Productivity

The 4 Quadrants of Time Management

Dr. Stephen Covey explains in his writing that all of our time is spent in one of four quadrants, things that are:

I. Important and urgent
II. Important but not urgent
III. Not important but urgent
IV. Not important and not urgent

Quadrant I items are easy

Think about it for a second. If you realize that something is important and urgent, you’re probably going to do it. Right?

Most of us who are leaders have the ability to recognize and do the things that are important and urgent. These are the things that we simply must do to stay in business.

Quadrant IV items are almost as easy

We understand that those items that are not important and urgent are a waste of our time. If you are reading this, I’m going to assume that you already understand this. An example of a quadrant IV item is watching TV, especially when done in excess. The same goes for checking your personal Facebook and Twitter while you are supposed to be working as these both waste your time. These activities often catch us by surprise in that we don’t realize how quickly time can be wasted doing these activities.

Quadrant III has the “not important but urgent” items

Think about some not important but urgent items. If you constantly leave your e-mail open during the day, you are probably bombarded with these not important but urgent emails on a daily basis. If something was truly important and urgent, someone would call to tell you, right?

For me I personally hate wasting time on email and have an auto-reply set up letting people know that I only check my email once a day or once every day thanks to tips from The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. If something is truly important, people will call me or come see me. The majority of emails are not important, but appear to be urgent. My time is too valuable to spend all day replying to emails.

Try this in your office…

Ask yourself what you or some of your team members spend time on that is really not taking you to your goals.

Activities like this will help you figure out what’s truly important in your business.

Quadrant II is the most important use of your time.

The things that fall under this category directly impact the quality of life that you have. Such things that fall under this category are exercise, strategic planning, goal setting, reading nonfiction leadership/business books, taking a class, relationship building, having a social life, etc.

family time

We can all agree that these are important things in our life, but are they urgent? These are some of the things that help us rejuvenate and refresh our minds and help us improve. The problem is that we often ignore these things because they aren’t urgent, and we tend to avoid them the most.

Image: pat138241 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you don’t exercise and eat right (you’re too busy) you will have the opportunity to exercise and eat right when your health fails you and you suddenly can’t work on your precious business anymore. These not-so-urgent activities, when left undone, have the potential to become a huge cost to you. This is why it’s important to budget time to do only quadrant I and II avtivities, while avoiding quadrant IV activities as much as possible.

Oh yeah, you need to start delegating the things in quadrant III.

The concept of the 4 Quadrants of Time Management was from the book First Things First. Another must-read book by Stephen Covey is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Do you have any other questions about the 4 Quadrants?

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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Why Does My Team Think This Way?

I came across an article today that was titled: Don’t Like All Your Employees? 

This article was all about how different brain attributes that your employees have cause your team to think differently. This is great for you as a business owner because you’ll have all types of ideas coming in from all over the spectrum, but it can also be frustrating.

It’s important to learn how to pair up people with differing views to find a creative balance.

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a team leader, you have noticed that certain people have certain qualities about them and stick to these qualities because they are part of their core values. These are the ways that these people learn and will continue to learn.

This is the way that their brains are wired and it’s in your best interest to focus on this as one of their strengths and play to that.

The author in this article assigns a specific topic and divides groups up into pre-determined groups based on analytical, structural, social, and conceptual thinking individuals.

She places team members with others who share similar “thinking” attributes. She proceeds to hand out large pads of paper and colored markers and asks the groups to take notes, telling the teams they can go wherever they want to work, but they must return in 15 minutes.

Here is an excerpt taken from the article, Don’t Like All Your Employees?

“Generally, the structural team makes a numbered list in black ink, aligned on the page, in perfect teacher-printed handwriting. The analytical team creates a bulleted list of comments in blue ink, also printed. The social team makes a list using bright colors, possibly with illustrations and hearts. The conceptual team’s page will be covered with different colors of ink, ideas in balloons, pictures, and an attempt at some notes that will need to be explained.”

Does that sound familiar?

What Happened Here?

After doing this experiment, you will notice that the greatest difference is between the groups that think structurally and the group that thinks conceptually. This is also evident between the analytical and social teams.

Why is this?

There is a different in the way each of these people think. They learn differently and therefore think differently than others around them. As a team leader, you need to be able to recognize this and try to fill your team with a good combination of all the different types of thinkers.

