Short deadlines and a lot of tasks can lead to frustration, frustration can lead to stress, and stress to burn out. Luckily for all of us who want to do more, but don’t have a time machine or some cloning device, there are simple tools that can make our lives easier and boost our productivity.
We face countless challenges every day, even just by living in the fast-paced world of today, by being bombarded with all sorts of information (79% of smartphone owners will check it within 15 minutes from waking up), and if we have a lot of responsibilities at work, studies and private life as well, we can literally feel overwhelmed, frustrated and, on the long run – burnt out. You’re sure familiar with being lost in this sea of things to be done and places to go to and things to remember and… I know I’ve experienced it. Definitely more than once.
[tweetthis]79% smartphone owners check it within 15 mins from waking up – Learn to filter info and manage time[/tweetthis]
As someone who’s worked on a lot of different projects and jobs along with studies at both Belgrade University and a Cambridge Accredited Learning Centre, I’ve had to find ways to deal with tight schedules and multitasking. That’s how I was invited to speak at an event organized to motivate Serbian youth to take more active approach and do more in their daily lives, and the most important thing I shared on that meetup, besides motivating them, were tips and tricks to manage to fit everything important in 24 hours without feeling overwhelmed or missing on time for yourself, friends and family (or sleep! :p ).
Currently, I’m working on two startups as a co-founder, I work 90-180hours per month for my main client, I work on a smaller project for Argentinian startup at the same time, I’m translating a book from Norwegian to Serbian, taking part in starting up a digital agency focused on Scandinavia, reading two books, finnishing studies, starting this blog and coordinating starting an e-learning platform for organisation Education plus.
I also manage to get some rest, sleep, enjoy the happy relationship and not forget about my friends or family. And this is not working because I’m a superman, and I’m not writing this to tell you how cool I am, I want to use this opportunity an share some simple tools that you could master in 5 mins, but which can save you a lot of time and spare your nerves.
The Covey Time Management grid:
Is Everything Both Urgent and Important?
Stephen Covey was American businessman, educator and author, most recognized for his books 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and First things first. Steven Covey time management matrix is a really simple and useful tool that can help anyone set goals and priorities and organize their time more efficiently.
So, How Does the Covey Time Management Matrix work?
The Covey Time Management Matrix consists of 4 different fields:
- for important and urgent things (e.g. crises, project dead-lines, pressing problems)
- for important things that aren’t urgent (e.g. relationship building, planning, prevention)
- for unimportant things that are urgent (e.g. being late, useless meetings, phone calls, e-mails)
- for things neither important or urgent (e.g. time-wasters, some mails or social media, trivia)
What is the main problem in situations where we have a lot of things to do?
When we feel overwhelmed by many many different task, we rarely stop to thin rationally, and then we perceive every task in the same way, which can cost us a lot. Usually, we look at everything as both urgent and important, and then we hit the wall or burn out.
The ideal case is having all four kinds of task equally represented, and dealing with all in the same degree. If we only deal with the tasks that are unimportant and not urgent, we will loose time; if we only deal with tasks that are both urgent and important, we will work under a lot of pressure; if we only work on the tasks that are important, but not urgent, it will be hard for us to stay focused and be disciplined to finish it on time (and not end up having important, but not urgent tasks become both urgent and important since we have waited last minute to work on them).
That’s why it is important to put things in perspective, and the Covey Time Management Grid is a perfect tool for that!
[tweetthis]The Covey Time Management Grid is a perfect tool to organize yourself, learn how[/tweetthis]
How to use
the Covey Time Management Matrix
and organize time successfully in 3 steps
The Covey Time Management Matrix is something I use daily, and something my main client started using as well. I will explain shortly how I adjusted the Covey Time Management Matrix to suit my need best, and I hope it will be useful for you as well. And if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
Step 1: Preparation
You literally have everything you need to use the Covey Time Management Grid. You need to make a table with the 4 fields, add columns for 7 days under it, and on the right side leave space for projects or bigger things you do, that can be divided into smaller tasks (e.g. university or school, job, different clients, hobby, sprots…) I use Google Spreadsheet because that way I always have my plan one click away. As I promised, you can get free, already made Covey Time Management Grid with all the additional fields here, and save it on your computer or Google Drive.
Step 2: Putting Things Into Perspective
List all the duties and tasks under relevant projects/spheres on the right. You don’t need to think a lot, literally write them in one by one. When you’re done with writing the tasks, set them to the fields in the Covey Time Management Matrix they belong to. Be free to use different colors, bolds, italics etc. to mark them.
Step 3: Get Stuff Done
I like to use the day-columns under the Covey Time Management Grid to organize my task for the following week, and you can also use your calendars, planner, apps etc.
Adjust the Covey Time Management Grid to yourself, use different colors, notes, comments, bolds… and good luck! If this was is useful for you – share the article with others!
[tweetthis]Remember to put the things into perspective – Covey #TimeManagement Grid can help![/tweetthis]