Every minute of every day you will fill with whatever you determine is necessary. The challenge is, does everything you determine to be necessary help you to move forward, stay where you are, or backtrack?
All of us wish we had more time, but we also know it is impossible to gain more time unless of course Doc Brown really does come through with the flux capacitor. Otherwise, time is the immovable boundary for every one of us. I have learned that the regulator between those do great things and those who live with regrets comes down to what they choose to spend their time doing.
Last week we looked at how to track our time, and for those of you who signed up for the Modern Inklings Community, you received a second tool for your time management, the Time Assessment Tool. If you still would like to receive the free Time Assessment Tool, you can still join the Modern Inklings Community and I will send it out to you. Part of what this tool uses is the Eisenhower Matrix, which we are going to look at today.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star General, Commander of the Allied Forces in WWII, and the 34th President of the United States was a master of time management, and he attributes it all to one tool he could write down on a napkin. This tool would come to be known as the Eisenhower Matrix. (I liked the Art of the Manliness version)
The Matrix is broken into four quadrants cross over urgency and importance. Things that are urgent and important fall into quadrant 1, while those things that are not important and not urgent fall into quadrant 4. So for instance, I can feed my two boys dinner so they will stop crying (quadrant 1) or I can play one more game of Topps Baseball on my phone (quadrant 4). Quadrants 2 and 3 falls in between and every task we have can be placed into one of these quadrants. What the matrix will allow you to do is determine things you need to focus on and what things you need to stop doing, an idea popularized by Jim Collins.
Our lives are far too important to spend them on frivolous things and waste the one commodity we can not replenish. By using the Matrix, you will be able to gain clarity and understanding on where your time is going and how you are spending it. Having that clarity may give you insight into why you are achieving your goals, or why you are stuck and can’t seem to gain any forward moving traction.
At some point or another, every one of my coaching and consulting clients want to tackle the issue of how they are spending their time. Some are really structured at using their time, others are all over the place and react to what is immediately in front of them. What I have learned is this…no matter how good we are at time management, every one of us gets too emotionally involved in how we spend our time that we are unable to recognize the changes we need to make.
As always, I am here to help you create a plan to get unstuck, to chase after your goals, to live your best life possible. If you would like for me to partner with you, please take advantage of a free session with me and let me be that other pair of eyes.