If you were directed to this post, it is either because you were one of the trusting customers who purchased the surprise Planning Your Year 2018 Advent Calendar, which was put together by 12 fantastic shops. Or maybe, I directed you with the intent to show you this article and explain to you a little bit of what the Ike Quadrant Planning system is all about. First of all, how cool are you for buying the Planning Ahead Advent Calendar box? This one was a super cool project for 12 shops and we are extremely grateful for your trust and support, to all the shops that participated in this collaboration. When this idea came to mind, we were tentative and hesitant. We went through lots of discussion and planning time and there was a consensus, which was to create a different kind of advent calendar, one that may have not been done before and could be both cool and practical, for all the customers who would be enjoying it. Hopefully, by the time you read this, you'd have giving us all the feedback and we can confirm that our ideas and hopes for the advent box, were successfully captured.
Now, allow me to skip the fuzzy feels and go straight to a topic that gets me both excited and anxious, every single year: Next year’s plans!! OMG! The thoughts (and the pressure) that come from the need to have the year ahead figured out are too much!! Not only you "should" have your goals and plans ready, but also you must find a “word”. Seriously? I am declaring myself, the anti-word plannerista. I know, I know! It is great for many because it creates a sense of ownership and guides with a purpose. But let's be honest! How else does the word help you throughout the new year? Now, I you have successfully got that word to work for you, and allow you to accomplish any type of personal or professional goal, please find a way to share with me and my readers? I am always eager to learn new things, especially in areas where I am missing the call or lack the enthusiasm to pursuit because essentially, they don’t work for me.
What works for me is lists. Seeing things in a list is what get me started and my source of planning EVERYTHING I do. I am also a huge fan of minimal planning and middle of the road decorator. So in the spirit of getting my 2019 plans started, I decided to give the Ike Quadrant planning (organizational) method, a chance and was immediately captivated. Inspired by former President and Army General, Ike Eisenhower, who was quoted: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are seldom important, and the important are seldom urgent.”
WHAT IS THE IKE QUADRANT
A tool, a method or a process that is used to manage time by prioritizing your To-Do List. It starts from the premises that everything in our lists should be placed in a certain order by using a quadrant (related to number 4) which should be divided in: What's urgent, not urgent, important and not important. The creator of this concept is former President Ike Eisehnhower who was also a general and apparently a very organized person, who accomplished many, many goals during his lifetime.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Essentially, you place your urgent and important tasks on Quadrant 1, not urgent, but important tasks on Quadrant 2, Quadrant 3 is for urgent and not important and Quadrant 4 is for not urgent and not important tasks.
The image on this post will give you a better picture of how the tasks on your list will fit into each quadrant. On 1, you will go for the tasks that you must DO NOW. The ones that cannot wait and must be tackled right away. Examples of such tasks are:
- Doctor's visits
- Work deadlines
- Medical or dental emergencies
- Paying bills
- Meal planning
Quadrant 2 is the spot where you would add the items of your lists that you would schedule. Items that even important, they are more recurrent and can be penciled down with time and time organization. These are the tasks that once executed, will make you happier the most.The ones where you wish to spend more time on, although you are too concerned over Quadrant 1 (the urgent stuff). Hint: this is where you want the most of your lists to fall on. The following are examples of tasks that I wish to do more of so I hope that they get you thinking of what is it that you wish to do to really, really be happy.
- Writing in your planner
- Family time
- Self-love activities
Quadrant 3 is for those tasks that you believe that need your attention NOW, although, doing them will only give you the illusion that you have your life under control. Doing things like answering text or phone calls while at work, are tasks that we spend too much time on but will seldom take you anywhere, nor will allow you to get on with your goals that really matter.
And Quadrant 4 is the one where you wish to spend less time on! Activities that are not urgent, neither important but they are time killers and will keep your mind occupied from doing the things that really matter. The activities on this list are narrowed down to social media scrolling, watching TV or playing video games.
To sum this up! Make a list of your most common tasks, add them to each of the quadrants and look for ways to stay out of Q1, Q3 and Q4 and strive to stay on Q2. I will be taking it to my Instastories to show how I use the four colored dots (provided in the stickers set) to identify each quadrant and help me with my master list. Please remember that this learning to use this method, requires a practice and a little discipline and you may not be able to stay on track at all times but the rewards of successfully managing your time, by figuring out the things that matter, are to provide you with a great start to declutter your system and adjust your tasks to reach your goals.
I wish you the best for 2019 and thank you again for reading! As usual, please feel free to ask me any questions and please help yourself to the image, which is a freebie and will get your plans started.