In the world we’re living in right now, it is very common to have various overlapping commitments that need immediate attention every now and then and you can’t help but feel pressured. Back then, urgency is only reserved for few, special occasions, but it is not longer what it is; they are an everyday occurrences and everyday you ask yourself, how do i get everything done; How To Time Management?
In scenarios when urgency is a need, missing deadlines is the last thing you would want to do; it’s not the path to advancement nor getting good job reviews. So, how can one manage the flood of responsibilities, perform at the highest level and maintain a positive mental attitude?
The Covey time management grid is an effective method to set and organize your priorities. From the grid below, you can see that there are four quadrants organized by urgency and importance.
Urgent & Important
Not Urgent & Important
|NOT IMPORTANT||Quadrant III:
Urgent & Not Important
Not Urgent & Not Important
|source: Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People|
Quadrant I is reserved for the immediate and important deadlines.
Quadrant II is reserved for long-term strategizing and development.
Quadrant III is reserved for time pressured distractions. They aren’t really important, but someone desires it now.
Quadrant IV is reserved for those tasks that yield little to no value. These are usually activities used for relax and taking a break from time pressured and important activities.
While many people often find their activities falling into quadrant I and III, quadrant II is actually exceptionally important, more than quadrant I and III, and it’s often under used. This is because in Quadrant II, people have to work both tactically and strategically at the same time.
Using The Grid
Depending on how you use it, the grid can be applied anywhere, anytime and any how you like. But two will be suggested here. The first and quite the obvious is to apply your ‘to-do’ list and sort all your tasks into the appropriate grid. From there, you can start accessing and allocate the amount of time you need to complete each tasks, and if necessary, you can reallocate your tasks to make time.
The second application of the grid is to make a one week assessment strategy. First off, make six copies of the grid and use one for each day of the week, listing down all tasks, activities, and time spent. At the end of each week, you then combine the five individual day data onto one summary grid (Grid number 6), and calculate the average time spent in each grid. Then evaluate how well did you spend your time and whether there’s any improvisation to your work load.
|Quadrant I: Urgent & Important||Quadrant II: Not Urgent & Important|
|Quadrant III: Urgent & Not Important||Quadrant IV: Not Urgent & Not Important|
So, what are you waiting for? Download the grid below and start organizing your tasks, and you will be amazed at what it can do. Even if you have never ending tasks on your table, the most important thing is to learn to prioritize them.
The Bottom Line: Focus On Important Things First!