Mr. Covey explains here that there are urgent matters and important matters. The urgent matters are those things we perceive to be important because they are right in front of us; ringing phone, etc. However, important matters are the things that are in line with our life’s mission, principles and values.
Stephen then explains his time management matrix, which he breaks into four parts/quadrants.
- Quadrant 1: Urgent and important matters. The Crisis things that must be dealt with right away.
- Quadrant 2: Matters that are important but not urgent. This would include things like working with affirmation/mission statements, relationship building, and preventative maintenance and so on.
- Quadrant 3: That which is urgent and not important. These would be things like answering the phone to talk to someone, which is fun but not productive; not providing any useful insights for you in your world what so ever.
- Quadrant 4: That which is not important and not urgent. In short; Part 4 deals with that which is a complete waste of time.
Mr. Covey tells us that effective people spend some of their time in Part one of this matrix but the majority of it in part two. Why? Read on and you’ll see!