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Brian Tracy! Time Management! Staying on track

Time Management 

Chapter 09. Staying on track

“Everyone’s dream can come true

if you just stick to it and work hard.” — Serena Williams

What is the best use of my time right now?

Since this is the most important question in the field of time management,

keep asking it until it automatically becomes your guide

and motivates you to focus on a valuable task

or activity with the highest value.

As you organize your time

and tasks around the answer

to this question,

you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can improve your efficiency.

From time to time I ask my audience,

“What is your most valuable financial asset?”

After they thought it over and came up with a few answers,

I pointed out that

the real answer was “your earning potential.”

Your earning potential represents 80% to 90%

of your financial value at work.

Think of yourself as a “money machine”.

Everything that you do has some value whether high or low.

Your job is to focus on how to use your time most valuable

and train yourself to be able to consistently work

on the few activities

that make the greatest contribution to your job and company.

There’s nothing better than achieving your goals,

whatever they might be. — Paloma Faith


A principle of life

This choice of the most valuable use of your time applies

to every aspect of your life.

There are times when the most productive use of your time,

especially when you’ve worked so hard,

is to go home,

go to bed early,

and get a good night’s sleep.

Sometimes the most effective use of your time

is to meet the most important people in your life.

Sometimes the most effective use of your time

is to take good care of your health

by eating the right foods,

making time for regular exercise,

and getting proper rest to get the most out

of it with the highest capacity.

Sometimes the most valuable use of your time

is with your family or reading a good book

instead of watching TV.

At other times,

the most valuable use of your time is to socialize

and meet the loved ones

and friends you want to be

with so you can relax and de-stress.

The most important thing is

that you should always ask yourself the question:

“What is the most valuable use of my time at this time?”

Then train yourself to start and finish the activity.

When you apply this suggestion to your day

and time management skills,

you’ll become one of the most effective time managers

of your generation.


Important or Urgent?

There are four types of tasks that you face every day.

The ability to organize these tasks into the right groups

can help you increase your productivity dramatically.

Each task can be placed in its own box or quadrant.


Quadrant 1: urgent and important

An important mission is one

that has a long-term impact on your career.

An urgent task is one that cannot be put off.

A task that is both important

and urgent is a very urgent task for you.

It is largely determined

by the external requirements of your time,

by the tasks and responsibilities that you must begin

and complete

in order to stay in control of your work.

There are people you have to meet,

things you have to do and places you have to go.

There are clients to meet,

tasks to be completed,

and activities that others assume you must perform.

Most people spend most of their day on tasks

that are both important and urgent.

Your most important tasks and biggest priorities

are both urgent and important.

This is called the “immediate quadrant”.


Quadrant 2: important, but not urgent

The second type of tasks are those that are important

but not urgent.

They can be delayed at least in the short term.

An example of an important

but not urgent task is an important report that you must write,


and submit by the end of the month.

Or a university research paper.

This is critical to your grade at the end of the semester,

but it can also be delayed by weeks or months

– a common occurrence.

Most research assignments are written the night

before the submission deadline.

What was once important

but not urgent suddenly became extremely urgent.

Throughout your life,

you are surrounded

by important but not urgent tasks.

Reading important books in your field,

taking additional courses,

and upgrading your skills

and qualifications are all important

to your success in the long run,

but they are not imperatives.

So delay them.

Most people who fail

or perform poorly at work have put off upgrading their skills

and abilities for so long

that they are looked down upon or overtaken

by more determined

and determined people,

one who wishes to achieve greater achievement

and responsibility.

Even something as simple as exercise

is important to your health,

but not urgent.

You can delay them for a long time like most people.

Doctors say 85% of the major health problems people experience

as they age can be avoided

if they adopt sound health habits into adulthood,

including diet and exercise.

These tasks fall into the “efficiency quadrant”.


Quadrant 3: Urgent, but not important

There are people who walk into your office,

call, text or email you,

but your response to these agents is of little value

to the company

or your job.

These are urgent but unimportant tasks.

These tasks belong to a group commonly referred to

as the “quadrant of deception”.

People think that

because they do these activities

during the day they must have some value,

but they are just letting themselves get into things

that are not important to their career.

Many people spend up to half of their time on urgent

but not important things.

They are fun, easy,

and enjoyable things that don’t produce results at work.

Most of these activities are gossip with colleagues,

low-value or worthless activities.


Quadrant 4: not urgent and not important

The fourth type of activities

that people perform at work are tasks

that are neither urgent nor important.

These activities belong to the “waste quadrant”.

Many people engage in activities

that are of no value to themselves or the company.

Reading junk emails or sports news,

going shopping during the day,

or driving around between appointments

while listening to the radio are all examples of activities

that are neither urgent nor important.

They are a complete waste of time

and do not contribute anything to your life.


Build good habits at work

The great tragedy is that

when you do something over and over again,

you quickly form a habit.

And once formed,

these habits are very difficult to break.

Many people have gotten into the habit of spending most

of their time on low-value

or worthless activities and then are surprised

when they get laid off or miss out on promotion opportunities.

The key to effective time management is to set priorities

and always deal with things

that are both urgent and important,

that is, the most urgent and important tasks.

Once you have completed the tasks

that are both urgent and important,

immediately move on to the tasks that are important

but not urgent at the moment.

Tasks that are important but not urgent are often tasks

and activities that can help your career in the long run.

“Set your goals high,

and don’t stop till you get there.” – Bo Jackson

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