Focusing on the Important-But-Not-Urgent (or “where have I been for 3 months?”)

Remember me? It’s been three months since I’ve written a blog post. Those who are in the Clever Girl Organizing Challenge have been getting posts from me every week, but the rest of you? I’m afraid you haven’t heard from me in awhile unless you’re following me on Facebook. 

I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to:  

I’ve been spending time in my “Important-But-Not-Urgent” box.

Finally. Gleefully


What’s that, you ask? 

Have you heard of the “Eisenhower Matrix” or the Merrill and Covey Matrix (from their book “First Things First“)? This is a task-analysis and prioritization tool that anyone can use to help identify what is on their “to-do” list. By considering both the Urgency and the Importance of a task, we can not only understand where our time is being spent but also how we might otherwise handle those activities. 


Merrill and Covey "Eisenhower Matrix"


Each quadrant has a way to drive action:

  1. Do it now, because it must be done now.
  2. Decide when it will be done, and schedule it (because it isn’t urgent enough to muscle its way into your day)
  3. Delegate it away.
  4. Delete it. 


When you look through your Quadrant 2, the items that are Important-But-Not-Urgent, this is where we often find the things that either we know we *should* do (exercise, plan our careers, etc.) or the things we might dream of doing (vacationing, learning a new language, creating something). Without the luxury of time and the pressure of a deadline, however, we tend to put it off, not make it a priority. 


So, when 2017 rolled around, I committed that I was going to work on some of those items that have lived in that quadrant for a while. It meant elevating the focus, creating some action and some self-imposed deadlines, and enrolling others to keep me accountable to hit my goals. What made the list? 

  1. I applied for, took the exam for, and received the Certified Professional Organizer ® designation. This was a huge deal for me. In order to apply, a professional organizer needs to have logged 1500 hours of working with clients, providing a transfer of skills, in a three-year period. Then, I had the privilege of sitting for a huge exam, requiring a ton of reading and studying. This was my January and February, and I was thrilled to learn that I’d passed the exam and received my official designation in March! The percentage of CPO®s in my industry is in the single digits if that gives you an idea of how rarely this is attained.

  2. March and April were focused on finally finishing the writing of my first book! I’ve been working on an organizing book for a while over the past year, but, as with all Important-But-Not-Urgent projects, I needed to put a timeline and a project plan in place to bring it out of that box and into real life! Right now, it’s with my editor, and I’m working on things like the book cover design and the launch. I’ll be self-publishing it, available in paperback on Amazon and in a Kindle version, by early summer. Stay tuned to this space for more information regarding pre-orders and my launch! 


I bring you this summary not to self-promote (okay, well, I *am* proud of both of these!) but to explain how we can all light a fire under ourselves to move the “Important-But-Not-Urgent” items to life! It sometimes means lowering the priority of some things (like, ahem, writing regular blog posts), but accomplishing them, once and for all, is a major win!

Hope to be bringing more posts back, even during my focus on the publishing process, so thanks for welcoming me back into your inbox!






  1. Janet Barclay

    Great stuff, Kathy! Congratulations on both achievements.

    I’ve also been working on important-but-not-urgent things. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more very soon!

    • clevergirlorg

      Can’t wait to hear more! And thank you for the congratulations! It’s a great feeling to be accomplishing things that are important, that I just hadn’t made a top priority for myself. I hope you’ll feel the same way soon!


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