I was in a training class this week about time management. But really we cannot truly manage time, but only our own behavior with time or time behavior. The trainers referenced the late great Stephen Covey’s model of “Four Quadrants” of time management. This old video with Dr. Covey and a busy professional lady is a great reminder of how we should all schedule our priorities.
The Quadrants are numbered 1-4 and are laid out in a square.
First Quadrant is Urgent and Important
o These are our Crisis, our deadlines and emergencies
o If we stay here, we will burnout
Second Quadrant is Not Urgent but Important
o These are our planning times, sharpening the saw and relationship building
o This is where we should be the majority of our time
Third Quadrant is Urgent but Not Important
o These are interruptions, phone, text, emails, drop bys
o These should be short term, if we stay here we become a victim of time
Fourth Quadrant is Not Urgent Nor Important
o These are our time wasters, non-responsibility
o We need some of this to recharge, just not too much recreation time
If we are just too busy, we are living in quadrant one and we will suffer the consequences of missed opportunities, neglect important things and burnout.
We should spend most of our time in quadrant two, and have adequate time with planning, relationship building, both personal and business, and sharpening the saw or working on ourselves. This is where we will find control and balance in our life.
If we feel sad or depressed that life is dealt us a bad hand of cards, we are spending too much time in the third quadrant. If we allow our circumstances to dictate our time, we will begin to feel like a victim. Our time is out of our control.
Finally, if we are lethargic, uninspired and just cannot seem to move forward, then we are spending too much time in the fourth quadrant. We all need downtime to recharge, but we cannot spend all of our time watching TV, playing video games and chatting on Facebook. Depression can live here as well. We must move back towards quadrant two.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this Stephen Covey video. What one thing can you change to move into quadrant two? Here’s to your good times with time behavior!
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”.—Dr. Stephen Covey
Image by Ohmega1982. at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.