:: How to Manage Your Time ::


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I was introduced to this concept a few years ago as I was looking through a book on my brother-in-law’s desk. The book was called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen Covey. His system advocates the use of four quadrants to help you structure out your daily activities in accordance of importance and urgency and deal with them accordingly. This has been part of my business and personal arsenal ever since!

Quadrant 1: Quadrant of Necessity
Only crisis activities should be in here, items that need to be dealt with immediately. However, don’t spend too much time in this quadrant or you could burn yourself out!

Quadrant 2: Quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership
This quadrant is highlighted because Covey emphasizes this is the quadrant that we should focus on for long term achievement of goals. This is where you define your priorities. What will keep you balanced? For example, you may know that good nutrition, sleep, recreation, and maintaining healthy social relationships are important but do you consciously make time for them in your daily or weekly routine? Managing your life and the lifestyle will help you manage your time. Eventually you will want Quadrant 2 to outweight Quadrant 1.

Quadrant 3: Quadrant of Deception
Quadrant 1 and 3 may seem similiar but to differentiate the two ask yourself: “Is this task related to my goals? Does doing this make any difference to me?” While you may feel that activities, such as Facebook or email, need your attention right away, too much time spent on Quadrant 3 activities can seriously reduce valuable personal time. This may leave you feeling pulled in too many directions at once.

Quadrant 4: Quadrant of Waste
If you’re spending many hours on Quadrant 4 activities, you’re either having a great deal of fun or spending a lot of time procrastinating! This quadrant puts no value in our lives whatsoever, but remember, the objective is to find a balance.

Adopting such a system takes time and some reprogramming. I used to draw out the matrix and fill in my agenda daily. I admit I don’t do that as religously but it’s all etched into my mind. Do you have any time management tips or suggestions? Feel free to share them here.

Learn more: Time Management Matrix explained more thoroughly

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