Structural Brain Thinkers

Your team members who think structurally will not understand the conceptual list because it isn’t structured in a way that makes sense to them. These thinkers need to see some kind of set structure in order for their brain to kick in and comprehend what’s in front of them. If they see a mind map with pictures all over and no true structure, they will have a hard time understanding it.

Conceptual Brain Thinkers

Those individuals with conceptual brains will not like the structural list because it appears to be so dull, with no images. People who think conceptually think in pictures and need these to trigger the connections in their brains

Analytical Brain Thinkers

Those individuals who think analytically can often be viewed of as being cold and uncaring. These people are quiet by nature, yet understand exactly how and why the numbers work. You often need to get them to speak out by calling them out to answer because by their nature these individuals aren’t likely to burst into the conversation and share what they have.

Social Brain Thinkers

Social thinkers are very emotional and you might not have any idea why these people get upset until you ask them. These individuals deeply care about their customers and want the best for their customer. They want to find a way to over-deliver and provide exceptional value. The social thinkers often feel like the analytical thinkers are heartless because all their brain wants them to focus on is the numbers.

How do you make it work in the workplace?

As a team leader or co-worker, you need to understand how and why each of the people on your team work.

You need to understand the way that their brain is structured and how you can work with them to play to their strengths. Not everyone thinks alike and that is great for growing your company. If you had everyone thinking one way, you would not grow.

There is no way to think exactly like all of your employees, but you do need to recognize that the contributions they make are the reason your company is working. By learning about why people think the way they do, you have a better chance of understanding them and understanding how you can put them in a position to work at their peak.

This is just a start into understanding why people think the way that they do. If you want to learn more about this, you can check out the books The Brainsmart Leader and Grass Roots Leaders both by Tony Buzan.

You can also contact us directly for help in teaching your team leaders how to recognize and capitalize on your teams strengths in this way to increase profits.

 

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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How To Use Mind Maps to Write books, articles and technical documents

Watch the video below to see how you can use mind maps to write books, articles and technical documents:

Taking the time to mind map your plans is a simple way to organize your thoughts. The majority of the time when we start the brainstorming process, all sorts of ideas come out of our head. These ideas aren’t always related and our brains often throw out thoughts that sometimes seem irrelevant. The benefits of mind mapping are that we can draw out the idea or jot down a note about the new thought. It’s possible that later on in the writing process when you are putting the plan together, you will trigger your mind with one of those seemingly irrelevant thoughts.

The benefit of using mind maps is that you can organize your thoughts in an easy way. In fact, you can put your ideas anywhere that you want on the piece of paper and then later take the time to connect them. This works great for me because I tend to jump from idea to idea a lot.

You can then create another mind map to organize these different ideas and chunk like ideas together. After this, all you need to do is put a structure to your thoughts and come up with a proper sequence of events to make your book, article or document come together!

 

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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The Social Media Trap: How to Avoid It

In this video, I speak about the Social Media Trap and how it is killing your productivity. I also give you tips on how you can avoid the trap and the simplest technique I’ve found to getting more work done.

Social Media is a huge factor in today’s business world and I’m a huge fan of it. I’m not a huge fan of productivity killers though and I believe that social media can be one of the biggest time-sinks for internet Entrepreneurs.

 


 

Image from @fondalo

What other tips/tricks do you have to avoid the Social Media Trap?

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Do WhiteBoards Limit Your Creativity? Introducing IdeaPaint

If you are an Entrepreneur or a Business Owner and you tend to get creative ideas and want to run with these ideas, you probably don’t always paint within the lines or believe in being restricted.

I have been really impressed with what the guys at IdeaPaint have done and love how they took a simple concept, the whiteboard, and turned it into an out of the box business.

Instead of restricting the size of your whiteboard, why not make it possible to turn a whole wall into a whiteboard?

My buddy Jason Sadler of IWearYourShirt.com has done an excellent review of the IdeaPaint product so I thought I’d let him show you more about IdeaPaint.

If you have kids who want to draw on the walls, this could be an option for you to let their creativity run wild. If you are a business owner, this could be a wise investment for you because you won’t have a limit to a sheet of paper or small whiteboard when mind mapping your idea or drawing out your thoughts.

If you think IdeaPaint would be a useful investment for you,
click here to learn more about IdeaPaint.

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook