Ultimate 7-day Action Plan

by Michael Pietrzak January 19, 2016

Ultimate 7-day Action Plan

This is Part 3 of a 4-part series on taking control of your time 

(Read Part 1 | Read Part 2)


The Problem

Picture this:

  • Monday: you wake to find your cat stuck on the roof.
  • Taco Tuesday: you hike to the food court only to find you've lost your wallet.
  • Wednesday: Bob has covered your entire office in sticky notes, again.
  • Thursday: your daughter is suspended, again, for making the principal cry.
  • Friday night: you head out for a much-needed, relaxing dinner when your wife goes into labor.

Dealing with crisis day after day would be exhausting, yes?
 
Most weeks are not this bad (phew). Yet most people still move through life from one urgent event to the next.

How can we get out of reaction-mode?


“What is urgent is seldom important, and what is important is seldom urgent.”


The Solution

Step one: decide what is urgent, and what is “great work.”

After years of extensive field-testing I've come up with a tool that has helped me cut the fluff and take back control of my time: the Rogue Matrix.

It's a souped-up version of the Eisenhower Matrix, a tool to organize tasks into 6 categories:

  1. Habits
  2. Urgent & unimportant
  3. Urgent & important
  4. Not urgent & unimportant
  5. Not urgent & important
  6. Parking lot

General Eisenhower was known for his incredible productivity, so much so that he was eventually known as President Eisenhower. My version of his to-do list has shot my productivity through the roof. Here’s the Rogue Matrix:

Rogue Matrix Productivity To Do List
I write out my matrix every Sunday night and use it as a guide for my week. Here's the lowdown:

  • Habits: List the habits you want to practice, and on what days.
  • Urgent tasks: These things you have to do. Rescue the cat, pick up your suspended daughter. Do not confuse items in this box for big picture goals.
  • Great tasks: Maximize your time working on these, e.g...
    • Building your business
    • Learning that new language
    • Writing that new song – these are the activities that will lead to great change over time.
  • Not urgent: These are things you want to keep an eye on because they will end up in your urgent or great boxes soon enough. Tackle them only when the top 2 boxes are finished.
  • Delegate: Outsource every low-priority task you can. Do not waste your own time with these. Even if you have no assistant, you can always ask someone else to do it.
  • Parking lot: Your "Someday List." Things you would like to accomplish in the near future. A place to write down goals you don't want to forget.


What to expect
 
Start prioritizing big picture tasks and you'll see fast progress toward your goals.
 
Like all habits, this one works best with consistent practice. This week, create a matrix for yourself based on your Yearly and Quarterly goals lists we covered in previous articles. How much did you get done?
 
I swear by this technique, and you will too.
 


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    Michael Pietrzak
    Michael Pietrzak

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