Q2 Saves the World
We march. We protest. We pack food. We donate. We tweet.
But why does nothing ever seem to change?
By: GSD Operative Daisy
Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about how the four-quadrant method can help you prioritize and manage your time and workload.
• Tasks in Quadrant One are important and urgent. Whether finishing an essay by the deadline or rushing to sports practice, Q1 things must get done. Pronto!
• Quadrant Two tasks are important but not urgent. From hitting the gym to practicing your cello, these things are important, but because they aren’t urgent, they are easy to blow off. Q2 tasks require discipline.
• Tasks in Quadrant Three are urgent but not important. Answering text messages and liking your friends Instagram posts must get done but aren’t necessarily making a great impact on the world.
• Quadrant Four is neither important nor urgent. From binge-watching YouTube to surfing Pinterest to posting selfies on Snapchat, Q4 is the time-suck quadrant most of us know (and kind of love) all too well.
In our everyday lives of school, chores, and socializing, identifying the value of our tasks can definitely help us manage our time better. But when I think about the important social challenges facing our generation today, it’s clear we need to do a much better job of prioritizing our Quadrants.
From addressing school violence and bullying to cultural discrimination and global poverty, oftentimes our desire to help sends us running straight into Q1. It’s urgent and important, so we march. We protest. We pack food. We donate. We tweet. But what happens when the marches end? What happens when the news starts covering something else? Do we unconsciously take refuge in Q4 with a few hours of Candy Crush while waiting for the next crisis to rush to?
What we really need to do is start spending more time in Q2. First, Q2 lets us take a step back and really deep dive into why these crises are happening in the first place, so we are better prepared to discover long-term solutions. Q2 is where we develop relationships, knowledge, skills that can lead to an entire paradigm shift for all involved. Though it requires patience, discipline, and occasionally, “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable,” little by little Q2 can really change the world.
I know how hard Q2 can be though. Believe me. The day I started UAR
I emailed the directors of the five religious youth groups I had participated with over the past several years and shared my vision for uniting the teens within their groups. Almost immediately they emailed replies of enthusiastic support. Everyone loved the idea of preventing the stereotyping that has affected their communities for generations. They were thrilled about helping their children embrace their cultural identity in this exciting new way.
Answering my email was Q1– urgent and important– but making time to implement the vision was a different story. For months I tried to set up these gatherings but little by little the email replies slowed to a trickle. Making room for one new thing, no matter how important, was simply not urgent. But with my mind firmly in Q2-mode, I pressed on. It took more than a year, but eventually the first relationships began to form. Not as fast as I had hoped, but it didn’t matter because once the smallest actions took root, they quickly began to bloom.
Today UAR has an amazing group of teens from all different faith backgrounds who are sharing honest dialogue about the issues that are impacting their world and connecting with their peers on a whole new level. They are uniting, aligning, and redefining (UAR, get it?) and we don’t even need to march anywhere!
In Q2, UAR is on our way to changing the world.