Stephen R. Covey, in his famous book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, presented the Eisenhower’s Time Management Matrix, which helps to manage time based on urgency and importance. As shown in figure, recommendation is to focus on quadrant 2 which deals with “Important, Not Urgent” category. This article addresses the challenges to follow this approach in an era of distractions and interruptions.
Table below shows the proposed steps to address how to focus on Important, not urgent Tasks
- Managing Attention: Time management is more about managing our attention and thereby deciding the priority. If we can focus on our planned task, it ensures a good progress. One should analyze reasons for diverting attention and can work accordingly.
- Managing Energy Level: Did you ever wonder how some people achieve their goals much faster and smarter though everyone is having only 24 hours per day? It is just not hard work, but efficient way of execution. It is an art of knowing our own energy level at different time phases of every day and channel difficult tasks to get executed utilizing maximum energy as available.
- Managing Distractions: In this modern era of advanced technologies, we must utilize technology as a positive source for getting our tasks done instead of getting impacted with its presence. We tend to react immediately to any notifications in phones, mails, or any social media. Practice to disable notifications when we plan to do a few critical tasks which need to be done without any distraction and this needs to be practiced in a step-by-step manner
- Having a Vision: It is important to have a vision for everyone regarding their life as well as their career. Accordingly, one must plan to get a bird’s eye view so that it will enable to focus on goals and prioritize the tasks to achieve their goal. This helps to focus and motivate without missing any goals.
This article attempts to address the challenges one facing to manage time in this era of continuous distractions and interruptions. It is critical to spend majority of the time on focus for Important, but not urgent category of tasks. During this phase, we need to understand the role of dealing with attention focus, energy level, avoiding distractions and to have a clear vision.