Shifting our priority from urgent tasks to important tasks is not easy. It takes some planning and discipline. Today we talk about the tools available to manage not only our time, but more importantly ourselves. Check out the website for more content


As we discuss the importance of spending more time in box 2 on the items that are truly important to our personal and professional development it is important to discuss some ways to actually get there. Earlier in the week we discussed the transition that people make in time management. From checklists, to calendars, to eventually prioritizing and setting goals on a daily basis. Daily scheduling is useful, but it is also restrictive, sometime reactive, and can lead to burn out and more focus on the urgent than the important. The key is to shift to a 4th generation tool that helps us manage ourselves, not necessarily just our time. The goal is to be effective.

Whatever tool we use to help manage ourselves and in turn our time should meet 6 important criteria:

– Coherence

– Balance

– Focus

– A “People” Dimension

– Flexibility

– Portability

We are looking to shift away from prioritizing what is on our schedule and to instead schedule our priorities. We need to spend less time dealing with crises and more time dealing with important tasks. One of the key ways Stephen discusses doing that is to shift away from daily planning and use a weekly plan instead. Spend some time each week identifying your roles and what tasks are priorities to complete for each of those roles over the next 7 days. Once you have that you can begin to build out your weekly scheduled that covers all of those priorities at different times throughout the week. Reviewing this daily and adapting where necessary due to unforeseen circumstances will always happen, but the priorities of the week are still there and accounted for.

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