In the face of almighty tasks and various matters that call out to us, we learn to jot down notes, prioritise schedules, and skip lunch if necessary…Yet none of the things we do matters unless what we do tie to our core values.
In the book “The 7 habits of highly effective people”, Stephen R. Covoy popularised the concept of a Time Management Matrix that categorises matters through two cardinals: urgency and importance.
The top left quadrant (Quadrant I) is where we spend most of our time: attending to urgent and important matters. So busy we are at distinguishing fires that we often neglect Quandrant II, that which is Important but not urgent. This quadrant involves things such as “building relationships, writing a personal mission statement, long-range planning, exercising, preventive maintenance, preparation”. In short, Quadrant II looks ahead into the future and is made up of steps that will bring us closer to where we want.
Or we could immerse ourselves in the third quadrant at the bottom left, on matters urgent but not important. This quadrant is often composed of tasks that can be delegated. The bottom line is unless we can differentiate the concept of importance versus urgency, and unless we can tag schedules accordingly, we cannot truly prioritise.
If matters are left to run its own course, we would be overwhelmed daily by tasks in Quadrant I and Qudrant III. However, when people are asked what is the one thing they wish they could spend more time to do to increase their effectiveness, it is almost always things that lie in Quadrant II.
We will never have enough time until we learn to say no. This Time Management Matrix tells you what to say NO to.
You can purchase a copy of this ready-made matrix here Link
There is a matrix for each day of the year. It is in a spreadsheet format, colour-coded so that you can see at a glance which quadrant you want to focus on.
Invest in your time. Invest in yourself.