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A simple way to strategically optimize your busy agenda
May 03, 2016

Use your goals and this 4-quadrant model

The “Four quadrants of time” attributed to Stephen Covey is a simple yet extremely useful model to manage your time strategically.

In case you are not familiar with this model – this model has only two variables:

On the “X” axis you have the “urgent” – and on your “Y” axis you have the “important” – giving you four quadrants …

Quadrant 1: Important and urgent, For example: pressing problems, deadline-driven projects, crisis management, etc.

Quadrant 2: Important and non-urgent. For example: planning, preventing, long-term goals, new opportunities, relationship building, your health, etc.

Quadrant 3: Non-important and urgent. For example: interruptions, some meetings, some email, etc.

Quadrant 4: Non-important and non-urgent. For example: time wasters, junk email, useless chitchat, etc.

According to this model – you utilize your time in the most strategic way when you spend most of your time in Q2: Important and Non-Urgent.

Do you see why?

What is important to you? Whatever it is – this model helps you to consciously spend more time doing exactly that.

When you spend most of your time in Q4 you are then able to reach your goals.

Now, let’s make this model real – and let’s do an exercise that is useful for both your professional life and your personal life:

Go ahead – try it – and place all the things you have to do inside these four quadrants.

In Q1 you place the important and urgent things you have to do.

In Q2 you place the important non-urgent things you have to do.

In Q3 you place the urgent non-important things you have to do.

And in Q4 you place the non-important and non-urgent things you have to do.

IF after doing this exercise you realize that you are spending too much time in Q1, Q3 and Q4 – you are not alone – welcome to the club.

Here are four things you can start doing today – in order to help you start spending more and more time in Q2:

First: Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals.

Second: Once you have set your goals, write them down and place them on a wall where you can see them daily – and then share them with the relevant / meaningful people in your life – to create accountability.

Third: Based on these goals, define priorities on your calendar – and be disciplined in following up on them.

Fourth: Learn to say “no” in an assertive manner by providing options.

Simple – isn’t it?

Not easy – but simple.



Time is NOT a resource – but rather – it is a limitation.

Use this four-quadrant model in conjunction with your goals in order to help you strategically optimize the use of your time.

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See you next month!
Joseluis Romero - Publisher
May 3, 2016. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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