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Control Your Time
 

Finding the Time – The Time Management Matrix

Time is the fourth piece of life’s puzzle.  If used wisely it can make progress possible in the other three:  reducing chronic stress and closing the personal fulfillment gap, achieving your personal vision, and living in and enjoying the present.  On the other hand, failure to get control of your time can lead to increased stress and anxiety, a missed sense of purpose, and increased feelings of inadequacy.

One of the most useful and popular ways to prioritize time is to use the Eisenhower Method, a four-quadrant framework developed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the  1950s.  It’s a time management matrix since popularized by Steven Covey in his book, “First Things First”. It forces us to distinguish between the urgent and the truly important tasks set before us.

 
Figure 15
 

Both of the “Urgent” quadrants on the left involve forces that “act on us,” and both of the “Not Urgent” quadrants are things “we act on,” or personally initiate. Quadrant 2 activities are very important things, but since they don’t appear to be urgent, or aren’t imposed on us by others, we just don’t work on them. We tend to do the focused and urgent activities in Quadrants 1 and 3, then the escapist time-wasters in Quadrant 4. Quadrant 2 often falls by the wayside until its contents, at last, become “urgent.”

Your life planning process work finishes on the subject of time, because time is the most valuable and precious resource each of us has.  And proper time use is critical to achieving the personal transformation goals you’ve identified.  Getting control of your life and your mind requires you to get in charge of your daily schedule, to be the master of your time, rather than a slave to it.  To truly transform stress into strength, you need to sense that you are running your life, rather than life, or external forces running you.

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