What comes to your mind when I say “4 Quadrants”?
Well, if you are a math geek like me, you see something like the image below in your mind’s eye.
What comes to your mind when I say “4 Quadrants of Time Management”?
While you are thinking about it, let me tell you a little about my life.
I am a mom.
I am a wife.
I am a daugther.
I am a teammate.
I am a dog owner.
I am a friend.
I am a reader.
I am a writer.
I am a carpool partner.
The list goes on…
You get the picture here….I wear many hats and juggle too many balls that I can’t drop. I bet it is the same with you and your life.
We ONLY have 24 hours.
Couple of decades ago, I noticed that some people were making more out of their 24 hours than others. So, I started reading books on time management….like a MANIAC.
I know what you are going to ask me – “Ambal, how would you summarize your learnings?”
Buy me coffee and I’ll give you my version of the summary.
But, until that day you and I get together for coffee, here are few of my observations:
Observation #1 Plutonium and diamonds are NOT the most valuable resources on this planet that you and I call home. I don’t give a rat’s a** about any of those precious things or resources that are commonly put in the precious pile. I urge you not to put crappy stuff in the precious pile too.
Do you know what is the most valuable resource that is ready for you to harvest any time and any place? Ready for it? TIME is the MOST valuable resources on this planet.
I wrote part of this post while waiting to get my latte at Starbucks, another part while waiting to pick up my son. Any place. Any time. You can harvest time. And, notice I wasn’t really waiting while waiting. I didn’t give the power to the barista or even my beloved son to take over my time. I still owned it.
Do you own your time at all times? Think about it.
Observation #2 There is only one chart that you need to know to manage your time. That is the “4 Quadrants of Time”. Read Covey’s Time Management Grid
Observation #3 I believe that success doesn’t happen on one dimension….it is along multiple dimensions.
- Are you growing spiritually?
- Are you growing as a person?
- Are you growing in your career?
- Are you growing on the family dimension?
- Are you growing on the adventure dimension?
- Are you growing on the health dimension?
- Are your growing other people around you?
- Are your growing trees and plants that will out live you?
The list goes on…..and it is based on what is important you and what YOU define as success.
The only want to grow along multiple dimensions is to ensure you invest time (the same 24 hours that you and I have.) wisely in each dimension that is important to you.There is no right or wrong answers. You do what is right for you.
It is important to me to bag peaks. I have a running list of mountains that I have climbed and will climb. It is not an easy task and one to fit into my hectic life. But, it is important to me to stand on mountain peaks and observe. It is important to me to go through that struggle (both physical and mental) of climbing. It is important to me to walk through the forests, the lakes, the tall trees and head toward the peak and immerse myself in the sheer beauty of nature. It is important to me to let myself be conquered by nature as I try to conquer a peak that I have set my eyes on for several years. It is important to me, that my children see (and, hopefully, remember long after I am gone) that I found time to do bag peaks….despite being a 5 foot lean and mean looking woman. So, I continue to do it, all the while trying to make progress on other dimensions too.
What dimensions are most meaningful to you? Think about it.
In my mother tongue Tamil there is a saying (by a lady poet who lived in 13th Century named Avvaiyar) that goes like this –
கற்றது கைமண் அளவு, கல்லாதது உலகளவு
“Katrathu Kai Mann Alavu, Kallathathu Ulagalavu”
Her quote has been translated as “What you have learned is a mere handful of sand; What you haven’t learned is the size of the world” and exhibited at NASA. It can also be translated as “Known is a drop, unknown is an Ocean“.
My learnings about time and my inherent gut level appreciation and understanding (thanks to my Eastern roots and upbringing) of how timeless time actually is …..all those learnings are indeed so miniscule. So, I will continue to learn about time and hone time management skills over a lifetime.
I hope you will do the same.
To Time! Cheers, my friend!
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