I acknowledge this picture from geekmanager blog. It captures the theme well.

If i recall right, it was Steven Covey who first popularized the now infamous two by two grid on Importance Vs Urgent, as his law of First Things First.

Try as I may, i do not understand the meaning of this grid.

Management experts advice us to focus on the Important & Urgent issues, called the Fire Fighting Issue in this nice picture. If we don’t we are toast. They tell us to walk past Not Important & Not Urgent issues called Time Wasting issues here, since they make no difference to us. These are no-brainers a kindergarten child would understand without a two-by-two matrix, invented by Harvard Business Review.

It gets murkier with the other two squares. Experts tell us that we should delegate issues that are Not Important & Urgent, titled as Distractions here. We should pass them  down the line to waste other people’s time. In the case of the last square of issues that are  Important & Not Urgent, titled in the picture as Quality Time, experts tell us to  store them out of sight, so that we can return to them when we find time.

Think about logically.

If something is not important to you, why delegate it to someone else and waste that person’s time. It would be even less important and less urgent to that person. If that person has any sense, that issue would go straight to the trash can.

The question here is about to whom the issue is important. Not to you surely. If it’s important to someone else, it’s that person’s job to find someone who would find it important and urgent enough to spend time on. To do that is not your job, nor is it to delegate it to someone.

What about issues that are important but not urgent? Steven Covey and other Time Management experts tell us to keep them for Quality Time attention. What is your experience?

If you are a busy person, do you ever come back to what you put away? Do you even remember what you put away and where? If the stuff is really important to you and your business, wouldn’t this be what you would delegate to those who you pay well, rather than the unimportant rubbish that Time Management experts tell you to swamp them with? Duh!

If you  wish to use your time effectively, the only issues that you would want to spend on are those which are both important and urgent. Don’t bother with anything else.

If they are important to you and you don’t have time now, find someone to do them for you. Tomorrow never comes.

If they are not important to you, send them away. Don’t waste your time being good and helpful. It does not work for you or the person to whom the issue is important.

Of course, unless you have really nothing to do you wouldn’t waste your time and that of others with issues that are neither important nor urgent.

Unless of course, you are a management expert, especially on Time. Then you charge others for wasting their Time.