This is for everyone who's having a bit of a crisis.....
Why box 1 is bad:
Just to remind you, box 1 is the Important and Urgent box. Ideally you'd be spending a reasonable amount of time each day in box 3 (doing important things before they get urgent, = planning ahead, getting ahead of the game). Box 2, urgent but unimportant, is unavoidable but should be compressed wherever possible. And box 4, well, I won't go into that now....!
So at least box 1 consists of important things - the problem is that they have been left to become urgent, either by you (procrastination) or by others (maybe because they know they can give it to you to sort out at the last minute).
Adverse effects of spending too much time in box 1:
Stress - it's not good to have to do big things at the last minute, especially as machines like photocopiers and e-mail can tell that you're under pressure and that's when they are most likely to break down.
Quality - if you are pushed for time the quality may suffer, and that's all very well for box 2 (unimportant) things (maybe) but for the big box 1 things that's a bad idea.
2 at once - think of the fire brigade putting out burning buildings. It would be OK if they had one each morning and then another in the afternoon. But of course they wait for days and then three come along at once - and then the quality suffers.
No time to get ahead - the number of box 1 crises will probably increase, since you don't have time to get to the root cause of them (curing the root cause would be a box 3 activity).
Therefore the moral is, when in box 1 deal with it, but also take some time to think "Why did that happen? How can I prevent a repeat?" A manager who spends their time solving crises is not impressive - they are a bad delegator, a bad planner, and their area is out of control.
Onwards and upwards!CC.
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