Be Proactive!

Training is a proactive Quadrant 2 activity.

Time management - Self Management
in your professional and personal life

The tables show results that stem from activities, and how, by focussing on our activities, we can achieve better results and be more effective

Important matters 
are those that contribute towards achieving your priority goals.

Urgent matters
demand immediate attention but are not necessarily important or geared towards meeting your priorities or goals.


Be proactive - begin with the end in mind!

If we do not act with the end in mind,
if we do not have a clear idea of what is important,
of the results we desire in our life,
we are easily diverted into responding to the urgent

Put first things first!

The Four Quadrant Time Management Matrix
The following Activities matrix maps to the Results below it:



Not Urgent




Quadrant 1


Pressing Problems

Deadline-driven projects, meetings, preparations

Quadrant 2

Preparation, Prevention, Planning,

Values clarification, Empowerment,

Relationship building, Re-creation,

Recognising new opportunities.





Quadrant 3

Interruptions, Some telephone calls,

Some mail, Some reports,

Many close pressing matters,

Many popular activities.

Quadrant 4

Trivia, Junk mail,

Some phone calls, 

Time wasters,

“Escape” activities.


The matrix below shows the Results of the above Activities in each of the quadrants



Not Urgent




Quadrant 1



Crisis Management

Always putting out fires

Quadrant 2 

Vision, perspective




Few Crises





Quadrant 3 

Short-term focus, Crisis management

Reputation - chameleon character,

See plans and goals as worthless,

Feel victimised, out of control,

Shallow or broken relationships

Quadrant 4 

Total irresponsibility,

Fired from jobs

Dependent on others or institutions for basics.

(these results usually apply to quadrant 3 also)

We have to spend some time in quadrant 1 but this consumes some people and, as long as you focus on it, it keeps growing until it dominates you.  Many people spend time in 3 thinking they are in 1, i.e. spending time reacting to what is urgent assuming it is also important.  

Effective people stay out of quadrants 3 & 4 and shrink quadrant 1 down to size by spending more time in 2 – improved communication, better preparation and planning, taking better care of self, personal development, seizing new opportunities, etc.   Achieve balance and synergy in the four human needs – Spiritual, Physical, Mental & Social

Quadrant 2 is the heart of effective personal management. It deals with what is important.

The Time manager Matrix is taken from:
Source: Covey, Stephen R., 1990, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Restoring the Character Ethic, New York, Fireside.    1999, First Things First