Today we continue our discussion of time management by talking about priorities. Your friend left you a message and said they really need to talk to you, you have a paper due tomorrow and you would like to catch the latest episode of Glee…what is YOUR priority?
Managing your time effectively requires you to decide what is important and what is urgent. What is important is not always what is urgent. So how do you decide?
Have you heard of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective People? I hope so because I found his time managment matrix to be quite helpful and I want to share this approach of prioritizing with you.
Think about all the things you do each day, you can probably divide them into 4 quadrants. urgent, not urgent, important and not important. Some things will be urgent and important, others might be urgent but not important. Covey suggests that you spend less time on things that are not important even if they are urgent. He suggests that if you shift your focus to the important activities that you will gain control of your time and possibly reduce the number of important tasks that become urgent…like the paper you knew about 2 weeks ago but have not written yet.
The best way to do this is to make a to do list, it can be daily or weekly. Once you have written down every to do on your list from call your mom to study for an exam you should rank the activities based on their importance and urgency. This becomes your priority list, you can order it by number, group them based on high-medium-low importance…find a system that works for you. Your goal should not be to mark every item off of the list, but to mark off the items that are of high importance.
Once you know what your priorities are you can gain control of your time. When you have better time management you will find that you will not have to say ‘there is not enough time’.
check out this site for more information on the time management matrix, click here
tell us how you decide what is a priority in the comment section…