Track all that is Important in your life
Email, phone calls, app notifications, social networks... their urgency makes them seem important and so that is where our time goes.
Deep down though we know that spending quality time with family, keeping in touch with friends, working on what's really important, these are some of the things that are truly important but don't grab your attention with their urgency.
It isn't urgent now that you get some exercise every day, but fast forward to your future and suddenly it is, but it's too late. By making sure you keep on top of these important elements of your life now you'll set yourself in good stead for future.
Imagine if every day all your time went only into activities that were high impact and truly important?Start tracking today
The Four Quadrants
Everything you do today can be classified as either being important or unimportant, urgent or not urgent.
Put them together and any one thing you do fits into one of these categories:
- Urgent and Important
- These are the 'fires' in your life and work, the emergencies.
- Not Urgent but Important
- These are the things that are vitally important but don't scream out to be done today.
- Urgent but not Important
- These are the phone calls and emails that suggest importance due to their urgency, but really are not important.
- Not Urgent and Not Important
- 3 hour meetings with no real purpose and all time-wasting lives here.
Visually, you can imagine everything we do falling into one of these quadrants:
Which is the best quadrant to spend our time in? One strategy would be to first deal with all the fires, the emergencies in Quadrant 1.
Once they have been dealt with, we can move on to Quadrant 2 (Q2). We then want to stay in Q2 as much as is humanly possible.
Why? Because the things in Q2 today are the (potential) fires of tomorrow. Neglect to take care of the things in Q2 in your own time and you'll wake up to them in Q1 where suddenly you have no choice but to jump on them.
Living in Q2
What are Q2 Activities?
The activities in Q2 are individual to you, though many of us will have a lot in common, such as:
- Keeping in touch with friends. (Social)
- Spending quality time with family. (Family)
- Writing to a distant relative. (Family)
- Making contingency plans for possible emergencies at work. (Work)
- Studying a little bit of Japanese each day. (Mind)
- Getting some exercise every day. (Body)
- Taking time to read some good fiction. (Soul)
The other activities that would go in the list depend on you as a person. What are all the things that you feel you should do on a regular basis?
Now, how often do you feel you should do each of these things? Perhaps you'd like to write to a distant relative every 2 months or so. Put it in a todo list and the guilt will quickly mount up: life wasn't designed to be quite that orderly!
The Q2 System
Q2 is designed to help you keep track of these important elements of your life in a low-guilt fashion. It's about helping you first set your intentions and then letting you see where you are at today.
Q2 was born out of the desire to be able to ask at any time, "What can I do today to make today a good, productive day?", and, "What have I been neglecting? What needs my attention today?".
The more time we spend in Q2, the less time we'll spend in Q1 fighting fires. What's more, by chipping away at these important things on a regular basis we will be far more likely to achieve our goals in life.