Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quadrant Thinking...

I am not even sure where I first heard of this, but I do know it was MANY years ago. I think it is from the Steven Covey book "7 habits..." but I cannot be sure of that either. But... what I do know- it is a wonderful filter to put every aspect and situation of my life through to help me determine priorities. And anything that can effectively help do THAT is a good thing!

So, what exactly IS it??
Here is the grid. The GOAL is to have all tasks fall into Quadrant 2 (Q2). That is how things will be accomplished without stress, in a timely fashion, and in general make you look like you have everything put together like Super Woman. Cape and all.


Laundry would be washed folded and in the respective drawers before Sunday morning at 8:17 am so everyone wont be running madly around the house looking for clean underwear and dress shirts.

Dinner will be ready and waiting for consumption at 5:30 when there is a 6:30 Band Concert 20 minutes away from home.

Easy. Planned. Prepared. NON STRESSFUL!! Q2 is like living in Mayberry. But... it will not just happen. The day-week-month ahead must be routinely looked at and planned for. This does not take hours to do! It takes a few minutes once or twice a week. Really! That is ALL!

Quadrant 1(Q1) is the crises that happen in our lives that are unavoidable.

Broken legs. House fires. Car accidents. And yes... Poopy diapers.

These are things that make everything else STOP in their tracks and demand attention. These are things that if they are put off WILL cause great stress and peril. They MUST be dealt with IMMEDIATELY. Laundry and grocery shopping should NEVER be in this category!! However, all too often it is due to lack of proper time management and planning.

Quadrant 3 (Q3) is the life completely out of balance and order.

Dinner is not made because you had to watch your soap opera. Laundry is not done because you had to watch your Soap Opera!! The baby has a butt rash because you Had To, HAD to, HAD TO!! watch your SOAP OPERA!! I am picking on soap operas because I do not struggle with them. Never did- Thank The Lord! (Please leave blogging and photoshopping alone. I am begging you. Can I have an Amen here???!)

Anyhow... people who live in Q3 are train wrecks. To be honest we have all been one to some small degree or another, but to live there is just plain insanity. Heart attacks and other very detrimental things will happen if you choose to live here. And KNOW it is a choice unless you need SeRiOuS medical and psychological help. I am not kidding here. Healthy people with any kind of common life skills do not live here. AVOID Q3 at all costs! You will thank yourself later. I promise.

You will know if you have lived in Q3 when the screaming for dinner starts.

When you have 10 minutes to get to an appointment that is 9 minutes away and you get into the car and remember you have no gas because you forgot to write yourself a note to leave 20 minutes early in order to fill up... Q3 has now morphed into Q1. STRESSED OUT living!!

Quadrant 4 (Q4) is where I would like to be every day. (Notice it is shaded The Color!!) Q4 is guilt free down time. Q4 is true relaxation, "me time", the proverbial Shangri-La. Q4 can OnLy happen when all of the things that are in Q2 are done completely and efficiently to prevent them from becoming Q1. Q4 is reward time for a well executed day with no mishaps. Q4 contains no guilty thoughts like "I really should be doing...."- EVER. True Q4 can only be achieved when Q1 and Q2 are non-existent or effectively accomplished.

Please understand... Q4 can really just be delusional Q3 which means Life will quickly become Q1!! To live in self created and indulged delusion is the definition of Q3. You do not want to go there! Again... AVOID Q3!!

This little graph has truly helped me organize my life. It has also been an effective tool in communicating with my husband. There are things I perceive as Q1, that he thinks are Q3 or Q4. That is a true source of contention in a marriage, let me tell you! With this grid, we both have a tool to effectively communicate our feelings in a short phrase. "Hon, this is 'Q1' to me!" and he gets it.

Like when I NeEd him to take the kids to a park. Far far away. Not for long, just until my feet stop tingling and my head stops throbbing. "Hon, trip to the Park tonight? Q1??!!"

Or when I tell him I have a 30% off coupon at Kohls and it is Summer clearance time and the kids have all had a growth spurt. "Hon, Q2 shopping to avoid last minute overspending when camp comes!" He gets it! Really he does!

Go Green! Live in Q2 and reap the rewards!!

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