Time management is of great essence amid high pressures emanating from running day to day activities. However, relatively many people find it difficult to effectively manage the seemingly limited time amid significantly many commitments requiring attention simultaneously. As such, there have been efforts to put together strategies to provide guidance on how to effectively manage time such as the time management matrix advanced by Stephen Covey. The time management matrix is a composition of four quadrants seeking to provide guidance on how to effectively prioritize the overlapping commitments. As such, the time management matrix may arguably be considered an effective time management resource thereby invoking the importance of its analysis.
The first quadrant comprises of urgent and important items such as a crying baby and some calls. This implies that items in the first quadrant require immediate attention and cannot be postponed. The second quadrant is a composition of not urgent but important items such as exercise and vacation. Items in the second quadrant may be regarded long term due to their lack of urgency but should not be neglected. According to Covey, items in the second quadrant are somewhat neglected, perhaps, because they are not urgent. Nonetheless, it important to note that efficacy is achieved by working both strategically and tactically and items in quadrant two ensure this. For example, exercising is not urgent but it is an important aspect of healthy living.
The third quadrant entails items that are urgent but may be regarded as not important such as other calls. This implies that quadrant three items could be eliminated but people feel the need to hold on to them. As such, these items consume the largest portion of people’s time thereby corrupting effective time management. Finally, the fourth quadrant is a composition of items that are neither important nor urgent such as trivia. Quadrant four items are generally those that people take as breaks from important activities hence they can be considered to add relatively little value. Therefore, quadrant four items may be eliminated in an effort to avoid wasting time.
The time management matrix arguably provides a proper strategy of managing time effectively hence can be useful tool in leadership. After analyzing and comprehending the application of time management matrix, leaders should take time to categorize their different commitments into respective quadrants. Additionally, after categorizing commitments, calculations of percentage of time spent in each quadrant should be calculated. The calculations allow leaders to evaluate their time management levels and with the result adjustments can be made accordingly. For example, an emergency at work can be categorized as both urgent and important for leaders. Additionally, a meeting with a long time frame fits in quadrant two since it is not urgent but it is important. This implies that the time management matrix may serve as an important tool for leadership especially in relation to creative time conscious schedules.
Time management is an essential aspect of everyday life prompting the need to come up with appropriate strategies to effectively manage it. The time management matrix one such tool that plays a huge role in ensuring appropriate time allocations to various overlapping commitments. The four quadrants of the time management matrix offer guidance on how to properly divide commitments while simultaneously being time conscious. This makes the time management matrix an important resource for leaders and everyone else seeking to effectively manage time.
Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon & Schuster Sound Ideas, 1989. Sound recording. Print.