This is the time management piece, Covey's way. He's got a helpful diagram:
Resentful though I may be for being so easily put into a bunch of bins, I do find the general categories thought-provoking. You've got Urgent and Not Urgent and Important and Not Important.
Those of us with time management issues spend a lot of time in quadrants I and IV. Notice that quadrant IV contains "Pleasant Activities."
Now learn, my tens of readers, that Stephen Covey would have me spend none of my time there. Nor you.
That's right. Guess where I'm to focus my energies? And you?
Quadrant II--Important, but Not Urgent activities. Of course you can't ignore Quadrant I--Urgent and Important. Lice, for example, must be dealt with. But Quadrant II is the goal. Quadrant II is the bin for non-urgent but important activities. Things that tend to get put off. And it's obvious (to S. Covey) that the more time I spend there, the less time I'll need to spend in Quadrant I.
But what about poor, neglected III and IV? Note that Quadrant III contains "popular activities." I'm unsure how those differ from pleasant activities. Are they unpleasant, yet popular? Like reading about the Kardashians? Well, nevermind. Now that I've got my life going in the right direction, if I spend some time every week planning in Quadrant II, I'll be eating the ripe fruit of all my labors in Habits 1 & 2.
And I guess I'll no longer need "pleasant activities." And I've certainly never been all that concerned with the Kardashians.
On the plus side, what I will be able to do is prioritize my to-do's, and then decide which ones I need to schedule, and which ones I'll delegate. Or, as my friend Walter said, his goal for the future is to "do less of what I don't want to do, and more of what I like."
So does this mean that if I focus on Quadrant II like the bejeesus, the next time lice come around, I'll be able to delegate that little chore to someone else? To that nit-picking Orthodox Jewish lice lady in Brooklyn?
What would you delegate?