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At the beginning of every week, write a two-by-two matrix on a blank sheet of paper.
One side of the matrix says "urgent" and "not urgent". The other side of the matrix says "important" and "not important."
Then, write all the things you want to do that week.
These are the most pressing tasks we'll likely get to this week. When we do fire-fighting, it's all relating to stuff in this quadrant.
These are the things that matter in the long-term but will offer no concrete benefits right now or even this year. They are things we know we need to get to but probably will push off.
These tasks keep us busy today, but if we stop to really think about it, were a waste of time. These are interruptions that happen, such as phone calls.
These things are the time wasters we do because we feel like we're tired and need a break: checking and rechecking Facebook and Twitter during the day, or mindlessly eating, even though we're not hungry.
Quadrant 1 (the urgent/important tasks) you will always automatically take care off. Quadrants 3 & 4 should be eliminated to a great extent.
Quadrant 2 (not urgent but important) is what will change your life over time. At least 10% of your day needs to be devoted to this important but not urgent stuff. Ideally, you're spending 30% of every day on this.
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