Sean Tierney: Use your desktop as a matrix for urgency/importance

Urgency vs. Importance and the 5th system for scattered todos:

Mentally superimpose the above graph on your desktop (or if you really want, draw it as your background).

Drag the resources (URL locations, documents, graphics, audio files, forms, whatever you’re working with) to the appropriate quadrants on your desktop. URLs are the exact pages on a site with which you need to do whatever task it is. You can chunk a bunch of related items for a discreet task in a folder.

Now rename the filenames to “verb-noun” (ie. “handle tax returns” URL item links to the online filing page on the site)

I find Sean’s tip on using the desktop quite interesting. I drag stuff to the desktop all the time. I will try to organize them according to his tip for some time, and see if that make sense for me. And I think he is spot on when he says that…

Anytime you find yourself uncomfortable contorting your processes to match the latest and greatest productivity religion, I think that’s bad. Ultimately you should learn the fundamentals of various different productivity religions and pick and choose the elements that work for you and make your own.

But – and this is an important but – sometimes it’s better to just use a system someone has spend quite some time thinking about. And not start spending days and hours and months trying to tweak it into your the “perfect-productivity-system-for-you”.

Use Exposé

If you decide to use Sean’s tip, here’s a productivity tip to the productivity tip: Set up Exposé with the upper right corner of your screen to be “Desktop”. When surfing, just grab the link from the browser, move your cursor up in the upper right corner, and wham – all open apps and windows disappear. And you can put the url exactly where you want it on the desktop, on your new urgency/importance grid.