Thursday, July 21, 2011

Time Matrix

Your comments, Steve, remind me of scale devised by another Steve - Stephen Covey.  He's the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and used the descriptors of Important and Urgent in his scale (below).  It's in Habit 3, also called First Things First, and it's about time management.  He said everything we do falls into a grid with Important/Not Important on one axis and Urgent/Not Urgent on the other axis.

Covey stated that, in order to effectively manage our time, we needed FIRST to identify those things that ARE important to us.  This step is vital so that we can separate those things that aren't important out of our lives.  Quadrant 1 has to be done.  Those items are both Important and Urgent.  The other quadrants are where we have more choice about how our time is spent.  Our problem is that we are frequently drawn into Quadrant 3 (Not Important/Urgent) by what Covey calls the 'Tyranny of the Urgent'.  This quadrant consumes our time but doesn't contribute to our goals.  Obviously, Quad 4 (Not Important/Not Urgent) is a waste of time.  We need to be in Quadrant 2 (Important/Not Urgent) as often as possible.  This diagram is based on business issues, but we could replace the items in Quad 2 with Family, Health, Spiritual issues or whatever you determine to be most important in your life.  

I think this ties in well with our topic of values.  It seems to give credibility to the idea that we can make an adjustment from where we ARE spending our time to where we think we SHOULD be spending our time.  By doing a rigorous self-assessment, we can identify those areas where our belief isn't in line with our actions (or time) and adjust.  I think the diagram is a worthwhile tool to consider and use.

If you have an idea, then help me out here!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sending this link to me, sorry I missed it the first time! I definitely spend way too much time in Quadrants 3 and 4. Even the things I posted about today fit into those categories. I think my problem truly is, I need to stop thinking so urgently. Instead of "what needs to get done today" I should think "what can I do this weekend to help build some relationships." :)