A Tool For Time Management
Why do we all want to manage our time effectively? For some, it would be to increase the productivity of their business. For others, the planning of quality experiences with family and friends. For most, it is to balance all the priorities and values of life. One way or another, we all seem to be short on time and want to make the most of it. Many gurus and experts have tackled the mechanics of time management, and many of their ideas have revolved around a simple tool which brings clarity and focus to the activities of life. You may have heard of this tool. It is called the Time Management Matrix. We are going to share with you this tool and describe how it works so that you can have a powerful system for achieving the results you want.
The Time Management Matrix is divided into four quadrants. The top left quadrant, quadrant 1, is called Urgent and Important. The top right quadrant, quadrant 2, is called Not Urgent and Important. The bottom left quadrant, quadrant 3, is called Urgent and Not Important. The bottom right quadrant, quadrant 4, is called Not Urgent and Not Important. I’d recommend drawing this out now so that you can get a clear visual.
Once you've done this, it is time to take all of your priorities and/or tasks and separate them into one of these four categories. In order to do this, we need to define some terms. Urgent basically means anything that has an immediate deadline or that needs attention in the immediate future. This is not synonymous with Important. Urgent is only based on time. Important means anything that you truly value and that is going to meet your needs long term. If you cannot define around 7 long-term goals or values that are most important to you, you may want to list those out before implementing this system. We could dive deep just into that topic, but that is for another blog post. For now do a quick gut check of if items are part of your values to be considered important.
So once you've separated your priorities into these quadrants, you are now prepared to plan. The first object is this: do not spend any of your time doing things that are in quadrant 4. Period. These things will ruin your productivity and your time. The same thing should be said for quadrant 3. Some may say that quadrant 3 activities are helpful for relieving stress. But this stress can easily be remedied by following the main object which is this. As you plan your day, week, month, year, and life, the main object is to spend the majority of your time in Quadrant 2. Yes, quadrant 2. Not quadrant 1. Some people might be asking why. Many believe that if something is immediate and important, then that is where you want to live. I have news for you: if you want to live not only a productive life, but a happy, fulfilled, and peaceful life, you must live in quadrant 2 where you are spending your time doing things that you absolutely value, but a time constraint is not hindering it. Now we get it, of course there are things that come up in quadrant 1, which really are necessary to complete and are important. But if you live there the majority of your time, you will never live a fulfilled and peaceful life. You will always live in reaction, and never take control. But if you can approach your life proactively so that you are living in quadrant 2, you live in a way that most people only dream of. Plan ahead of time so that the important items get taken care of before they become urgent. That is where the stress overrides the fulfillment, which you want to avoid when possible. It all starts with a vision. The Time Management Matrix allows you to make that vision a reality.
I challenge you to give it a try this week. As you plan your day, week, month, year, and life, may you experience fulfillment and peace in knowing you are spending your time on that which matters most.