Most people that have studied or been trained on time management are aware of the four quadrants broken out by whether the activity you are planning or working on is urgent, important, and combinations of both. Much has been written about time management for businesses, managers, teams, and business leaders.
I’m not focused on those topics per se, but more so about general decision making and an evaluation method to help focus and maximize one’s personal effectiveness and success.
Above is some of my stellar hand-writing and skilled use of a ruler. Using those two items, I broke out the four main sections:
- Top Left: Urgent, yet Not Important
- Your bacon is burning in the kitchen. This needs to be fixed immediately, but it isn’t part of your plans.
- Bottom Left: Not Urgent and Not Important
- The quadrant of sloth. Most things on television, including 95% of the non-stop news, fall in this area of life.
- Bottom Right: Not Urgent, yet Important
- It’s important to schedule a time to exercise, but it’s not so urgent that you need to work out right now.
- Top Right: Both Urgent and Important
- This is where you should try to be, as often as possible
- This is the ONLY place where you can take that leap into Significance
When you find yourself in the top quadrant, planning or working on something that is both Important and Significant, this is the place to evaluate the task’s Significance.
When questioning a task’s significance, as yourself this question. Of the tasks in need of attention, which is going to have the most impact and will remain of importance in the future? For my use, I have broken this into four additional quadrants within the top right corner. Hopefully, the majority of your time is spent in these quadrants.
Above? More great hand-writing as I break out the quadrants of significance. All of these are of equal importance until you apply your unique situation and the needs of your current activities. I’ll spell them out as I use them, feel free to modify for your use.
- Top Left: Another significance is pending the completion of your tasks. Particularly necessary in team projects, yet equally important at home.
- Bottom Left: Personal Affirmation and Continuous Education. Learning new skills and building up confidence in using these skills will make you forevermore effective and successful.
- Bottom Right: Long term efficiency gains. Once completed, my work and/or the work of my colleagues will be faster, easier, or less time-consuming.
- Top Right: Longterm income gains. Simply putting your savings to work earning interest is an easy example. Signing up subscribers to a recurring service is another example (think your regular Nexflix payment).
We all have the stuff to do, and as often as possible I like to find myself in the top right, asking how significant is the activity I am about to work on? Is this truly the best use of my time?
Hopefully, by simply taking the time to contemplate what I’ve written, this concept will provide benefit to you in your personal and your business plans for the future.
That is the significance to me; Writing these thoughts has trumped all else because the more people that question the significance of an action, the more success we will all benefit from.
You can watch the news for an hour a day and keep your anxiety levels at their peak, or you can read a book and practice skills for the same amount of time. Improving your skills and learning new ones for one hour every day is equivalent to working non-stop for 2.17 weeks (15.2 days), 24 hours each day.