6. How do you set priorities?

"What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important."
- Dwight Eisenhower

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"What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important."
- Dwight Eisenhower

Even with good planning, sometimes the days are just too full and overwhelming … Friends, study, family, household, tests, work, sports ... How do you get this under control? Do as Eisenhower .... US president, general, golfer, oil painter ... And king of priorities

His trick? Distinctiveness: being able to determine how important and / or urgent something is. And to act accordingly. He could therefore be extremely productive.

The Model has four categories:

UrgentNot Urgent
Not Important34

Category 1. [Important and Urgent]
"Someone is dying and there is a big fire." An angry landlord about overdue rent, a mouse plague, a family explosion, some phone calls and some (not all) deadlines.
How to deal? Solve it! [Manage].
See what you need: help from others, a schedule, drastic measures?

Category 2 [Important but not Urgent]
Friends, relationships, new skills, compulsory educational components, preparing for presentations or tests. But also: relaxation, dedication, contributing to your environment, your health. All important, but not urgent.
This is the area where you want to be the most. Learn to focus on these goals and activities. [Focus]

Category 3. [Not Important, Urgent]
All "important-but-not-really-things": most phone calls, most meetings, most interruptions. Also called "the area of deception". We act as if these matters are urgent. We like the tension, it creates a certain sense of urgency and a sense that we matter. But not really important. Action: avoid as much as possible. [Avoid]. Make it a sport, set yourself that challenge.

Category 4. [Not Important - Not Urgent]
This field is about all the nonsense and waste in our lives. This is the area we flee to when we can no longer handle it. We think we can rest here. But that is an illusion. It is a waste of time. Hack! Or at least mega downsize. [Restrict].

Keep track of a week: how much time do you use in which box?

And connecting to your weekly schedule: do they connect? Can you afford it, or does it pay off to make your weekly schedule more realistic by taking action to be less in certain quadrant courses?

Distinctiveness is a skill. Practice it and act accordingly. You feel more relaxed and get more done.


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