Let us first make sure we understand each other. I am not changing the mapping, but am substituting "mandatory" for "important". I find important to be too vague of a word, but in my endeavor to define mandatory I realized that the things I feel I have to do are the things that, if not done, would have a negative consequence. This negative consequence includes opportunity cost.
For example a bill that is due tomorrow is a "mandatory" and "urgent" task, thus "critical". Not paying it would have an immediate, negative consequence. Another example: boss puts me up for a promotion and needs an updated resume tonight - "critical" because not doing it would have a negative consequence in the lost opportunity to advance in the company. Those are the easy ones to understand.
The next quadrant, "crucial", for which a task is "mandatory" but not "urgent" tends to include everyday things like chores and work projects that are not due immediately. These are things that HAVE to get done or will lead to negative consequences. If I leave dirty dishes in the sink it affects my relationship and risk my health but that negative affect is not immediate an thus it is a "crucial" task but not "critical". Buying an anniversary gift ahead of time is "crucial". It is time sensitive, but not "urgent"; however waiting until the last minute is a negative consequence because I loss the opportunity to get the best gift that I can and have to settle. And I have to get a gift.
Going out with friends to a football game is "beneficial". I get out of the house, see my friends and have a good time, but nothing bad happens if I miss the game. Therefore it is optional, but if it is tomorrow or has any time sensitivity then I cannot simply ignore it. There is a sense of urgency attached to it and I leave it there in quadrant 3 after the mandatory stuff. The key here is that the dishes get washed before I go to the game because the latter is "mandatory" or "important" and the former not. This despite the game being "urgent" and the dishes not.
The last quadrant is something I enjoy like TV watching. Not beneficial, not mandatory. If I never get to it, no problem.
So I would agree that there is a level of negative motivation in this setup, but for me it is more realistic and helps me sort through my task better. Also negative consequences does not equate to urgency, but are the things that I choose to deal with first because they stress me the most. GTD and 7 Habits is about being effective and stress free and my philosophy is to face the stress head on. I deal with things not out of fear, but from a position of being proactive.
Posted 6 months ago