Time management expert Stephen Covey developed a matrix to help people gain perspective of their tasks and gain better awareness of their priorities.  It’s called Covey’s Quadrant.   Quadrant 1 contains the important, urgent things; Quadrant 2 important, not urgent things; Quadrant 3 urgent, not important items; Quadrant 4 the not important, not urgent items.

Following the 80/20 rule, we know that 80 percent of the desired results come from 20 percent of high leverage activities or efforts.  With that in mind, the greatest payoff comes from working on projects or activities that are in quadrant 2; the important but not urgent things.  Focus on those things allows you to position yourself to spend less time handling crises.

The trick is getting there.  To do so requires that we deliberately and constantly choose.  If you think about it, life is all about choices.  We all have the freedom of choice with everything, including managing our time.  Developing the habit of choosing the really important things is primary in getting that big payoff.

So, how do you get to what matters most?  By looking at everything you have on your plate and the things you would like to place on your plate.  There is an exercise that Covey proposed that does work when it comes to getting to what really matters.  I’ll share the exercise in my next post.

« »