Tag Archive: Covey’s Quadrant



There’s so much to do and what seems to be not enough time to get to it all, so, how do you get to what matters most?  It starts 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.

If you’re ready to forge your way forward and start getting to what matters most, just click here and get your free eBook, What Matters Most©.  The first step to getting to what matters most.


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.


When it comes to the list of things that we have to do, it can be difficult getting to the things that really matter.  What mattes most to you?  Family and friends, things related to the work you love, or personal time?  What ever it is, how do you get to the to-do items in the areas that matter most to you?  Are you relating what you do daily to your values?

Look at how you manage your time.  Do you have a tool that fits your time management personality and a system to support it?  If you’re not organized and don’t have a time management system in place it can be even more difficult to get to what matters most.  You can spend a lot of time putting out fires and not getting to what matters most.

In the fast paced society that we’re operating in today it’s easy to forget about the things that we really want to do; the things that truly satisfy us.  Usually, people spend time working on things that are important and urgent, but also tend to focus on things that are urgent but not important such as interruptions, non productive meetings and pressing matters.  Very rarely do they spend time on things that fall under the category of being important but not urgent; things like planning, seizing opportunities, and recreation and relaxation.

Where are you spending your time?  Do you end up working on the things that are urgent and important or are you managing yourself effectively and working on things that are important but not urgent?  We’ll look at those areas and the rest of Covey’s Quadrant in my next post.


Earlier this week, someone asked me what my 3 best tips were for time management, so I thought I’d share them here.

My 3 best time management tips are:

  • Check your email 1 1/2 -2 hours AFTER you start your day.  It’s not a good thing to check your email first thing in the morning.  It eats up too much time, which is not a good way to start your day
  • Work according to your personal energy cycles. We all have a particular time during each day where our physical and mental energy are at their peak.  That’s the time when we need to focus on the things that take the most focus or creativity.  Find what works for you and work it
  • Plan, plan, plan! Discover your time management personality, choose an appropriate tool, set up your system around it, and set your time for weekly planning.  It will get you to the point of working on the things that are important but not urgent.

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