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Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Importance of Time Management

Lately, the issue of time management has come up a lot so I thought I'd write a little blurb about how to effectively manage one's time to maximize efficiency. It's a constant challenge considering the unrealistic demands that society and the world places on us, but that's life, so get over it and get up on it!

Personally -- since I'm so anal and make lists for everything (Hitlists are my favorite, btw) -- I think the following Time-Management Matrix is the best framework to use for understanding and categorizing all the things you have to do, thus prioritizing them.

All your activities and 'To dos' are classified based on their Urgency or Importance...

I use this matrix all the time for all the random shit I have to do at work -- juggling internal and external projects with various deliverables and timelines is maddening. At least placing everything in a quadrant gives you the peace of mind that you've dealt with the important things first and if you didn't get to anything other than that, then you're not in too bad shape.

Now, the activities listed in the matrix above are primarily written for work-related tasks, but you can apply the same 'Important vs. Urgent' concept to everything in your life that you need to do.
  • Quadrant I, the quadrant of Necessity, are all the things you need to manage and that need to be done that day (or within a short timeframe). These are things like, ya know, going to the doctor for an RU-486 pill after you've just been gang-banged in an alley.
  • Quadrant II, the quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership, are things that you need to focus on, because these are the long-term activities that will provide the largest payback in the future. This would include filling out grad school applications (assuming the deadline isn't tomorrow!) or setting up automatic contributions to your 401(k).
  • Quadrants III and IV, the quadrants of Deception and Waste, respectively, are all items that aren't important and should be avoided either by recognizing and eliminating them before they occur or by deferring them to someone else to address. If you have limited time, you shouldn't bother yourself with these things. Honestly, I don't think anything should be in the Not Urgent / Not Important quadrant, because if it's neither, then what's the point? But it could be something like re-lacing your shoes or deciding which shoes go with your polka dot shirt (hint: the answer lies not in the shoes, but in throwing out the polka dot shirt!).
So I hope this was somewhat helpful in giving you a better way to manage your time. Now, if it took you more than 15 minutes to read this, learn it, and figure out how to apply it to your life, then you're working inefficiently and should down some speed and try again!


  • Heavy! Got a simpler version for blondes?

    By Blogger Filthy, at 7/15/2006 6:30 PM  

  • Haha, yeah, "Get shit done!!" or "Multi-task!" If you're a hooker, get tag-teamed. You'll make twice as much money in the same amount of time. THAT's efficiency and good time-management :)

    By Blogger gothamwhore, at 7/15/2006 9:49 PM  

  • You should be a pimp! I can see you maximizing efficiency with every ho - 'hell naw, she aint bizzy, she's got at least three more holes that aint filled yet - line up fellas' - 'oh, her, she's loose, real loose - lets form two lines in front and back'

    By Blogger Filthy, at 7/15/2006 10:50 PM  

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