Although daylight doesn’t make a great deal of difference to most of us in the working environment with offices away from windows and that wonderful thing called electricity which gives us lighting, it’s a great analogy on how to squeeze even more into the precious time that we have. So using that as a comparison, how come we’re finding even less time to get on and do the important things? Even as a mentor in such subject, I have to constantly be aware of the signs myself.
As an avid fan, I’d like to share Stephen Covey’s tool called the ‘Time-Matrix’ which looks at taking control of your time and realising where you’re spending it.
To start, grab an A4 sheet of paper and divide into quarters. Along the top, write ‘URGENT’ in the left and ‘NOT URGENT’ in the right. Along the side, against the uppermost squares, write ‘IMPORTANT, and the lower, write ‘NOT IMPORTANT…
Your quarters will be Top Left (No.1) ‘Urgent/Important’, Top Right (No.2) ‘Not Urgent/Important’, Bottom Left (No.3) ‘Urgent/Not Important’, Bottom Right (No.4) ‘Not Urgent/Not Important’, viola, your matrix.
So what are we to put into these quadrants?
No.1= MANAGE: These are the un-expected things that land on our laps. The things that we couldn’t or don’t have control over when they arrive. Crisis, Medical emergencies, Pressing problems, Deadline driven projects etc.
No.2= FOCUS: This is where your time should ideally be spent. Preparation & Planning, Prevention, Exercise, Relationship building etc.
No.3= AVOID: These are the things that may not affect you directly but may have a bearing on what’s happening in work. The sort of things you really you could keep your nose out of and let the responsible parties take control. Texts, Calls, Interruptions, Some emails etc. and the dreaded FaceBook and other social media channels are also mingled into this area.
No.4= AVOID: You’ll be surprised at how long you actually spend in here! Trivia, procrastination, Junk Mail, idle telephone call when things need to be done etc.
Now look at where you ‘honestly’ spend your time. Ideally No.2 is where you will be most productive. Planning ahead so that items don’t suddenly find themselves in box 1!! Look at your own activities during the day or week and see what takes up your time and see where you can plan things in more efficiently. This is the place I desperately try my best to work in yet, I’m human too!
Hopefully that will help to a certain degree but we know how difficult it is to see the wood for the trees, especially when you’re operating at 115%. If that’s the case, then time management is an area that either you or someone in your team could possibly do with gaining some clarity.
Coaching to Success has a variety of ways to help with ‘Time Management’ so contact me for a FREE Introductory chat or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org where you’ll be assured a friendly and positive greeting.
Having read this, why not check out Neil too by watching our YouTube video HERE.