Bases on the theory of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, one is supposed to dedicate time preferably to the Quadrant 2 (Q2): Not Urgent but Important Tasks. (reference: The Art of Manliness)

Is to-do notes taking suitable for these kinds of "tasks" respectively goals? Or does this rather leads to misplaning too much time?

Due to the intrinsic issue that these do not have a deadline, how to ensure that one takes time to follow these Q2-goals (relationships, hobbies, health, ...)? Shall one write "to-do notes" or lists at all, in order to remember them? Or is this not useful since there is no date associated with this "task", and especially it is mostly not a simple just-to-be-done task, but rather one first has to grasp a bigger picture. Are lists helpful in the scenario or are they preventing one from imagining one's intuitive goals so that one shall abandon them completely - or are the "to-do lists" helpful in a later phase when it comes to transforming the initial idea into a concrete action?

Is the Q2 quadrant compatible with the idea of "Getting Things Done" or is the latter only applied to simple tasks that can quickly be completed?


2 Answers 2


I would suggest the use of a prioritized list + scheduling recurring blocks of dedicated time to work on the items on the list.

The schedule ensures that you are dedicating time to Important Non-Urgent tasks, and the prioritized list ensures that you don't have to waste that dedicated time trying to decide exactly how to spend it.

If some of the items are indeed "too vague", then what goes on the list is something like "decide on a strategy for X" or "break X down into smaller steps".

At the end of the dedicated time, reprioritize the list so you're good to go when you get to the next block of time.

This question reminds me of the Scrum practice of dedicating a fixed percentage of the sprint timebox to refining the backlog. Backlog refinement is in large part the kind of work that doesn't have a deadline, yet needs to be done.


I guess it depends upon each individual. Well for me TO-DO lists served its purposes when it comes to complete tasks at my work. Well on the personal goals, I have tried and didn't see much of response from myself.

This is just my view, maybe the Q2 Tasks need to be self-realized and action has to come within us. Again, it's a personal and biased view from me.

Thanks, and hope this helps you in some way.

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