We manage what we do, we don’t manage our time. Time management is a misnomer. Time is what it is; seconds, minutes, hours… There is no stopping it. Our success and happiness are dependent on what we do with our time. Making choices about what we do with each hour is what we really have control over. Putting first things first is a conscious choice to and a proactive approach to our day. There is a multitude of things we can do each minute of the day and without thinking too much we can find ourselves entrenched into something that may not have much value to our personal or professional well-being. Successful students and people recognize how they are spending their time and the mind their business. In other words, they put their minds to what is important and push away the distractions the may not be important or urgent.
The Leader In Me system of thinking illustrates this idea nicely with Quadrant Thinking. The matrix below identifies how we spend our time. Unfortunately, quadrants 3 & 4 can swallow up much of our time and we can neglect what is important and urgent and what is important, but not urgent. It is in these two quadrants that most of us would rather spend our time. Interesting that we use the words, “spend our time”. When we look at our day as an opportunity to invest ourselves in life, it is more clear that we would rather spend wisely. Spending our time wisely is fire prevention. Putting my time and energy into growing great kids will suppress many problems in the future.
Q2 Thinking is fire prevention!
When we spend most of our time on things that are important but not urgent, we are putting first things first. Parents realize that the urgent and important are also critical and must be attended to, but minding our quadrant 2 business is powerful and forces the mindless tasks to the bottom of our list. See the attached file for a family task tracker to help you and your children put first things first.