Don’t sacrifice the important for the urgent (#myweek 08/2020)

My work backlog was just about to get somewhat tense, so this week’s focus was on down-to-earth patent prosecution work. Also, this week I had an unusual amount of unplanned but urgent things coming in, which always bears the risk of sacrificing the important for the urgent (think quadrants 1 and 2 in Stephen Covey’s time management matrix 😉). It was a good stress test for my scheduling and prioritization skills.

Personal takeaway: Plan ahead, but don’t overplan.

This means:

  1. Schedule your week ahead of time to make sure you move forward on your quadrant 2 projects (not (yet) urgent but important), BUT:
  2. Reserve an empty time block every day to take account of quadrant 1 things (urgent and important).
  3. Minimize quadrant 3 (urgent but not important) activities to the extent possible, and eliminate quadrant 4 completely (not urgent and not important).

This is actually taken from Stephen Covey’s all time classic “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, which I can highly recommend. I just finished listening to the abridged 3-hour version on Audible and will now start the full book.

I give some more context in my #myweek video on LinkedIn and IGTV in case you’re interested.

How was your week? What are your top time management hacks?

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