One of the biggest challenges most people face every single day is time management. No matter how you slice and dice it.. we all have a limited number of hours… 24 to be exact.
One of the best things I’ve come across to help me sort out my day is using the four quadrant matrix for importance and urgency which is the basis for managing your time. Even we struggle with trying to stay in the second quadrant but we know this is where we need to be and focus our energy on staying in this quadrant every single day.
Firefighting mode: Crises, real hard deadlines for important project, health & family emergencies, etc…
The first quadrant represent the things that are both important and urgent for us to do.
Dealing with a heart attack is an Urgent and Important problem (Q1) that cannot be ignored — You can fix this by spending more time eating healthy and exercising (Q2).
There is a way to spend more time in this quandrant and that’s to be more proactive on the important things before they become a crisis.
This is where you should spend most of your time.
This area is big on planning, prevention, capability improvement and relationship building. If you can spend more time in this quadrant it will lead to, clear visions,balanced life,discipline, and very few crisis situations.
Here are some great examples
exercising a few days a week
eating healthy everyday
regular scheduled maintenance on your car and home
Education and reading a few times a week
Spend time to find things that inspire you
This is an important quadrant… make sure you learn how to spend more time here.
Most people spend a big portion of their time here. They confuse urgent things for Important things
This Quadrant is full of pressing matters: Interruptions, Ringing phones and emails, etc… If you spend to much time here you will have short term focus with lots of crisis management.
Even I struggle with this one. Booking a phone meeting with a client (important but not urgent) and my phone rings during the call (not important but urgent). The phone is ringing… please pick me up now. Don’t do it!
This quadrant are for the time wasters
If you spend lots of time here, it will lead to you depending heavily on others for your basic needs such as job loss and irresponsibility.
Some examples are watching too much T.V., web surfing and tons of fun activities.
So what should you do?? Try to identify your quadrant 1 and 3 activities and try to determine how you can prevent them from becoming emergencies. If you can figure this out, they become your new quadrant 2!
Everything in quadrant 3 and 4… STOP DOING THEM NOW! This will take some time since it involves you saying NO to people.
Try to identify your quadrant 2 tasks and write them down. Once you have them written down schedule them into your calendar as meetings and DO NOT skip over these meetings whatever you do.
The bottom line to succeed is knowing what’s important to you and what your long term goals are!
Until next time… Make The Smart Choice