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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Creating a "Quadrant 1" Smart List for your Urgent and Important tasks

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by Emily Boyd

This week's tip, shared by jbmiv, shows how you can use the power of Smart Lists to create your own "urgent and important" list:

'Quad1' Smart List

Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" has a concept of a 4 X 4 matrix with urgency/non-urgency on one axis and importance/non-importance on the other.

Quadrant 1 is at the intersection of urgent and important, a.k.a. "firefighting," and while you definitely don't want to spend all your time there, it is key to know what to-dos are in that category and get them knocked out.

I created a simple "Quad1" Smart List whose search filter is simply:

(dueWithin:"1 week" OR dueBefore:"today") AND priority:1

That captures in one short list the intersection of urgent, top-priority things across all my lists.

Getting that list down to nothing lets me move to Quadrant 2, not-urgent but important, a.k.a., "Quality Time," where you want to invest as much of your time as you can.

Thanks for sharing this tip, jbmiv! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

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Posted in: Tips & Tricks