Are you making time for what matters?

urgent important matrix

It’s so easy to get caught up in the demands of the moment, and before we know it, our time has been filled with tasks that are urgent but nowhere near all that important, especially to our life goals.

Think about the things that you really want to do, the things that would enrich your life exponentially, but you don’t have the time for.

Dwight D. Eisenhower invented the famous Eisenhower principle, which Steven Covey re-introduced as the Urgent/Important Matrix that most people are now familiar with.

Basically, we spend a great deal of time on urgent tasks, not leaving time for the important tasks. But it’s the important tasks that will help us develop, help us grow, and contribute to our happiness.

If you’re not familiar with this principle and exercise, or maybe you are but haven’t applied it, give it a go now and see if it helps.

Take a sheet of paper and section it into four.

Label each section with these Headings:
1. Urgent and Important
2. Important but not Urgent
3. Urgent but not Important
4. Not Urgent, not Important

Urgent and Important. These are necessary and you want to manage these.
Important but not Urgent. This is for your personal quality and growth, things you want to focus on.
Urgent but not Important. These can be deceptive so be careful here.
Not Urgent and not Important. These are time wasters and to be used only if you have time to waste.

So, let’s look at these and see how they would work in your everyday life.

Urgent and Important examples
 Paying bills
 Doing the work that pays the bills
 Home maintenance
You’re going to make time for these to make sure they get done because doing them is important, and doing them in a time-sensitive manner is vital. Make time for this and manage this time.

Important but not Urgent examples
 Going to school or taking courses
 Exercise
 Spending quality time with loved ones
These are the things that are vital to your growth, to your happiness, to you. Focus on these and make time for these. Schedule them as necessary, and make sure you make the time for these things. This quadrant is the first thing that should be scheduled in your calendar (except after your job).

Urgent but not Important examples
 Committees and extracurricular activities (maybe!)
 Friend’s crises (if a frequent occurrence)
 Family crises (if a frequent occurrence)
Basically, anything that happens a lot, or impacts someone else but you. This is a tricky area and will take some thought on your part. But if the person that it impacts is not you, then it may be urgent for someone else, and not that important to you. Should you turn your back on someone in need? No, not at all! But you will need to be careful with this time, especially if it’s something that happens frequently with a particular person. Just watch this area. And make sure you have dedicated the time for the other two areas above first, and guard that time.

Not Urgent, not Important examples
 Excessive tv watching
 Excessive gaming
 Time spent on other people’s dreams
This area is the time you spend on things that have no impact nor real contribution to your life. Watching your favourite tv shows can be considered ‘down’ time, and I don’t mean cutting it out completely. The same with time you spend playing games. But if there are things you want to do with your life and you’re not doing them, but you ARE spending huge amounts of time in front of the screen, then reconsider how you’re spending your time. You’re not going to do those things you WANT to do, if you don’t actually make the time to do them.

There’s much you work you can put into working out these quadrants and even more work into making sure you’re scheduling the right time for them, but this gives you the basic idea of how the Urgent/Important Matrix works.

Give it a try and see what it does for you.

As always, I’d love to hear how you do with this! Comment below, or send me an email if you’d like a bit of guidance with this.

Feature photo courtesy of Unsplash/Gaelle Marcel

Do you want more time for what matters?

How often do you wish you had time to do something that you know would help your future self tremendously, but you just don’t have the time nor the energy for it?

Something that would advance your career, or perhaps enable you to change careers.

Something that would help you be in better shape, be stronger, and be healthier.

Something that would nourish your soul, and improve your emotional health.

We all have things we can do, and want to do, to improve these areas.

But we’re busy!  So damn busy all the time!

I hear you!  I struggle with this off and on. 

Continue reading “Do you want more time for what matters?”

New year, new YOU!!

With the holidays winding down and normal life just around the corner, this is the time to start thinking of all the new things you want to try, and it’s time to firm up your New Year’s Resolutions!

New Year, new you!!

But first, let me ask you…. if you’ve consistently made New Year’s Resolutions in the past, how successful were you at keeping them?

If you’re like most people, you stay on top of your goals for the first couple weeks, maybe even the first month, and then regular life settles back in and you let things slip a little – until they’ve slipped completely away.

Sound familiar?

I’ve been there, too many times!

So, before you declare your new Resolutions this New Year’s Day, read on for some tips to help set yourself up for success this time.

Continue reading “New year, new YOU!!”

How to have fun planning when you’re the creative type

When it comes to planning, do you balk at writing out lists? Personally, I love lists and I make them all the time, but I know there are people who will resist making them. It’s not their thing.

I get it, I really do.

There are also times when a list just isn’t going to cut it, or there are too many different lists needed for a single project that it becomes overwhelming, and who wants that?

So, for those of you who want to set a goal and know what steps to take, all without making a list or too many lists, this creative tool is for you. Continue reading “How to have fun planning when you’re the creative type”

How to prioritize the steps needed to reach your goal

How many times have you decided to do something and set yourself a goal, then got overwhelmed with the things you needed to do, not knowing what to do first, second, third, and so on…. then just gave up on the whole idea altogether?

If you’ve done that, then this is for you!

I’m going to show you a very simple, very easy-to-use tool to use every time you set a goal for yourself. Continue reading “How to prioritize the steps needed to reach your goal”

Making a plan that works

The first step to creating change is knowing what you want. Knowing exactly what you want. This is key…knowing exactly what you want. We get tied up in knowing what we don’t want, but that isn’t going to help create the change we seek.

It’s like this. If you decide to take a trip but haven’t picked a destination, then you’re wandering aimlessly. Without direction. And while you’ll end up somewhere, it may not be where you want to be!

The same applies to your life, your goals, your lifestyle…. your everything.

Without knowing what you’re working towards, moving towards, you’re going through life aimlessly. And that’s very likely resulting in an unfulfilling life. In your career, your relationships, your home, your social life, in you.

So, the first step – know what you want. Read here for more on how to do that.

Now that you know what you want, it’s time to Plan. How are you going to make it happen? Continue reading “Making a plan that works”