Stephen Richards Covey was an American book writer, educator and speaker. The reason for his popularity was his writing and especially his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. In this book, Stephen solved many personal and professional problems by presenting a holistic, integrated and principle-centered approach. From these approaches, Stephen Covey raised a question in his book that is which priorities of yours did you neglect last year and how you will address them in the next year? The answer of this question varies from person to person. However, there are some universal principles that can help you in the next 12 months, and Stephen used those principles to craft a time management sheet which we are going to discuss in our next lines.
Covey’s Time Management Sheet:
The Covey’s time management matrix sheet is designed in a way that it will help you to schedule your whole week on the basis of what is most important to you and what will get you the most meaningful result. This matrix introduced as a separate chapter in the habit 3 from 7 habits of highly effective people with the name “Put first things first.” The matrix is designed in a way that it will not only make you a good time managing person but also help you to be a more effective self-manager. There are two main criteria on which Covey has divided the tasks and that are Urgency and importance.
Covey has divided his matrix into four quadrants. The quadrant 1 is filled with the crisis tasks or urgent tasks which he counts in the important tasks. The quadrant 2 is not the urgent one, but he counts them into the important tasks. Quadrant 3 tasks are not so important but they are urgent, and quadrant 4 is neither urgent nor important.
What did Covey say about the quadrants?
Covey has different approaches towards each quadrant.
The 1st quadrant which is urgent and important too which he denoted as the quadrant of crisis, he believes that the tasks of this quadrants are most important and need to be cared of on urgent basis.
The 2nd quadrant of not so urgent but important tasks which will give you long term benefits and you will get a bit slow outcomes from it. That is whyCovey believes that you should focus your energy on the activities of 2nd quadrant which is important but not urgent to get long term benefits.
The 3rd quadrant which is not important but urgent contains the tasks like phone calls, friends gathering and other distractions which need to be taken care of. However if you do not get rid of these distractions, you can manage to pursue your routine. But these things can be solved on the urgent basis so it is better to solve it now or they will get bigger.
The 4th quadrant is neither urgent nor important. It contains the tasks like vacations, things that make you needlessly busy and other things like that. Stephen Covey doesn’t say a lot about this quadrant which is also a sign that the tasks in this quadrant are neither important to do, nor you have to show any urgency towards them.
The matrix may sound simple to follow, but the problem is our nature of choosing things on their urgency. Sometimes we inclined to choose the tasks that we see in front of us. We ignore it’s important and in the end lose both urgent and important work.
Covey writes “Urgent matters are usually visible. They press on us; they insist on action. They’re often popular with others. They’re usually right in front of us. And often they are pleasant, easy and fun to do. But often they are unimportant!
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