Maximizing educational potentialTime management is the prime management [Archives:2007/1023/Education]

February 8 2007

Anupma Tripathi
MBA, LLM, Sana'a
[email protected]

There are many common problems due to ineffective time management, especially for a student or an academician. Since a lot of people waste time, there must be a lot of problems in managing time. First of all, many people have little experience in organizing their lives because parents, teachers, bosses, friends have done it for them and they don't see the need for a schedule. Also they resent any barrier that interferes with their doing whatever they feel like doing at the moment.

In some cases, a new determination to schedule your time will get you going. In other cases, greater self – awareness (honestly looking at how you really spend your time) is needed. In still other cases, it seems to be almost impossible to become more controlled until we realize we are headed for failure, i.e, our life isn't working out as we had hoped. To avoid unimportant urgencies and to look at the concept of time in an innovative way we can make use of the Time Management Matrix. The time management matrix has four quadrants and every activity we do during the day can be put in one of the four quadrants:

Quadrant I: Urgent and important

This includes those items that represent true crises like your mother has a stroke and you need to bring her to the hospital, deadline driven projects and other such truly important and pressing items.

Quadrant II: Not urgent but important

This includes items that are truly important in our lives like preparation, relationship, relaxation, self renewal etc.These are the things we need to do to maintain our production abilities but unfortunately, since they are not urgent, we tend not to do them. Ignoring them often long enough tends to create highly urgent crises which then forces us back into quadrant 1 and gives us less time doing quality activities.

Quadrant III: Urgent but not important

This includes activities, which appear to be urgent but are really not that important. Examples include: needless interruptions, many phone calls (most phone calls are not that important), other people's minor issues.

Quadrant IV: Not urgent and not important

Here things such as excessive TV watching, phone addiction, excessive novel reading and similar activities are included. The activities here all have a valued place as once- in- a – while rewards, if not used excessively.

In summary, spending less time in quadrant III and IV will give us more time to spend in Quadrant II so that we can put first thing first, with the added benefit of dealing with fewer quadrant 1 crises. Urgent matters are usually visible; they insist on action, they are easy and fun to do whereas important matters contribute to our mission of life. Effective people stay out of Quadrants III and IV and Quadrant II is the heart of effective personal management. Hence learning new strategies, long-range planning, creativity and originality, researching and exchanging ideas with others, rethinking our major objectives and inventing new opportunities to prevent future problems arising out of these activities result in greater productivity and more benefit to everyone.

Managing time is the essence of a thoughtful life as it is said, “the person who concentrates entirely on sawing wood, is likely to forget to sharpen the saw.”