We have been told from a young age that time is the only non-renewable resource in our lives. Everything else once lost can be regained, but not time. This truth alone has led to various management paradigms such as Planning, Time Management, Delegation, Activity Management, Prioritization etc.
An interesting concept that combines the importance of all these paradigms is the ‘Activity Management Grid’. As per this, all our activities and tasks in the short term or long term can be classified into ‘Urgent’ or ‘Not Urgent’ from a time perspective; and ‘Important’ or ‘Not Important’, from a priority perspective. Combining the four, we get a 2×2 grid, with 4 quadrants as follows:
Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent
Quadrant 2: Not Important but Urgent
Quadrant 3: Not Urgent but Important
Quadrant 4: Neither Urgent nor Important
When we segregate our tasks into different quadrants, there is more clarity in what needs to be addressed first. So starting today, do the following:
Divide your tasks for the next 1 month into these 4 quadrants
Now examine which quadrant do most of your tasks fall into. If it is the first quadrant, then you need to plan better.
Next, examine if you are doing most of the things yourself. If so, you need to delegate those tasks that do not need your personal attention.
Next, focus more on scheduling time for your Quadrant 4 tasks – the Planning and Success quadrant and work on the same.
Set aside an exclusive time everyday to handle Quadrant 4 tasks. Avoid any kind of disturbance in this duration.
Once you make it a habit of doing this, you will become a ‘Master of your Time’ and you will see a vast reservoir of your potential that has not been tapped into before. No wonder, Swami Vivekananda remarked: “Talk to yourself once a day, if not you will miss meeting an excellent person”
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