Habit three, the management habit, is put first things first. This habit deals with many of the questions addressed in the field of time management. The real challenge is not actually to manage time but to manage yourself, to gain control of time and events in your life by seeing how they relate to your mission.
Take a moment now to draw a square on a piece of paper. Then, make a cross within the square dividing it into four smaller squares. What you've just drawn is a time management 1)matrix. And the four squares are called 2)quadrants. Label the four quadrants this way: label quadrant 1 “Urgent and Important”, quadrant 2 “Not Urgent and Important”, quadrant 3 “Urgent and Not Important”, and quadrant 4 “Not Urgent and Not Important”.
And in business, Dr. Covey has found that quadrant two is the key to management.
Prado, the great Italian philosopher in the field of efficiency, came up with what's called the “eighty-twenty” rule. Eighty percent of the results flow from twenty percent of the activities. Those are all quadrant two activities. All of them.
What do you think happens to quadrant one if you neglect quadrant two? If you neglect prevention, what's going to happen to problems? It's going to grow and grow until there's almost no other quadrants. It may consume your life. That's called management by crisis, and management by crisis just 3)beats you up, 4)burns you out. 5)Fatigues 6)ya. Gets very, very large.
What's going to happen to quadrant one if you attend to quadrant two? Gets smaller and smaller. You'll still have some of it. Things you hadn't anticipated at all. Constant changes in our environment will create some of that. But it'll be manageable. It'll be 7)workable. But you'll always have the sense that you're working on 8)prevention and seizing new opportunities.
Now when are you going to get the time and attention to get into quadrant two? That has to come from three and four. Quadrant four is totally worthless quadrant. Can you name one thing of any value or worth in quadrant four? Leisure. Is leisure important? Yes. Then it's quadrant two. There's nothing of worth or value in quadrant four. Quadrant three also is essentially without value except on the part of other people.
So, basically, you get your time for quadrant two from three and four. You just keep doing it. You just keep stealing a little from quadrant three and quadrant four. Learn to say no, pleasantly, smilingly, happily, but say no. Because in saying no to quadrant three and four, you're saying yes to quadrant two, and when you say yes to quadrant two, you make quadrant one increasingly small. And you're working on thingsthat will matter most, not on things that will matter least. “Things which matter most”, Gerta wrote, “must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
However, the problem is it takes certain capacities to work on quadrant two. What's the fundamental capacity? We've already talked about it. What is it? You have to proactive. Why? Quadrant one 9)works on you. Quadrant one 10)acts on you. Quadrant two must be acted upon. We are made in our essential humanity to act and not be acted upon. That's quadrant two. All deep relationship building, quadrant two. Planning and organizing, quadrant two. Personal preparation, quadrant two. Exercise, quadrant two. Reading - broad, deep reading, continuing education, quadrant two.
Quadrant two is the key.
1) matrix n. 矩阵
2) quadrant n. 象限，四分仪
3) beat up: 惊扰；（俚语）痛殴
4) burn out: （炉等）因燃料缺乏而停烧
5) fatigue vt. 使疲劳，使心智衰弱 6) ya: 即口语化的”you”。
7) workable a. 可经营的，可使用的 8) prevention n. 预防，防止
9) work on: 设法说服，影响
10) act on: 对……起作用；按照……行动