LILY Letter 138: About Time

November 30, 2023

In teaching time management, Stephen Covey and Hyrum Smith taught four divisions for how we might categorize uses of our time:

1. Urgent and important

2. Important but not urgent

3. Urgent but not important, and

4. Not urgent and not important

Essentially, where most people get confused and waste their time is between Quadrants 2 and 3. Quadrant 1 will demand your attention. It creates anxiety. Quadrant 3 also screams at you because it must be done now or the opportunity may expire. A ringing phone is urgent. It is in Quadrant 1 if it is a needed job offer. It is in Quadrant 3 if it is a survey call. Quadrant 3 screams at you, even though it may not be all that important. Quadrant 2 does not scream at you, even though it is important. Covey taught that a key secret of success is in prioritizing Quadrant 2 over Quadrant 3, even though Quadrant 3 is louder. What is in Quadrant 2? A few examples: Parenting, Exercise, and Dating.

The most important results of your parenting don't typically show up right away, but are nonetheless very important. The health benefits of exercise do not typically show up right away, but over time a failure to do so can create disastrous results (consistent exercise yields undeniable long-term health benefits). It is unlikely that failing to go on a date this weekend means that you will never meet your eternal companion (or that you'll ruin your marriage if you don't have a date-night this week), but meeting an eternal companion and building a solid relationship is very important to most of us.

According to our values, we believe that dating for Latter-day Saint singles is in Quadrant 2. It doesn't demand your attention but it is important. The stakes are very high, but it also requires time and patience. A lot of lower value priorities will clamor for your attention. Almost every priority will feel more urgent, even if they aren't as important to your long-term happiness.

We urge you to look at the priorities in your life, and make sure that where you are spending your time is in accordance with your values--whatever that means to you. We are especially passionate about self care for single adults. Single parents tend to put everyone else before themselves and operate from a chronically empty tank. If we focus more on Quadrant 2 and a little less on Quadrant 3, Quadrant 1 will start to shrink and demand less of our attention.

In our experience as single life and relationship coaches and as former single parents ourselves, you don't need to be obsessive about dating to be successful. You just need to consistently make time for it, like sleep and exercise and other Quadrant 2 priorities. If you do that, we believe you are going to find what you are looking for.


This week's video is dedicated to our dear friend Emily Sarah Merkley Robinson, who during her nearly 4-year battle with colon cancer, got married between chemo treatments. Every day of their 2+ years as husband and wife was a gift they didn't take for granted. None of us knows how much time we have on this earth. Let's use it wisely.

LINK TO WATCH: Every Day is Gift

To heal from relationship loss and create more love in your life, read Intentional Courtship (available on Amazon).

LILY Coaching is available to support you personally. Simply visit to schedule a FREE Consult with Jeff or Cathy. We will provide you with a roadmap to your desired destination!

If you enjoy this letter, forward to a friend. Our goal is to support as many single adults and later-married couples as possible so please share this letter with those you love!

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