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Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important

jbmiv Pro says:

Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" has a concept of a 4 X 4 matrix with urgency/non-urgency on one axis and importance/non-importance on the other.

Quadrant 1 is at the intersection of urgent and important, a.k.a. "firefighting," and while you definitely don't want to spend all your time there, it is key to know what to-dos are in that category and get them knocked out.

I created a simple "Quad1" smartlist whose search filter is simply: (dueWithin:"1 week" OR dueBefore:"today") AND priority:1. That captures in one short list the intersection of urgent, top-priority things across all my lists.

Getting that list down to nothing lets me move to Quadrant 2, not-urgent but important, a.k.a., "Quality Time," where you want to invest as much of your time as you can.

Posted at 1:17am on February 16, 2011

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

Hi jbmiv,

I just wanted to let you know that you're this week's Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner. We've upgraded your RTM account to have a free year of Pro. :)

Posted 4 years ago

sgri Pro says:

They way I have set up the quadrants is to use RTM's priorities:

priority 1 = important and urgent
priority 2 = important but not urgent
priority 3 = not important but urgent
no priority = not important and not urgent

It also allows me to do a periodic GTD 'high-level' review of activities to validate my objectives and priorities.

Posted 4 years ago

mehardin says:

The only problem with using differing priorities to designate the differing quadrants, is that while importance is constant, urgency varies with the due date. What is important today is important next week (usually) but that which isn't urgent today, may be very urgent next week. You have to keep editing the priority numbers.

If like the original poster, you let priorities determine importance, and due dates determine urgency, then create smart lists that search based on combinations of the two, the tasks flow automatically from quadrant 2 to quadrant 1 when they become urgent. Of course the goal is to tackle them while they are still in that second quadrant so that they never make it to quadrant one anyway.

Posted 4 years ago

arunaugustine Pro says:

"The only problem with using differing priorities to designate the differing quadrants, is that while importance is constant, urgency varies with the due date."

That is why GTD advocates weekly review

Posted 4 years ago

mmorowitz says:

...and daily review (the most important part of my morning)

Posted 4 years ago

mehardin says:

I understand about the weekly and daily reviews, but my point is, things don't really change in importance, they only change in urgency. If you are having to change the priorities, weekly or daily review, you are adding more work for yourself when due dates will dictate priority for you. Of course, this is with covey quadrants. If you are really going GTD then you will eschew due dates in RTM altogether, putting date sensitive tasks on your calendar.

Posted 4 years ago

mikejd30 says:

merhardin is right when considering the original concept of the 2x2 (not 4x4) matrix.

Using priorities for this is simply not using the matrix at all. That is just priorities......... The idea of the matrix is that we don't make the decision of where in the matrix it falls, the level set of importance and the due date decide that.

If we already know the priority, we don't need the matrix.

Posted 2 years ago

mikejd30 says:

I would also add that the initial tip, while useful, would be better not using priority at all.

A tag could be used for Importance. The point of the matrix was not to use the standard priority setting as this is the info the matrix tells us.

Posted 2 years ago

lamantine says:

Oh, it's pity that I didn't know about Tip&Tricks winners ;-) I'm using this matrix for about one year now and can't imagine my RTM account without it. So, here is the setup:

important & urgent: dueBefore:"7 days" priority:1
important but not urgent: (dueAfter:"6 days" OR due:never) priority:1
not important but urgent: dueBefore:"7 days" (priority:2 OR priority:3 OR priority:none)
not important & not urgent: (dueAfter:"6 days" OR due:never) AND (priority:2 OR priority:3 OR priority:none)

In my setup these 4 lists called:


Posted 2 years ago

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