Wednesday, September 23, 2009

9a - The 4 Quadrants

Quadrant 1 - The Procrastinator

Quadrant 1 represents urgent and important tasks. Some circumstances need immediate attention. There is nothing wrong to take care of an important need that just come up. What is unhealthy is to become addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes with doing everything the last minute. What is wrong with putting things off till the last minute? How do I know if I am a procratinator?

  • Do I cram for tests the night before a test?

  • Do I write papers the day before they are due and hardly have time to proof read them before turning them in to the teacher?

  • Am I late frequently?

  • I am not good at planning and organizing.

  • I am frequently preoccupied with one thing while I am doing something else.

  • I seem to rush between place and events.

  • I rarely have time (or save time) for myself.

  • I frequently wish that I had thought about things and acted sooner. Often I am just too late.

If the list above characterizes you, a procrastinator you may be.

Quadrant 3 - The Yes-Man

Quadrant 3 represents activities that are urgent but not important. People in this quadrant typically try to please others and have a hard time saying no. If you spend too much time in quadrant 3, you may get a reputation as a "pleaser." lack discipline, and feel like a dormat for others to wip their feet on.

The Yes-Man needs to prioritize their activities. Make a list of your activities with highest priorities first on the left side of the paper. On the right side of the paper, write down next the one of the high priorities what you will need to turn down, say no to, in order to fulfill a higher priority. By planning ahead, you can recognize the lower priority activity and say NO.

Quadrant 2: The Prioritizer
This quadrant is made up of activities like relaxation, building friendships, exercising, planning ahead, and doing homework. It is the quadrant of excellence - the place to be. Here you can plan, anticipate activities that will get you to your destination, avert activities and situations that will waste your time, recognize new opportunities and reduce time in the other quadrants.
The key is planning.
It is about putting FIRST THINGS FIRST.
It is learning to prioritize and manage your time so that your first things come first, not last. You may have good intentions, put actually doing them -putting them first -is the hard part. It means learning to overcome your fears and being strong during hard moments. Habit 3 is about will power (the strength to say yeas to your most important things) and won't power (the strength to say no to less important things and to peer pressure).
Write a list of all the tasks you do in a week: attening school, chores, sports, homework, hygiene, eating, going to appointments, sleeping, leisure activities, family time, time with friends, studying, traveling, working, time on computer, time playing video games, hobbies etc. Next to the tasks, write how many hours you spend doing these things a week.
Are you spending the time you need on the important tasks? What activities are keeping you from doing the important things? What can you adjust?
Get a planner or calendar and write down the important things you need to do this week. Spend 10 or 15 miniutes a day planning and evaluating if you were able to accomplish what you set out to do that day.

Quadrant 4: The Slacker
This is the trivial stuff, the busy work that does not need to be done. This includes opening all your junk email to see if they are from someone you know, staring at the TV or video games like a zombie. Time wasters. Stay out of this quadrant as much as possible. It will get you literally nowhere.

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