October 5, 2016
Yesterday we introduced you to the Stephen Covey Time Matrix, a way to help you prioritize tasks that are most important to you and your farm business. Today we’ll talk about how to best make this system work for you.
It is easy to procrastinate and not deal with tasks in Quadrant 2, yet they hold the key to your future success.
Each day put all of your 'to dos' in one of the quadrants. Over time you will most likely see a trend. It is very common to see a large number of items in #1 and #3. If you do, is it any wonder why you feel stressed out? Most of your tasks are considered urgent even if they are not all that important.
Piece together what's most important to accomplish for you and your farm business. (Photo: CharlieAJA/Thinkstock)
You need to deal with Quadrant 1 items because they are crucial and time sensitive. Build a team with systems around you to limit the number of items in Quadrant 1, and maybe spend more time in Quadrant 2 planning a smoother execution.
Look to spend approximately 20% of your time in the Quadrant 2 area. This will allow you time to plan, analyze, and build the business structure that will elimination many of the emergencies in Quadrant 1. This area is often neglected because, while important, there is no emergency to draw your attention to it. It is easy to procrastinate and not deal with tasks in Quadrant 2, yet they hold the key to your future success.
You may find that many of the the tasks in Quadrant 3 can be delegated to another person in the company, or hired out. I often see successful entrepreneurs going to the post office, performing routine filing, and data entry. If you can't eliminate, delegate these tasks to others, or become more efficient at doing them; then look at postponing these until Quadrant 2 items are done.
Run, don't walk, away from items in Quadrant 4. These time killers are keeping you from your long term goals and success. Often eliminating these time traps can create the time for Quadrant 2.
Less stress, more success
You, your neighbors, and your competitors have the same amount of time in a day. True, you can work more hours, but even that has a limit and isn’t a viable long term solution.
Instead, use the Covey Matrix to work on the most important items first. Spend important time analyzing, planning and developing those who can help you. Instead of writing a To Do list, maybe it is time to take action on your Stop Doing list.
Your less stressful, successful future awaits.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.
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