We all only have 24 hours in a day. And if we get 8 hours of sleep we only have 16 hours. So the question becomes, “What do we do with those 16 hours?” Isn’t it interesting how some people use those 16 hours to be incredibly productive while others accomplish very little.
Why is that? Why do some people achieve their goals and experience great productivity and success while others do not?
Stephen Covey, in his book First Things First, notes that those who accomplish very little are probably spending a large amount of their 16 hours in the Quadrant of Deception and the Quadrant of Waste. In his book he highlights four quadrants where one can spend their time: 1) Quadrant of Necessity, 2) Quadrant of Quality & Personal Leadership, 3) Quadrant of Deception, and 4) Quadrant of Waste.
Each of us has a choice as to how we will allocate our time between these quadrants. But one thing is for sure: when it comes to achieving your goals and living a life of minimal stress – all quadrants are NOT equal.
The first mindmap below defines the four quadrants and how you should allocate your time. The second mindmap provides more detail on the activities associated with each quadrant.
As you will see from the mindmaps, the trick to managing your time effectively is to:
1) Manage the Quadrant of Necessity as best you can.
2) Focus on the Quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership for it makes the Quadrant of Necessity more managable and helps you achieve your goals faster.
3) Be Careful of the Quadrant of Deception because activities in this quadrant may appear urgent when in fact they are not. Too much time here will slow your progress towards reaching your goals.
4) Avoid the Quadrant of Waste as much as possible. Too much time here and you will not achieve your goals at all.
Click on the Mindmaps to Enlarge: