Q is for ‘Quadrants’

6:22:00 pm

Today’s letter for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge is ‘Q’ for my theme ‘A to Z of Effectiveness’. You can read more about my theme here. I’m also participating in the NaBloPoMo for April.

If you know even a little about me, you’ll know that my biggest problem in becoming effective is time management!! I’m terrible at it and often find myself feeling overwhelmed and stressed – even though I get the same number of hours as everyone else!

Stephen Covey says in his book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, that I can’t really manage time, I can only manage myself. That’s just as hard as managing time!! The basics to managing ourselves effectively through the day depend on two basic principles – discipline and prioritization, a good part of which is learning to say ‘No’.

To help manage our time with respect to personal management, Stephen Covey gives us the theory of quadrants in a Time Management Matrix. Here is how it looks:

While the picture is self explanatory, here is a little more information regarding each quadrant:

Quadrant I – These are usually crisis situations. People who live mostly on the edge find themselves here, always racing towards deadlines at the last minute, always stressed and producing sub par work.

Quadrant II – These are the actions that are done with forethought and in peace, that actually lead us towards our goals and are in line with our principles.

Quadrant III – This constitutes those little things that pop up everyday, those phone calls and others that eat away at our time, but aren’t exactly productive.

Quadrant IV – This is the stuff that is of very little value, speaking goal-wise. They are not crises nor do they achieve anything worthwhile. Most underachievers spend their time mostly in quadrants III and IV.

From these, it’s pretty obvious that for an effective and balanced life, you need to spend most of your day in Quadrant II. Such people are well prepared, stress free and balanced, and don’t get upset even when they need to spend time in Quadrant I. Looks like I need to make a time management matrix for my day’s activities!

Which quadrant do you spend most of your time in?

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  1. HI Fab! This post hooked me today. Being in a professional field which consumes most of the time one feels too much stressed and drained out. But then, at the end of the day, when you evaluate on how the day progressed, the question mark appears too stark on the face.

    Thanks for sharing this post which I would love to ponder on to see where I spend (which quadrant) my most of the time. Hope this would help us readers.

    1. Glad you liked the post, Ajay! I've heard that setting a time log is useful - got to try it out!


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