This quadrant should be resisted and explained. i.e.Typically these things are urgent but not important. However, the reason it’s the box of ‘deception’ is because this is where we will spend a lot of our time reacting to others who make THEIR urgencies OUR urgencies. There are lots of proactive actions that can be taken to stop this quadrant de-railing your planning and your framework.
We should identify where the request sits within our priorities ( ie those activities which we have identified as moving us towards meeting daily and weekly objectives) before saying yes and committing i.e. we should resist.
Equally we need to ask others to ‘explain’ so that we can decide whether it is actually Q1 – and yes that goes for your up-line manager too!!
Typically we will treat requests from senior colleagues as a Q1 when they might be a Q3. i.e. Managing requests from others effectively is key for example, in dealing with an adhoc request from a superior we then de-rail our time set aside for preparing effectively for a team meeting, a remote coaching session, carrying out a remote observation or quality monitoring etc.
Working late or excessive hours ( very easy to do when working from home where the lines are blurred), causes stress in our personal life causing us to feel resentful which can then ultimately impact our productivity as we may find ourselves slipping out of the Will/CAN into WillNOT/CAN. (More on the WillCAN a highly effective team management tool, in Motivational Leadership
Q3 is the most high risk quadrant as a manager – we should avoid being here as it massively impacts our ability to be ‘active ‘ and productive.
Learning how to push back to others in a positive way identifying the impact for team and/or business goals is key. (More on how to do that in Effective Communication) (Jon a link to effective communication section would be good here? – not written yet!!)
Planning in time with a team member rather than responding to every request ‘in the moment’ or scheduling daily proactive catch ups to manage adhoc requests is critical so your framework can stay in place as much as possible
Managing emails effectively rather than letting them ‘take over’. Being disciplined to ignore them when necessary is key and actioning at regular intervals. This is particularly vital when working remotely as it is very easy to become over-whelmed as email traffic may well increase. ( See ‘managing emails’ section for Ideas for improving and managing this!).
Pushing back with regards to meetings – if you are not adding value, being asked to contribute, find another mechanism or ask a representative to join on a rota basis – this could be a development opportunity for one of your team! The key here is to question it not just accept it.