Closed September 2017

The Real Reason You’re Not Getting Stuff Done | Clutter Video Tip

Is completing your organizing tasks like fitting a square peg into a round hole? Today we’re going back to square one and looking at the real reason you aren’t finishing your projects. That should get you squared away.

(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at


Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about the real reason that you’re not getting stuff done. We’re going to talk about what the late Stephen Covey taught in the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So, these are the four quadrants that he mentions in the book.

Quadrant One is “Urgent and Important.” These are things that you must do. These are things that are screaming for your attention. They’re absolutely necessary; they may be pressing deadlines at work or some kind of crisis that you’re managing, and you absolutely will take care of it.

Quadrant Two is “Not Urgent but Very Important.” These are the proactive, smart, foundational activities that you should be doing that you would be putting off probably if you didn’t have those Quadrant One things nagging at you. So, they’re not tugging at your attention, so they’re very easy to procrastinate. Things like organizing your closet, for example. The other things in this quadrant would be spending quality time with your children and your spouse, exercising, cooking at home, and doing those things that are good for your health and your long-term goals.

Quadrant Three is “Urgent but Not Important.” These are things that are screaming at you, or beeping at you, but they’re not important, so they would fall into the category of a lot of e-mail messages, a lot of meetings, probably those TPS reports that you have to do at work are urgent but not important. I think you know what I’m talking about.

Quadrant Four is “Not Urgent and Not Important.” These are the trivial time wasters. This is snapping out of it after four hours of being on Facebook or YouTube or just surfing around and not intending to have done that. Video games are another way that this happens.

So as you can see, you want to minimize the amount of time that you spend in Quadrant Three and Four because these things are not important. They’re not going to take you any closer to your goals or your personal priorities. What we want to do is spend as much time as possible in Quadrant Two, where things are important, but they’re not urgent. And because these things get procrastinated, they tend to get put off until they become a crisis, and then they fall into Quadrant One, which you don’t want. For example, if you’re putting off an organizing project that might be okay for a day or a week, but then the day comes when you can’t find something really, really important to you for something that you need today, and it becomes urgent and it falls into Quadrant One. So what you want to do is keep up with the Quadrant Two stuff, carve out time for that and make it happen, before it turns into an emergency and becomes a Quadrant One.

What we found is that what we do, organizing your home, is definitely in Quadrant Two. When people have crises like a problem with their child, that becomes a Quadrant One thing, and that’s easier to pay attention to. So what you have to do to get those Quadrant Two things done sometimes is you have to create your own urgency around them so that you make them more of a priority. For example, you can do that by creating your own deadlines. So why don’t you have a gathering at your house, have a party. That will spur you on to get those organizing projects done. Another way that people create urgency is to have accountability with other people. We talk about this a lot in my other videos. That is a great thing to do, is think about what is important to you that you’re not getting done and “How can I create urgency around that so that it feels more like a Quadrant One activity and maybe I’ll get it done faster?”

Think about that. What’s in Quadrant One, or Two, or Three, or Four, that maybe you should be reallocating to a different Quadrant or not doing it at all. So, I’d like you to share in the Comments what you think about your life and how you’re spending your time and also if you need help getting that accountability and creating that sense of urgency for your Quadrant Two things, that’s what we do. In our on-line program, we have our Message Boards, where we do on-line consulting seven days a week and many of our Members come in and say “Okay, this is what I’m going to get done this week; this is when I’m going to get it done; and I’m going to come back and report in when I’m finished.” It creates that urgency and accountability to make that happen and gain that momentum.

So you can check us out at See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for how to prioritize tasks or organize time.

Click here for FREE decluttering help NOW!

Leave a Reply

ParadeRachael RayInStyleCNBCFast CompanyThe Boston GlobeWomen's DayWGNToday