Women In Action, Inc.
…….. Continued from page three
Later, in his book entitled First Things First, Steven Covey introduced a concept
similar to the Eisenhower Model. Covey’s approach is widely used today, and is best
explained through a hands on demonstration using a container in which is first
placed gravel, then rocks, then sand, and finally water.
Similar to The Eisenhower Method, tasks are assigned a quadrant where they are
most appropriately executed. Covey has included a deeper analysis of how to
effectively distribute your time based upon the quadrants. For example, the
recommendation of many time management experts is to spend 45% of your time
attending to the tasks relegated to the upper left-hand box labeled
“Important/Urgent”. Additionally, 35 % of your time should be focused on the upper
right-hand box labeled “Important/Low Urgency”. What now remains is 20% of your
daily 1,440 minutes to be spent on the bottom quadrants. 15% should be spent
working on the lower left hand box, or the “Not Important/Urgent” items. The final
5% of your time could now be devoted to the remaining tasks, which have already
been recognized as neither important nor urgent. Eisenhower, always every bit the
general, grouped matters such as trivia, pleasant activities and time wasters into this
box, and followed with the ruling that these tasks be abandoned.
The next step after learning Time Management theory and understanding the
box approach, is to decide more specifically what tasks and occurrences are
comprising your day, and then placing those tasks into the appropriate quadrant.
In brief, the list below combines recommendations from several theories,
including Covey’s and Eisenhower’s:
GRAVEL—crises, deadlines, problems, some meetings
ROCKS—planning, thinking, relationship building, recreation
SAND—visitors, mail, telephone calls, meetings, interruptions
WATER—trivia, pleasant activities, “escape” activities, chat rooms