fourquadrants   When Steven Covey created the Four Quadrants of Time Management model, little did he know how much this strategy would affect those who used it, both in business and in their personal lives. According to him most people spend 90% of their lives in Quadrant 1 and the rest of their time in Quadrant 4.
Using the four quadrants to help you not only learn to focus on what is really important to you but also learn what really is important to you can provide the basis of time management for your business.


Quadrant 1 – Important and urgent

Quadrant 1 would be urgent events,  a crisis, such as a health emergency or in the case of your business, an emergency deadline, which wouldn’t be an emergency if you had prepared for it. Spending more time on relevant items and being organized keeps you out of this quadrant.

Quadrant 2 – Important but not urgent

This is where you should usually be. Planning, improving, educating, realizing new opportunities when they are available. This helps you to stay disciplined and in control of your business, leading a balanced life with less stress.

Quadrant 3 – Not important but urgent

Spending a lot of time here means you have confused urgent things as important things. Focusing on short terms goals without the insight to spend your time looking ahead at the long range means you will be disorganized, confused and not really accomplishing anything. Constantly reading email, answering texts and calls on your cellphone are things that usually aren’t important but we treat them as urgent and waste a lot of time on them.

Quadrant 4 – Not urgent and not important

These are the things that waste your time. Time spent on the internet or your smartphone, not really doing anything but pretending you are working or involved in some important task when you are  just posting unimportant comments on Facebook or Twitter; watching tv when you could be doing something you actually enjoy.

The four quadrants of time management are only useful to you if you have set goals, know what’s important in your life, know where you want your business to be and will work with it, otherwise it is just another tool that you will not really make use of but intend to get around to at some future date.

Defining what is important to you, what has value and what represents the best way to spend your time is the best way to use the four quadrants. Becoming selective in your activities, who you spend time with and who you don’t spend time with, responding to your own needs instead of always committing to the needs of others, and more than all of that, taking a break, should all be items in your quadrants. It’s up to you which quadrant you feel best represents each of them.

© Chris Draper, DemGen Inc. 2014

image courtesy of czarto