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Chapter 12. Time Management > Time Management

Time Management

Most people find time pressures and deadlines at work very stressful. While you cannot always control the demands of your work environment, how you arrange your use of time can help promote efficiency and prevent problems, therefore lessening your time pressures and concomitantly lowering your stress level. While an exhaustive summary of time-management methods is beyond the scope of this book, we can offer you useful guidelines for managing your time effectively. Time-management strategies have evolved along with the demands of the workplace. The first generation consisted of notes and checklists. The second wave involved appointment books, recognizing the need for future planning and allowing for better scheduling methods. The third level included the important ideas of prioritization, goal setting, and planning. But some people chafed at systems that scheduled them, feeling they were restricted and lacked flexibility. Therefore, an emerging fourth generation emphasizes not the managing of time per se, but rather managing yourself in time more effectively.

Thus, there are many methods for time management that all have some useful aspects. But we would like to introduce to you one fourth-generation system, namely that put forth by Stephen Covey in his landmark books, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) and First Things First (1994). Covey takes a somewhat different approach to time management than traditional systems. He emphasizes organizing your schedule around priorities rather than prioritizing your schedule. He recommends that you divide your work tasks and projects into four categories or quadrants, as illustrated in Figure 12.1.


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