While this is a concept that is mostly used in offices and for executives, I thought it might help all of my readers to prioritize their day. Sometimes all we need to do is stop and think about how we spend our time and the tasks we’re doing. This evaluation ensures our daily tasks are meeting up with our long term goals. So often, we race from activity to activity, barely focusing on WHY we are doing these tasks. It is difficult to find time to meet our long term goals. Use this chart to really think about how you spend your time.
Quadrant 1 is full of all of those items you need to do, but probably don’t enjoy. These include grocery shopping, purchasing for your time, hygiene, cooking, cleaning, and so on. Often, these are the biggest time suckers but they are also the easiest tasks to delegate. Really look at your list and tasks and determine if there are items you can get off your place.
Quadrant 2-This is where you should be spending your time. What are you long term goals? Want to start a business? Go back to school? What are the steps you need to take to achieve those goals? Those steps fall in this quadrant. Make sure you know what your goals are and how you can work towards them every day…even just a little bit. Remember, they aren’t urgent, but they are important!
Quadrant 3-These tasks are urgent but not important. For example, the phone call from a coworker, the email that pops into your inbox, or the project your child suddenly needs your assistance for. While all of these things need you attention and cannot be avoided, it is best if to minimize the time they take. Also, think about how you can minimize their impact going forward. If co workers are always interrupting you in your office, consider having an hour every day where you work silently and independently. If your child always tells you things at the last minute, help them to come up with a system that addresses their needs in a more timely fashion.
Quadrant 4-The items that fall into this quadrant serve no purpose to you. They really just distract and entertain and while we all need these escapes, keeping them to a minimum and tracking their impact can really assist you in “finding time”. Items that fall into this grouping are social media, shopping for pleasure, TV watching or just chatting with friends.