With just a 30 seconds a day investment

What is your most important goal for today? Anyone who has followed a time management course, workshop or webinar knows by now that planning and focus is important. The Covey (Eisenhower) priority matrix quadrants make up the quadrant that can be used to differentiate the urgency and importance of a task. Like Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961) said:

“What is important is seldom urgent, what is urgent is seldom important.”

Everything is urgent and important

Maybe you had one of those days, or know a colleague who is saying, “I am so busy, I don’t have time, I work day and night”. That person is using only quadrant 1: urgent & important of the Eisenhower matrix. This quadrant, if possible, should be avoided on a daily basis. In this situation every task and goal is equally important and should be completed immediately. One cannot prioritize anymore and this causes stress and probably badly executed tasks. Even worse, you will get swamped with new tasks and lose focus on what is really important in medium and long term.

Plan your goals

It is more efficient to use planned tasks in quadrant 2: not urgent & important. When you do plan for goals and tasks, you will need to prioritize according to what is important based upon medium and long term to realize your ambitions. The tasks are important but not urgent. Of course the level that quadrant two is applicable, is job dependent. One could imagine a secretary would have more ad-hoc and urgent tasks than an accountant. But even the secretary can build in buffer time slots to get work down (quadrant 2) and have time slots for ad-hoc tasks (quadrant 1) such as arrange flowers, dinner tickets, proofread a presentation, etc.

How to accomplish your goals matrix

Want to try using the quadrants yourself? You can use a free online webapp via: http://eisenhower.herokuapp.com/users/sign_in or download the Eisenhower Matrix app via http://www.eisenhower.me/apps/.

What is your main goal today?

To successfully plan your day it is best to determine the main goal for that day. That is the goal you will start working on first thing of the working day. In addition to your main goal it is good to define your Most Important Tasks (MIT); define 3 per day. Ideally those tasks will help accomplish your goal. If organizing an event is your goal, an MIT could be to design the invitation, create an online registration page, and create a list of prospected participants. Leo Babauta, author of Zenhabits, explains that at least one of the MIT’s should further your goal. There are many apps, paper based systems, dashboards, and calendars to note down these MIT’s.

Momentum Dash

What is the one thing every office worker uses? Yes, using the Internet browser; access to the world. We use the browser to search something, check email, network on LinkedIn, read news, check Facebook. Nowadays we are used to having multiple websites open in various tabs. Depending on your browser, if you open a new tab you will see frequently visited sites, Google, your intranet home or a blank page.

momentum dash

Momentum Dash gives a beautiful daily inspiring wallpaper with quote, the current time, weather forecast and you can fill in you daily goal for that day. That goal can be combined with MIT’s. Every time you open a new tab you will reminded about your goal and tasks. Every day you can fill in the goal for that day and tasks. If you register for this browser extension it even greets you with your name and you can sync settings with multiple browsers: home and work. The Momentum Dashboard is personal and designed to eliminate distraction and provide inspiration and focus and fosters creativity.

momentum dash options

The paid Pro version (limited price $20 per annum) lets you sync tasks with popular apps such as Google Tasks, ToDoist, Trello & Wunderlist. Currently the browser extension is only available for Google Chrome.

What is your opinion?

So what do you think, will this help you focus on goals and tasks? I’d be interested in your thoughts!

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