The term time management is probably well known to you. However the term is confusing as time management is nothing more than setting priorities. The challenge here is to set your priorities clearly and commit to them through Courageous Effort and Willpower. The execution of your plans in the form of activities is the second creation as mentioned in the chapter Focus Your Purpose.
In the exercises related to Focus Your Purpose you already have identified what your priorities are. In this exercise you will translate your priorities into an actionable diary. We will start with a great time management tool developed by Stephen Covey. It will help you identify more clearly on which elements you should focus and on which ones you should not. It will remind you to 'Walk your Talk' as Stephen Covey would have said.
Here you will find a short explanation of the theory:
Activities that you do can be classified in four categories. The first figure gives examples, the second the outcome of these activities
- You tend to react on Urgency. For instance a ringing phone is urgent. Going to the hospital after an accident is urgent. Sending someone a thank you letter is less urgent. Generally urgent matters are very visible
- Urgency however does not say anything about Importance. Going to the hospital is important, however picking up the phone does not necessarily have to be important
- Importance has to do with your Purpose. If you have mentioned your health in your Personal Vision document then your weekly gym visits are absolutely important. At the same time they might seem less urgent
- Quadrant 1 consumes many people. If you Focus on this Quadrant it will only grow. Negative side effect is that people flee into Quadrant 4, which is even worse. Welcome to a life of constant crises
- People that do not have their Purpose clarified and Focus on other people's needs instead of their own might be living in Quadrant 3 Attending to other people's needs (doing their work, attending their meeting, satisfying their wishes), thinking that they are operating in Quadrant 1
- Your Focus should be on Quadrant 2 activities. It is at the heart of fulfilling your full potential. Being the life creating force. Focus on this Quadrant and all other Quadrants will shrink in size
Back to Exercises
- Write down the activities that you perform during the week as well as how much time you spend approximately on these activities
- Plot the activities in the Time Management Quadrant
- Together with your Personal Vision document define what your optimal Time Management Quadrant for the week would look like in terms of activities and time spend
- With this newly obtained knowledge intend to make a weekly planning on a fixed time prior to the start of the week and stick to it
- The more you integrate this approach into your life the easier it will get as you will shift to more Quadrant 2 activities that will lead to more Freedom and Stillness