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Putting First Things First

Posted 4 years ago in BUSINESS PLANNING

One of the biggest challenges in business is finding enough time to work on what is most important.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done let alone find time to have some relaxation in the evenings or weekends.


Here’s a great model based on one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of highly Effective People; First Things First.

Using the model, all activities can be categorised in terms of the degree of importance and the degree of urgency.  The problem that most of us have is that in our day to day work we seem to be faced with an endless stream of things that are both urgent and important – Crises.


The goal is to use the model to identify how we can find more time to work in Quadrant 2 – the Quadrant of Quality.  Things like working on our business; planning, training, empowering our team and effectively building a better business.


Here are some ways to free up time to work in Quadrant 2:

  1. Ruthlessly eliminate time spent in the quadrant of waste – excessive time on social media and email, too much TV and time-wasting clients.
  2. Critically assess whether the tasks you are doing in Quadrant 1 could be delegated to someone else – even if this takes time to delegate, you will free up your time longer term.  Often you can delegate to people outside your business on a contract basis.
  3. Eliminate time that is really Quadrant 3 time – it seems urgent and important but it’s not – things like meetings without a purpose or agenda, interruptions and many phone calls.
  4. Engage a business coach to hold you accountable for Quadrant 2 activity – this ensures it gets done on a regular and timely basis.  The more time you spend in Quadrant 2, the better your business will be and the less you’ll be in Quadrant 1.

So, what are you going to do this week to make more time for Quadrant 2?


Either run the day or the day runs you – Jim Rohn


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