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Good, Cheap, Fast & Urgent or Important


You have a big presentation coming up & just discovered a stain on your favorite outfit.  Quick, to the cleaners!  Your regular shop is perfect but they have a standard 3-day turnaround so that won't work.  There is a 99 cent shop a couple miles away, they could get it done but you can't risk them not taking great care of your expensive suit.  Your only choice is a designer shop, the one in the fancy part of town, they'll do a special for you.  And you're off!

We all pay companies for services and there are all kinds of criteria we use to decide which companies they will be.  We trust them; they've given us the evidence they are trustworthy.  Or maybe they align with our values.  And, just like the dry cleaner dilemma above, we use these 3 criteria.

We often do this without thinking.  It's an almost automatic thought process driven by circumstances.  Do we approach all the decisions we make like this?  Are we constantly reacting to these situations?  Here's a quick take on this from Seth Godin...

Understanding the automatic self

How we handle situations provides a lot of evidence to those around us about who we are.  It's actually how we lead.  Once we've made this connection, the question is: How do we decide what to spend our time on?

Urgent or Important

If you feel like a firefighter putting out one emergency "fire" after another & feel completely exhausted at the end of the day then perhaps you're confusing the urgent with the important.

General Eisenhower

β€œWhat is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”  -General Eisenhower

Here's an article explaining how a former U.S. President & 5-Star General used this principle and how it might help you use time more effectively & efficiently!

Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle

Yes!  There's an app for that!

Eisenhower Decision Matrix App

Einstein says "the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."  So, because we can't do everything first, understanding how to prioritize is essential to becoming our most effective selves.


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  • General Eisenhower: General Eisenhower

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The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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