The Stephen Covey Time Management Matrix is an excellent planning tool that is simple and straight forward. Once you learn the basic principles of organizing your activities according to the principles of this tool, you will likely be able to eliminate a number of timewasting activities and unproductive behaviors.
What Is It and How Does It Work? Stephen Covey’s tools are designed to maximize your productivity and eliminate unnecessary or irrelevant activities through a 4-quadrant system.
After analyzing your daily activities, you will assign them to the appropriate quadrant before evaluating where you need to make changes.
Take a look at the diagram below. Notice that the quadrants reflect 4 different types of activities: Important and Urgent, Important and Non-Urgent, Non-Important and Urgent, and Non-Important and Non-Urgent.
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The diagram is adapted from the Stephen Covey Time Management Matrix.
Sample activities are listed for each of the quadrants. As you study the quadrants, notice which one most of your activities fall into.
In order to fully evaluate your own situation, it’s important to make a master list of as many of your daily activities that you can think of, and place them in the corresponding quadrant. In which quadrant do you spend most of your time each day?
In order to make positive change in your daily schedule, you need to aim for spending the most time in Quadrant 2.
By devoting a good deal of time to that area, you will naturally eliminate many of the crises that tend to happen in Quadrant 1, as well as providing you with more solid direction, which in turn will help eliminate spending excess time in either Quadrant 3 or 4.