Let us now look at one of the basic concepts related to self-management in time and planning, the so-called eisenhower matrix. The eisenhower matrix is a way of thinking, looking at and prioritizing tasks. Eisenhower suggests such an approach: at the top we have matters that are important and urgent, and important and not urgent. Below we’ve got matters that are unimportant. On the left there are matters that are invalid but urgent, while on the right there are matters that are invalid and not urgent. What is the difference between an important and urgent task? An important task is crucial. It is a „heavyweight player”. Urgent, however, demands attention from us. It demands to be taken care of, but it’s not necessarily important. It can happen that the task is both important and urgent. Tasks from the first quarter are various types of crisis events, expired matters, urgent things, various negligence. These are things that simply need to be done. Other types of tasks are tasks that are important but urgent. For example; planning, searching for solutions and possibilities, building relationships, recreation and rest, organizing office documents. These are matters that are important, but the world will not collapse if we do not do them.
Let’s look at planning, for example. If you don’t plan, somehow the day will go by, weeks will go by, you will act in some way, you will do something. If you do not look for solutions and opportunities, you will not think strategically, so the world will not collapse. As Peter Drucker, one of the authorities in the field of management, said, – strategic thinking is needed by the owner, manager, a person managing or running his own business, but not only by them. Everyone can really plan their lives strategically. Finding solutions and possibilities as well as making decisions takes time and reflection. Note, however, that this is not urgent, but it is important. Similarly with relationship building. If we do not care for a given relationship, after some time it may turn out that it is simply too late to rebuild the relationship. If you don’t rest, the world will not collapse … until some time. If you do not spend time on entertainment or recreation, then the world will not collapse, but probably only until some time in the future. It may turn out that at some point your body will protest and will demand from you that you simply start paying more attention and care. It may demand that you rest more. So notice that this is the second quarter – important and not urgent matters. These are things that should be planned because if we don’t plan them, there is a risk that we won’t do them at all. And for this we can pay a high price sooner or later. So, you plan and enter tasks from this quarter into your calendar. You set a specific place and time when this task will be carried out.
Tasks from the third quarter are not important but urgent. Insignificant urgent matters, some meetings, some telephones, bills to be paid, these are matters that demand our attention, but they are often not important. What should you do with them? They should be delegated. The principle of posting is very simple. We delegate everything we can. Actually, you should do only what only you can do. The principle is very simple here especially for managers who should achieve their goals through teamwork. Posting may mean that you ask someone to do something for you, or simply, if you have such authority, you will delegate a task to someone. Depending on the level of competence of the person you are delegating to, sometimes, you will have to spend more or less time on this activity. Things from the third quarter that are unimportant and urgent, can become both important and urgent for someone else. So tasks from the third quarter should be delegated. The fourth quarter is both unimportant and non-urgent. Time thieves, some emails, some pleasures. As a general rule, we should eliminate these things whenever possible, especially during work. We should discipline ourselves to „get back to work”. Keep telling yourself: „get back to work”, „get back to work”. The best question about personal efficiency is the question „is what I am doing now what I should be doing?” I will say again: „is what I am doing now what I should be doing?” Often, after workshops I run in companies, participants prepare cards with this question. Later, they hang these cards somewhere around the desk in a visible place and read during the workday. „Is what I am doing now something I should be doing?” You should discipline yourself to get back to work, deal with those matters that have the highest priority for you at the moment. Matters that are the most profitable tasks. The most cost-effective tasks are those that require some effort, which can be uncomfortable that can cause discomfort that we may want to move away from. This is called procrastination. Procrastination is to postpone matters. Why are we doing this? Because it is so-called „Frog” as Brian Tracy says. We don’t like it. It arouses our revulsion, it is an ugly hideous frog who jumps on our desk, looks at us and laughs at us. As a rule, this frog represents one of the most important tasks that you will probably delay. However, when it comes to „eating frogs” this is the task from which you should start your workday. We’ll tell you more about this in the next part of this course. See you soon!