It’s good advice, that graphic. Our time should be spent on boxes 1 and 2. Unfortunately, it’s HARD to keep box 3 off your plate if you’re a helping person, or a reliable colleague, or your desk has a metaphysical The Buck Stops Here sign on it.
But it’s worth remembering. Box 1 happens, and is a huge time0suck sometimes. I have acknowledged and accepted that some days, my whole job is box 1. I’ve learned to delegate as often as possible, and I delegate those box 1 tasks whenever I can reasonably do so — sometimes, though, the only person who can or should do it is me. And so box 1 takes as much time as box 1 takes.
But box 2 is also my job, and it’s crucial. Thoughtful strategy and sound planning keep box 1 from eating every moment of every day, I’ve learned. So I’ll be working this weekend so I can wallow in box 2, which desperately needs my attention… and because no one else will be working, my only enemies of productivity will be in box 4.
How do you keep boxes 1 and 3 from taking over your life?