Habit 3, Put First Things First, Principles Of Personal Management, Four Generations Of Time Management

Personal comments:

Most of us have had training on some form of time management, and in this section of the book, Covey discusses the first three; notes and checklists, calendars and appointments, and prioritization/clarifying values. Then he introduces his time management principle of Quadrant II (activities that aren’t urgent). This will be the focus of today’s post.

Author’s quotes:

“In Habit 3 we are dealing with many of the questions addressed in the field of life and time management. As a longtime student of this fascinating field, I am personally persuaded that the essence of the best thinking in the are of time management can be captured in a single phrase: ORANIZE AND EXECUTE AROUND PRIORITTIES.

While the third generation has made a significant contribution, people have begun to realize that ‘efficient’ scheduling an control of time are often counterproductive. The efficiency focus creates expectations that clash with the opportunity to develop rich relationships, to meet human needs, and to enjoy spontaneous moments on a daily basis.

As a result, many people have become turned off by time management programs and planners that make them feel too scheduled too restricted, and they ‘throw the baby out with the bath water,’ reverting to first or second generation techniques to preserve relationships, spontaneity, and quality of life.

Butt there is an emerging fourth generation that is different in kind. It recognizes that ‘time management’ is really a misnomer—the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. Satisfaction is a function of expectation as well as realization. And expectation (and satisfaction) lie in our Circle of Influence.

Rather than focusing on THINGS and TIME, fourth generation expectations focus on preserving and enhancing RELATIONSHIPS and on accomplishing RESULTS—in short, on maintaining the P (production)/PC (production capability) Balance (explained in February 26, 2014 post).

Personal comments:

On the next post Covey’s discussion will focus on the four quadrants; Quadrant I–Urgent, and Important; Quadrant II—Not Urgent, and Important (this being the correct place to be); Quadrant III—Not Important, and Urgent; Quadrant IV—Not Urgent, and Not Important. A preview:

Quadrant I (Urgent, and Important): Activities associated with Quadrant I include Crises, Pressing problems, Deadline-driven projects

Quadrant II (Not Urgent, and Important): Activities associated with Quadrant II include Prevention, PC (Production Capability) activities, Relationship building, Recognizing new opportunities, Planning, recreation

Quadrant III (Urgent, and Not Important): Activities associated with Quadrant III include Interruptions, some calls, Some mail, some reports, Some meetings, Proximate, pressing matters, Popular activities

Quadrant IV (Not Urgent, and Not Important): Activities associated with Quadrant IV include Trivia, busy work, Some mail, Some phone calls, Time wasters, Pleasant activities

Next: Habit 3
Put First Things First,
Principles Of Personal Management
Quadrant II

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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