I overheard an altercation between a teenager and his mother. “I just don’t have time, Ma ! “ the teenager revolted. “You make time, if you don’t make time, you will never have time! “, came the imperious censure from the mother. “Yes,” I said to myself, “ that’s exactly what Stephen Covey said in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” The mother just spelled out the essence of 4th generation time management concept. In his book Mr. Covey eloquently expounded that the principle of this concept lies on the way how we handle the tension between what is “important” and what is “urgent”. Activities in our lives can be captured in the time management matrix diagrammed below :
Quadrant 1. “IMPORTANT – URGENT “: such as Crises, Pressing problems, Deadline-driven projects, going to bathroom
Quadrant 2. “IMPORTANT – NOT URGENT”: such as Preventive activities, Relationship building, Planning, Exercise, New opportunities, Pray, Cultivate intimacy with God,
Quadrant 3. “NOT IMPORTANT – URGENT”: such as Interruptions, Some phone calls or emails, Some reports, Meetings, Pressing matters.
Quadrant 4. “NOT URGENT – NOT IMPORTANT”: such as Trivia, Busy work, TV, Games, Pleasant activities, Chatters, Time killers
If we are to devote more time in quadrant two, we could make a tremendous difference in our lives. Since we simply can not afford to take time out from quadrant one and three because of its urgent nature. We could most definitely take a big chunk of our time out of quadrant four and do more of the activities in quadrant two. Our effectiveness will take a quantum leap when we do that.