Ever find yourself wondering where the day went? Based on the time management matrix of Stephen Covey, there are topics that are Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, or Not Important. Urgent activities are ones that demand immediate attention and are often associated with someone else’s goals. Important activities are correlated with the achievement of your own goals, both personal and professional. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time in the “Urgent, Important” category.
CALL MORE OFTEN
Spend more time on calls, not emails. Research shows that people tend to spend 50% of their time in the “Urgent but Not Important” category. This includes emails, unprepared meetings, and interruptions. While we spend a lot of time sending emails back and forth, the best and most efficient way to get a response is to make a direct call. In sales, email isn’t always where the money is. It is important to recognize that the best value of your time lies in an in-person conversation or a phone call, where you can get immediate responses. These “urgent and important” tasks typically make up 15% of a person’s day, but ideally should be a majority of your time.
PLANNING IS IMPORTANT
Planning ahead usually makes up 5-15% of a person’s daily activities, and is included in the “Important, but Non-Urgent” category. Planning can include preparation for meetings, phone calls, or just gaining overall professional knowledge. By focusing on this task, you will shift away from spending a majority of your time in the not important category.
While this seems like a relatively easy task, studies show that people spend about 20% of their time managing these distractions. These unproductive activities and time wasters can be better spent planning ahead or focusing on a task. Remember, say “no” to these activities- they can usually be ignored or cancelled altogether!
Comment below if you have any successful time management stories!
This article referenced the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
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