A friend of mine had this interesting suggestion for personal effectiveness in 2008: Use the Covey idea of Four Quadrants of Activity Management on your computer's desktop.
- Save this Four Quadrant image as your desktop.
- Drop your active work (files) onto the four quadrants
- Work on the Important-Not Urgent and Important-Urgent activities in much larger proportion to your Not Important-Urgent and Not Important-Not Urgent tasks.
Of course, this works well when you are heavily file-centric in your work. I note that most email applications let you drag and drop messages, but that would be a little cumbersome on the desktop. Just imagine doing this within your mail app too!
Here is a sample of the results (click for full image). I might leave all the applications off the quadrants. But placing them in the Not Important-Not Urgent quadrant is probably a good idea.