Each morning take a blank sheet of paper. Divide the paper into four quadrants by drawing two perpendicular lines in the center running across the entire page.
In the top left quadrant write down all the things which are important and urgent as well. These things must be done immediately and should be prioritized for the day. These are immediate crises and emergencies which need to be attended to. The challenge is having too many things in this quadrant which may eventually lead to burn out and stress.
In the top right quadrant list all the items which are important but not yet urgent. These items if not attended to will eventually turn into emergencies. You need to focus and schedule these items on a daily basis. These are things which really contribute to your well being and success in the long run like managing your health, relationships, finances, etc. You want to spend your most productive time on things which are important but not yet urgent.
In the bottom left quadrant write down the tasks which are not important but seem urgent. These are the interruptions we face daily. They may also be things imposed on us by other people. You need to learn to delegate these or learn to say no.
In the bottom right quadrant are your time wasters which are neither important nor urgent. These things don’t contribute to your goals or overall well being and should be minimized or eliminated.
Remember if you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.