Put First Things First
In the last article we took a peak at the 3rd Habit of Healthy People, by describing the 4 Quadrants of time – or life – management. We also learned that the most effective (healthy) people in any endeavor spend most of their time, energy, and focus on Quadrant II activities. Quadrant II activities are those that are important to reaching our desired goals, yet are not urgent.
When we spend most of our time in Quadrant II, we are both highly effective and protect ourselves from most crises (Quadrant I activities). When it comes to our health, most people spend much of their time doing unimportant or even harmful things and then end up dealing with one crisis after another. The healthiest people in the world focus most of their effort doing health building activities such as exercising, eating well, getting fresh air and using services such as Neurospinal Optimization chiropractic on a regular, preventative or protective basis.
In this article we will stick with Habit 3 and learn how to be sure that we effectively plan those Quadrant II activities in order to be as healthy as possible. Again, these strategies do not only work for health and while health is the focus of this series, please feel free to apply this to every area of your life.
The best way to organize your life is around the roles you play on a weekly basis. We all have several roles that require weekly – if not daily – attention. Since Canadians claim that health is one of their top priorities, I am assuming that Health should be one of those roles.
Make a list of the roles you must address on a weekly basis. Some will be personal and some will be professional. Most people will have somewhere between 5 and 9 roles. Some of my examples are: Personal Health, Family Man/Woman, Competitive Weightlifter, Nexus manager, Nexus chiropractor, Personal Development.
Once you have defined your roles, write down some long term goals for each. What RESULTS do you want to see in 3 months, 1 year, 10 years? This will start to give you an idea as to what direction you are headed.
Now comes the most important part. Each week, for each role write down goals for the coming 7 days. When it comes to Health it may be as simple as eliminating gluten from your diet and working out 4 times for 30 minutes. For family it may be planning a great birthday party for your child. Remember to keep it RESULTS oriented.
Once you have a list of goals for each role, start plugging activities into your weekly schedule book. Be aware of how many activities and how much time is being spent in each quadrant and refine as you see fit. If at first you have quite a bit of crisis, that is ok as long as you are making progress towards QII.
To make your job easier, I highly recommend having a planner or schedule where you can see the entire week in one view. There is a blank sample in Stephen R. Covey’s book and you can also order planners from Franklin-Covey’s website.
I also recommend setting time aside when you will do your planning for the upcoming week. Either Fridays before you leave work, or Sunday afternoons seem to works best for most.
Please take some time to do this life-changing homework. Our next article will move from focusing just on ourselves to including others in our plans to become even more effective and healthy.
Don’t forget that Clear Day is coming up April 12! Still some room if you would like to attend.