Right now I'm reading through Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership book and it has so much information applicable to REAL LIFE that I think anyone could come away with ways to improve, not just leaders or entrepreneurs.
One of the time management chapters really made me stop and re-think everything. In it he talks about how all of our time is spent in one of four quadrants.
1. Important and Urgent
2. Important but Not Urgent
3. Not Important but Urgent
4. Not Important and Not Urgent
I'd heard this before, but he went into further detail by giving examples of each quadrant and what some of the items in each would look like.
Quad 1: Important and Urgent
This quadrant is all the obvious tasks that keep our home, job, work, and life running.
-going to work
Things that if we didn't do them, everything would chain react badly off of this. Obvious stuff.
Quad 2: Important but NOT Urgent
-taking a class
-building relationships (spouse, family, friends, neighbors)
-saving and budgeting money
-home and vehicle maintenance
If I don't take the time to work on something in this quadrant daily, eventually it will have an adverse effect on my life. If I don't exercise and eat right, eventually I'll either have to be in a doctor's care, or not be able to do things that I need to do or enjoy. If I don't set goals and work to achieve them, eventually I'll reach the end of my life and wonder what could have been. If I don't work on relationships and set aside a time for date night, eventually we'll end up in counseling or worse. ALL of these areas have a potentially life changing impact and this is where I need to spend most of my time, in quadrant 1 and 2. These are my plumb line for life.
Quadrant 3: NOT Important but Urgent
Another area that is NOT important but urgent that I continually fall into is when homeschooling and the boys ask me a question that they haven't taken the time to THINK about themselves. I'm working on teaching them, but in the meantime it's an area I need to be aware of.
Yet another area: Arguing or letting the boys badger me. Re-telling what I said because they asked me the same question AGAIN because they didn't like my answer. Or letting them get mad and argue. They need to learn No is No and that if they want to talk to me about my answer, I will be more than happy to LATER, when they have CALMED down. Arguing seems VERY urgent, but I have never once argued my way into getting the boys to see the reason for something.
The items in this quadrant need to be delegated or avoided. I delegate the phone calls with an answering machine. I need to be better at delegating my inbox by checking only at set times in the day (really need to work on this). I can delegate the homeschool interruptions by teaching my boys to read, re-read thoughtfully, ask themselves questions, and try to figure it out. I can avoid the arguments.
Quad 4: NOT Important and NOT Urgent
The items here are activities that I fall into and almost never set out to spend my time here. Plain and simple these items are wasting, not redeeming, my time.
Things here: TV, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc...
These things are passive, unproductive moments. Now I'm not advocating never ever doing these things again, but plan for them, don't fall into them... like I do, over and over and over and then wonder where those two (or more!) hours went.
Dave ends this section with a great quote:
Results are generated by activities.
If I manage my activities,
I get the results I want.