【From Covey’s “7 Habits” book】 How to do our Time Management – “Quadrant 2”

(Duration: 5:05)

 

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All human beings are born equally with the same general lifespan

 

Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma Black Belt.

 

I’m reading this book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Today, I would like to talk about “Principles of Personal Management” from the book.

 

When people are born, frankly speaking, this world is unequal, isn’t it? However, all human beings are born equally with the same general lifespan.

 

All differences other than time, for example, from which country, rich family or not, or healthy or not, are manageable by each people’s efforts, but only time has to be allocated equally, otherwise it would cause decisive unfairness. Therefore God may have decided that way.

 

Prioritization of Time Management: ‘Urgency’ and ‘Importance’

 

Since we have limited time, it’s most important to prioritize our actions. Which factors should we focus on for that? They are ‘Urgency’ and ‘Importance’. Let’s take a look at this chart.

 

Time Management Matrix

 

By using these two factors, we can classify our actions into four quadrants: ‘Urgent and Important’, ‘Not Urgent, but Important’, ‘Urgent, but Not Important’ and ‘Neither Urgent nor Important’.

 

The part I thought interesting is that, for people who spend their lives in crisis, 90 percent of their time is in ‘Urgent and Important’ and they are literally beaten up by problems all day every day. Most of the remaining 10 percent is in “Neither Urgent nor Important”.

 

I have one question here: which one should we do first either ‘Urgent, but Not Important’ or ‘Not Urgent, but Important’? Since it’s urgent, is it ‘Urgent, but Not Important’? This is a pit fall. If it’s not important, you don’t need to do that.

 

‘Quadrant II’ is the heart of effective Time Management.

 

He calls ‘Not Urgent, but Important’ as ‘Quadrant II’ and “The heart of effective personal management”. What kind of actions belong to this category? It includes things like building relationship, writing a personal mission statement, long-range planning, exercising, preventive maintenance, preparation.

 

You may have some experience about this: These tend to be postponed. If you neglect these actions, many problems will occur later on, then they will become ‘Urgent and Important’.

 

Conversely, if you focus on ‘Quadrant II’, you can be thinking ahead, working on the roots, doing the preventive things. As a result, you can shrink ‘Urgent and Important’.  Since you can spend more time on ‘Quadrant II’, successful people will succeed more and the others continue their lives dominated by ‘Urgent and Important’.

 

How can we measure ‘Importance’?

 

We would like do more on ‘Quadrant II’, but we are busy now and don’t have time for that. We have to do ‘Urgent and Important’ because it’s important. The only way to spare time for ‘Quadrant II’ is by stopping ‘Urgent, but Not Important’ and ‘Neither Urgent nor Important’.

 

Now one question has arisen. How can we measure the degree of importance? I drew this diagram:  These days, there are numerous options to choose around us. You can measure importance only if you have a clear purpose and goal in your life. If you have those, options that relate to those directions become more important.

 

How to measure Importance

 

Furthermore, Stephen says, if your purpose and goal in your life become your burning desire, you can say “No” easily to options that are ‘not important’, then you can spend more time on ‘Quadrant II’.

 

Therefore, it’s very effective to make a mission statement and long-range life plan.
He also strongly recommend to make your life’s weekly rhythm. Make a weekly plan and execute it, then review the week and make a new week’s plan. By doing this, you can spend your life focused on ‘Quadrant II’.

 

Today‘s theme was about our time management from the 7 habits book. Thank you very much for viewing. If you like my videos, please click the ‘Subscribe’ button. Also click and watch my other related videos. Thanks.

 

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