Once again we are skipping the technical part of Technical Tuesday to continue our deep dive into The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we jump right into the importance of not managing our time, but managing ourselves. Rather than focusing on time or things, we want to focus on results! Remember, the goal isn’t to be busy, it is to be effective! Check out the website for more content www.bcbousa.com
As we move through our lives, we have what Stephen Covey calls “waves” of time management. The first wave includes using stickie notes, checklists, etc. The second wave includes calendars, starting to plan ahead, using appointment books, etc. The third wave is where most of us are now. We prioritize tasks, focus on being efficient, set short and long term goals. The problem is some people start feel so restricted and burnt out by the over scheduling that they revert back to the first and second wave and give up all together on time management.
The key is to move into the fourth wave. The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. Rather than focus on time and things, we need to focus on results. We need to focus on being effective. Our activities can be broken out into essentially 4 boxes:
1. Urgent and Important – Crises and pressing problems
2. Not Urgent and Important – Prevention, Opportunities, Planning, etc. This is where we want to spend as much time as possible.
3. Urgent and Not Important – Important to someone, but shouldn’t be important to you. Some emails/calls, unnecessary meeting, etc.
4. Not Urgent and Not Important – Time wasters – not getting anything done, and not moving you towards any goals (short or long term)
Things are always going to pop up in box 1. There will always be things that are urgent and important in our lives. The key is to try and shrink the box down to something that is manageable. Some people spend almost their entire lives in box 1. Constantly dealing with problem after problem and using box 4 as an escape when they can. The key is identify the things that are truly important (see Habit 2) and be proactive to make them a priority in your life. Urgent things are going to come up, but you need to proactively work on important things. More on this in future episodes.
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