This year, I made a goal of reading 4 books on personal development. A huge goal, I know, but reading recreationally is something I have not enjoyed since I was in grade school when I read the Goosebumps series. I think reading some of the novels that were required in high school killed fun reading for me.
In February, I noticed that I still had not picked a book. I know a few people that listen to audiobooks, and I thought that would be more realistic for me. I spend a couple hours a day in my car driving between appointments with training clients, so I switched from listening to sports talk radio, or the same popular songs over and over to listening to books. Little did I know I was choosing quadrant II activities over quadrant IV (see below for explanation).
The first book I listened to was “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen R. Covey. It’s a best seller, and I am sure many of you have read it before I have. He spends a good chunk in the beginning on dividing our time into quadrants. “Time management is a misnomer, the challenge is to manage ourselves.”
– Personal/Professional Development
– Family time
– Some phone calls
– Time wasters
His biggest point is that we spend too much time on things that are urgent, rather than important. We need to dedicate more time to the things in quadrant II. The things that fall into quadrant II are what help us grow. I really like this quadrant because it includes what I do for a living! “Sharpen the Saw”, is the 7th habit. He claims we need to spend time on things that help renew us in each of physical, emotional/social, spiritual, and mental categories. These relate back to quadrant II on the time management chart.
“The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” One of the biggest things I took away from the book was that we need to make the important things happen. They renew us, they help us be the best version of ourselves. It is so easy to fill our day with things that don’t really matter. Why not exercise for 15 minutes in the morning, instead of spending 20 minutes wasting your time on Facebook, or watching the same news stories 3 times through about the shootings or robberies that occurred overnight?
We are all guilty at one time or another of wasting our time. If exercise is important to you, schedule it. Still doesn’t happen? Hire a trainer for more accountability.