Eisenhower Matrix https://theresonant.org/ en Priorities over Productivity https://theresonant.org/post/2020-03-31/priorities-over-productivity <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Priorities over Productivity</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/89" class="username">Michael Schutz</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/31/2020 - 23:58</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In this time of enforced distancing and isolation, it might feel like productivity is an even bigger challenge than usual. But there's there a more important&nbsp;way to look at it: what are our priorities?</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/40Days___Day30.jpg?itok=fyWBJwGp 325w, /sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/40Days___Day30.jpg?itok=0fCd67zG 650w, /sites/default/files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/40Days___Day30.jpg?itok=FEvSlFNe 1300w, /sites/default/files/styles/max_2600x2600/public/40Days___Day30.jpg?itok=q1C3n3Cc 1920w" sizes="(min-width: 1290px) 1290px, 100vw" src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/40Days___Day30.jpg?itok=fyWBJwGp" alt="40 Days of Resonance: Day 230" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"></div> <div class="field field--name-field-post-more-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--post-body-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-para-body-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A lot of people are struggling with productivity in these times. They're struggling not only with not <em>being</em> productive because of enforced isolation and distancing. But there's also a struggle with&nbsp;<em>feeling</em>&nbsp;productive. And it's completely understandable; workplaces are empty, creative spaces are closed, routines are all upended.</p> <p>What if, in this time of enforced disruption, we allowed ourselves to think less in terms of <em>productivity</em>, and more in terms of <em>priorities</em>? We usually think of productivity as "getting stuff done". It's in the category of <i>output</i>; how much we can do is the measure of productivity. And in these times, it's expected&nbsp;to not be able to get as much done as we think we would like to. Maybe, then, we can use this time to shift into to thinking less about&nbsp;<em>output</em>&nbsp;and more about&nbsp;<em>focus.</em>&nbsp;That's what priorities are about: focus.</p> <p>One of the tools that's often touted to help productivity is called the Eisenhower Matrix. You can look it up to find out where it came from and more details about it, but here's a quick picture. It's a matrix built on&nbsp;importance and urgency:</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--post-body-image paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-post-body-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-media clearfix"> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><article class="media media--type-image media--view-mode-media-only"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/2020-03/EisenhowerMatrixWhiteboard.png?itok=4To8KDXS 325w, /sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-03/EisenhowerMatrixWhiteboard.png?itok=sXbtBZ-7 650w, /sites/default/files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/2020-03/EisenhowerMatrixWhiteboard.png?itok=rYldVFGA 1300w, /sites/default/files/styles/max_2600x2600/public/2020-03/EisenhowerMatrixWhiteboard.png?itok=FrO5gMPK 1920w" sizes="(min-width: 1290px) 1290px, 100vw" src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/2020-03/EisenhowerMatrixWhiteboard.png?itok=4To8KDXS" alt="Eisenhower Matrix Whiteboard" /> </div> </div> </article> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--post-body-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-para-body-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The way this is most often talked about is in terms of tasks. Which tasks fit in which quadrant? Deciding that allows you to get more done, because you're working on those tasks that are most important to reaching your goals, while avoiding the trap of those tasks that only seem important yet demand immediate attention (quadrant 3 - the danger zone).</p> <p>Personally, I've found this to be a helpful tool, particularly when dealing with requests from others, and helping others filter requests made of them. But in order to use the tool well, you have to know what your priorities are before you evaluate your tasks. Only then can you answer whether a task is important or not. The language you'll most see attached to this tool is one of&nbsp;<em>goals</em>; if a task helps you achieve your goals, then it's important.</p> <p>In this matrix, urgency is secondary to importance, and rightly so. But importance is secondary to focus. Another way of saying it is that productivity only matters if your priorities are clear. Think about it in terms of a runner in a race; the fastest runner in the world won't win if she's running in the wrong direction. She can run as urgently as she wants, but it's not going to help her win the race because she's not focus don the actual finish line.</p> <p>Unfortunately I think many of us allow ourselves to invert the matrix, where urgency becomes primary. We allow ourselves to feel good about doing a bunch of stuff, and it doesn't really matter if it's actually important stuff or not. Checking things off the list gets to matter more than being confident that we're working with the right list to begin with. We live life primarily in quadrant 3, which feels right, even though it's not. That's what makes it a dangerous place to live.</p> <p>And this is where a time of unexpected and enforced disruption to our lives can&nbsp;aactually lead us towards more health. We can take the time to evaluate whether we've got the right list. And then, we can use a tool like this matrix to help us check the things off the list. At that point, we won't just <em>feel</em> productive. We'll actually <em>be</em> productive, because our output will be focused. Even if we do fewer things (and that's almost guaranteed right now), having healthy and clear priorities will bring our "getting stuff done"&nbsp;into the place where it belongs: as a servant, not a master. Productivity is led by priorities, not the other way around.</p> <p>If only it were so easy to do as it is to write.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix"> <span class="field__label">Tags</span> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/187" hreflang="en">Eisenhower Matrix</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/188" hreflang="en">productivity</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/189" hreflang="en">priorities</a></li> </ul> </div><div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix"> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/29" hreflang="en">Culture</a></li> </ul> </div><section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=121&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="NZPUxpSiMBIQLxVvLt8zvHt4JYZm9S8i8R2iOumCT_I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 01 Apr 2020 06:58:38 +0000 Michael Schutz 121 at https://theresonant.org