coloured pen and did it again with how I actually live. (If you’re doing this yourself, you might want to try that the other way round – up to you. )

Interestingly, when I did this step several of my activities swapped around between Q2 and Q4. Turns out I’ve been putting too much emphasis on some things that don’t really matter to me and not enough on others that really do.

My ideal Q2 includes blogging, dance, family, and my house & garden. Blogging had slipped over into Q1 – I always felt rushed into posting because I didn’t plan ahead. Dance had slipped down into Q4, along with my house & garden. While to some these might be ‘nice to haves’, they matter a lot to me, so I need to make them a priority. Whereas activities like knitting and reading – which had both crept up into Q2 – are among my personal ‘nice to haves’, along with sketching, Minecraft, and my Warhammer army. I can live without these, but they are FUN! And it is okay to have fun – but it’s not where I need to put most of my time and energy.

Fortunately, this is easy to fix ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to follow wise advice I heard from hard-out dancer, Amy Sigil:

Don’t prioritise your schedule…

SCHEDULE YOUR PRIORITIES.

Yes, I’m actually planning!

I now have a rough ‘editorial calendar’ of what I plan to blog when – it’s much harder to fluff around when you know what you planned to write about…

I’m also doing some daily planning to make sure I make time for my Q2 activities, as well as relaxing in Q4. This bit is definitely a ‘work in progress’, but I intend to persevere because on the days I do it and follow it, it works really well. Now all I need is a few more hours everyday to fit in everything!

I’m also including on my daily plan a short list of my ‘important things’ (Q2), so I keep focused.

So, that’s how I’m doing it…

How would you ‘quadrantify’ your life?

Does your reality come anywhere close to your dreams?

And if not, what are you going to change? Your dreams? Or how you live?

P.S. If you’re stumbling around with absolutely no idea what you want to do or what your ‘important things’ might be, check out the Passion Test. I found it a big help when I started down this journey.

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Author: verdant1

belly dancer, mother, student, public servant, shaman, knitter, sister, feminist, gardener and a lot more...

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