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A few weeks ago, I fell in love with a time management app.
This is not as odd as it may sound for a yoga teacher.
I’ve been fascinated by organizational systems for as long as I can remember. I suspect it’s because I’m an Olympic level procrastinator, always in search of ways out of that particular Hell.
My new love is called Priority Matrix.
It runs on iPhone, iPad and Mac, synchs between all three, and gives you a fluid, customizable tool for working with my favorite time-management system, the one based on four quadrants.
You can make as many lists as you like, so each separate project can be analyzed into its own four quadrants. For the daily or weekly list, all you need to do is pull the top priorities out of each of your projects when you make your plans.
You can change the colors of the quadrants, pick different icons for different tasks, make quadrants larger or smaller, set deadlines, note the percentage of completion on a project: it’s an organizing geek’s dream.
Priority Matrix uses “critical” and “immediate” to define the quadrants. As their website has it:
- Critical & Immediate — DO NOW!
- Critical & Not Immediate — Start Planning…
- Not Critical & Due Soon — Red Herring.. can you avoid?
- Uncategorized — Lets put it in my agenda, and figure it out later!
My own system, adopted from Stephen Covey, uses “important” and “urgent,” to define the quadrants, and has, as quadrant four, “not urgent and not important,” a familiar place for procrastinators to find themselves.
By the time I had filled in my first weekly list – blog posts in quadrant one, yoga practice in quadrant two, and in quadrant four, Plants vs. Zombies (you’d be better off not clicking on that link) I was so in love that I wrote a fan letter.
As a result, I now have five iPhone and five iPad promo codes to share with the readers of this blog.
I’ll get to the details of how that will happen in a moment.
But first let me tell you about a fundamental shift in the way I think of yoga practice, and where it fits on the matrix.
When I was setting up the app, I confidently placed practice in the second quadrant, the spot for important tasks and activities with no deadline attached.
It seemed obvious, for all the reasons I outlined back in June: the benefits are huge, but no one will ever hold a gun to your head, literally or metaphorically, and demand that you do downward facing dog.
After two weeks of working with Priority Matrix, my practice now sits in Quadrant one.
Yes, this change has something to do with my commitment to 90 days of shoulder stand. (I’m on day 80 today, and all is well.)
I had added a daily deadline, which automatically makes it an immediate task.
But I don’t intend to move my practice out of Quadrant one after December 5.
What I’ve come to realize is that as far as yoga practice is concerned, there is really only the present. Our bodies are different every day.
Today’s practice can’t be moved to tomorrow, because the work of today will have vanished.
This is not, by the way, different from any other form of practice. What you would write today is not what you’ll write tomorrow. Your meditation practice of today won’t just move to tomorrow. Instead, your chance to process this moment, without reacting to it, will have vanished.
I’m not saying there can’t be yoga vacations, or planned days off.
But it’s a mistake to think of practice as something with no deadline attached.
There is a deadline. It’s midnight. It’s as unbending as the deadline for filing your taxes. It’s just not external.
• • • • •
If you’re interested in winning a copy of Priority Matrix, here’s what to do.
Like the Five-Minute Yoga Facebook page, if you haven’t already. You’ll find the box to the lower right hand side of the screen.
Then add a comment here, or on Facebook. Let me know whether you’re hoping for an iPad or an iPhone app. And give me a one-word description, or more if you’d like, of your organizational style, or your best organizing tip.
I’ll draw names from a hat on December 4, and announce the winners on December 8.
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