The 5 Choices: Act on the Important

This post is to follow up on my previous post Extraordinary Productivity where I introduced this awesome book called The 5 Choices. My reading on this book is slow because I only read on and off. When I finished one or two chapters, I started trying to apply what the book recommends. So here’s a summary what I have done on Choice 1: Act on the important.

Here’s my initial attempt on building my four quadrants for my daily tasks. Not fully optimized yet because I had problem deciding some tasks to be in which quadrants. Obviously, I put many as urgent/important (Q1) and trying to sort some into not urgent/important (Q2). Although I did some urgent/not important (Q3) tasks throughout the day but I forgot to write them. For example, some urgent email to reply that normally took me less than 5 minutes. Sometimes, that’s a big mistake because replying one 5-minute email sometimes could lead me to one hour of replying multiple consequent emails that require my attention. If I were to be honest with myself, I’m such a failure in email handling. I wish I have better plan to handle these. I’m now taking the book’s advice, trying to put off some urgent tasks like replying to emails that just drop in to my inbox. I’m still practising on that and starting to dedicate certain time of the day to handle all emails.

This was my improvised version where I started to follow up more advices about making a bullet journal. I also realised that my quadrant 3 and 4 were actually waste of spaces so I started not to include them in my daily task list. So now I can focus more of my daily tasks in Q2 and Q1 in my hope to be more productive. Of course, I understand that although I put Q3 and Q4 out of sight does not mean they do not exist. Disturbance from others’ problems would continue to happen throughout the day but if I could help it I would want to avoid them.

For the new year, here is my improved version on a new notebook. I really must get more colourful pens. They really make me happy and I feel more productive. After I laid out my schedule for January, I realized I have a very busy January with many invigilating duties and marking workload plus I have to prepare to run a public course for 7 Saturdays starting end of this month. It’s really helpful for me to have something like this on paper so I don’t feel that panic with the amount of work to be done. My greatest worry is forgetting an important task especially when it comes near to due date.

Okay, that’s all my sharing for Choice 1: Act on the important. Next will be Choice 2: Go for extraordinary.


4 thoughts on “The 5 Choices: Act on the Important

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  1. How are you finding the bullet journal? I have heard praises about it, but it seems a bit wasteful to me to also have something on paper, when I already have something electronic that I can access all the time, move to a new date, etc…

    1. Hi Ana,

      I don’t actually implement the bullet journal method as I read many have been using it in very comprehensive way. I just choose what I like to use and I guess I’m still a bit old-fashioned to have things on paper. I simply feel happy to see my own writing in colourful pens. Haha! But you are right to have everything in one place and electronic method is the way to go.

  2. The 5 Choices are really to do with choosing what is important and at what time it is important. Doing work on a light your fire day would not necessarily be appropriate. Bullet journaling could be helpful here, but if you have electronic methods to document these concepts always at your fingertips, bullet journaling purely for task management would not be useful. Keeping everything in one place is useful. Onenote or evernote do this mostly well, but a chronological journal has value, A place where those notes that otherwise end up on stickies are nice to place into a journal of bullet style or not. I am ttring to determine if there is a better predefined journal style that accomplished what the five choices course would advocate. We were taught to use a Moleskine book, journaling every day in one book, and at the end of a work day, reviewing ever bit of info. Make contacts into contacts, make appointments into scheduled appointments, document tasks in a task manager, cross out useless notes, and highlight important things to remember. This last part I can see organizing the highlighted parts into a journal on a onenote page. I would enjoy hearing others feedback on the matter.

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