We have to treat our time like a precious resource. It has to be used effectively.

First, let’s look at what we are doing right now, and which of those things we shouldn’t be. Welcome to the Eisenhower Matrix or the 4 Ds. Which things are Do, Delay, Delete, or Dump? Put another way, divide your tasks into: Urgent/Important, Not Urgent/Important, Urgent/Unimportant, and Not Urgent/Unimportant.

Urgent/Important = DO  Not Urgent/Important = DELAY (Distractions) 
Urgent/Unimportant = DELEGATE  Not Urgent/Unimportant = DUMP (Delusions)

If it is urgent and important, do it. Get it on your list and just do it. Don’t let the other stuff get in the way.

If it is urgent, but not important, delay it. It is currently a distraction. Get it on your calendar so they don’t keep hounding you (and they will if you don’t address them).

If it is urgent but unimportant, get someone else to do it. Delegate.

If it isn’t urgent or important, why are you spending time on it? Dump it. You are delusional that you are ever going to get to it. Move on.

As you are filling out your Eisenhower Matrix, recognize everything that you are putting into the Delay, Delegations, or Dump buckets and yet continue to do are opportunity costs with a negative balance. The first step is to recognize the behavior. Anyone with any square blank in the Matrix is likely a liar. That is completely useless. Be honest; build a baseline. Then we can know where to begin and how to improve.

One of my favorite quotes is Maya Angelou’s  “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” This helps us know better where we are spending (and mis-spending) our time.

Thanks for reading. More next week, Erin.