living in quadrant two

Everything we do in life can be categorised as being urgent, not urgent, important and not important and it is the combination of these states of being which will decide whether our life is calmly productive, slightly frenetic, in a constant state of heightened reaction, or so laid back we are almost horizontal and getting things done is a vague concept we heard about once in passing. 
Calmly productive is the ideal, by the way. Despite the melodrama that comes with putting out fires and living off adrenalin, it’s really not that zen.
So. These are the combos presented in a nicely designed matrix by Stephen Covey; American educator, businessman and author of the popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Why even try and come up with my own version of this when it has already been done so well? 
Quadrant I:
Urgent & Important
Quadrant II:
Not Urgent & Important
Quadrant III:
Urgent & Not Important
Quadrant IV:
Not Urgent & Not Important
Quadrant One is for crises and emergencies. They are at the top of the to-do list and have to be done today. There’s a certain amount of zing involved in these tasks. There’s a bit of heart-racing, panting, frowning and maybe even a light sweat with this one. If only figuratively. “Will I make it in time? Will I get it done?” is the background chant to this quadrant.
Quadrant Two is all about prevention, planning and improvement. These are the tasks that aren’t due until tomorrow, but if we don’t do them, then in the future they will enter quadrant one and become more urgent. They are a priority, but not a top notch one. The reason why this is a good quadrant to sit in is because it allows for more forward planning and creative thinking. When we are calm and productive, we also have time and energy and a certain sense of self-satisfaction that allow for this. 
Quadrant Three is the zone of interruption. Emails, telephone calls, some meetings. They’re not necessarily important but they are things we may have to deal with in the moment. Simply because they are happening now. But these things are in the third quadrant which does mean that they are third on the list of priorities and should be treated as such.
Quadrant Four can be seen in both negative and a positive light. In terms of getting things done, quadrant four is about distraction. Sometimes seen as time wasters, the kind of activities that go on in this zone are checking Facebook, watching television as an alternative to getting on with other tasks, and busy, yet meaningless work. But quadrant four can also be quite nice. No sense of urgency or importance is quite relaxing. It’s just not that productive long term.
We do tend to have personalities that veer quite sharply towards a particular approach and they probably feel quite happy functioning within the parameters of that quadrant. For example, Quadrant One thinkers focus on deadline driven projects and activities where they get to use the high pressure hose on sudden blazes. On the other hand, Quadrant Two personalities think beyond the present and aim to build long term capabilities.
Which is why living in quadrant two is the way to go. Getting things done, feeling successful, keeping calm and carrying on.
Another way of labelling the quadrants might be hell, happy place, stop annoying me and silly. 
Go to your happy place. Now. 


    C1 Espresso, Christchurch, New Zealand
    There’s a lot going on at C1 Espresso in Christchurch. And all of it’s good.
    Closed for almost two years after the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, C1 reopened in a whole lot of glory in late 2012 across the road from its original site in the old post office building dating back to the 1930s.
    I was in C1 the morning of the earthquake. After my daily swim in Centennial Pool, coffee at C1 on the way to school was part of my life. And I do remember that morning quite vividly. Would I have remembered it as well if there hadn’t been an earthquake, if everything hadn’t changed?
    The new C1 has less of the grunge. The old C1 was eclectic. It started off small, pretty much standing room only, with maybe some seats on the pavement. Good coffee and great raspberry and chocolate muffins. It grew because it was good. And it grew back because it was very good.
    High ceilinged, light, airy and with a myriad of quirkiness, the new C1 offers the same great coffee made with milk, produced especially for them from a herd of nomadic cows, no less and delivered daily in glass, excellent food, pneumatic sliders, Star Wars figures on the toilet door, a sliding bookshelf door to the toilets and beehives and a very small vineyard on the roof. Sound exhausting? It’s fantastic!
    The latest incredibleness comes as a result of owner Sam Crofsky’s chats with the organic farmers he sources his coffee beans from. Golden Panther Tea Company was launched during the 2014 United Nation’s Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa. After hearing farmers talk about their cocoa, chilli and lemongrass, C1 came up with a tea company that would celebrate these products and empower small family farms to realize their entrepreneurial potential.
    The tea ingredients from Samoa include dried hibiscus flowers, lemongrass, chilli, mango, ginger, coffee cherry, coconut and pineapple. It will be sold in collectible matchboxes that offer two servings – one for drinking in the café and one for later.
    Christchurch has a lot going for it right now. C1 is part of it.

    catching the egg

    Shin’s Teppanyaki may well have been the world’s fist mobile Teppanyaki restaurant. I’m going to say it was, because I like that idea. And if we go with the line of thought that it’s not how it actually happened, but how I remember it, then, sure it was.

    Shin started his mobile business when the restaurant he worked in closed after the September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch. Ingenuity and entrepreneurial prowess. He is now running another mobile teppanyaki unit in Auckland. 

    It’s an impressive way to dine in the comfort of your own home. The huge hotplate is there, the bench, seats, crockery and cutlery are also provided and, in the case of today’s lunch, a smiling and very happy chef, Toshi, to provide entertainment and a deftly prepared several course meal. Salad, salmon, vegetables, lamb cutlets, chicken, beef, fried rice and the egg throwing course…and no, I did not manage to catch the piece of egg in my mouth and I certainly did not look in the least bit graceful as I tried. Others at the lunch did, amongst them the lovely bride-to-be, and that’s a great skill to bring into a marriage.

    Aren’t people clever for coming up with these things?