One of the things I am most grateful about in serving as editor of the Almanac is getting to work with a diverse group of creatives, healers and mystics from all over the world. The nature of this bunch is pretty much anything but corporate. As we work together to synthesize the New Earth definitions of every aspect of life, I’m passionate about redefining the “corporation” as well as how we work. One of those ways is elevating some of the good practices around time management into new systems that serve us better in our work.
In my last #GetSh*tDone productivity piece, “The Fifth Quadrant”, I shared about taking Stephen R. Covey’s classic Time Management Matrix aka the Four Quadrants into its own form of 3D to 5D evolution. The Quadrants traditionally serve to identify the types of tasks we’re called to do in a day, which means they usually fall into one of these categories. To refresh, below are Covey’s Four Quadrants, with the “Fifth” one I suggested last article emphasizing the New Earth virtue of honoring “free time” added in:
As with all things on paper, they look good and make sense… but how does one actually implement them and make them a reality? Today I will share the way I personally take the Five Quadrants into my week to make them actionable every day.
Before we go any further, it’s important to point out that in order to implement anything—from working out, to not being late to a haircut, to picking up a kid from soccer practice on the right day (!!) —it all has to start with connecting with the fact that our time is a valuable and limited resource. We can all agree we only have 24 hours in a given day. (Well ok quantum physics peeps, you probably can argue otherwise but let’s save that for another Almanac article!) And by looking at the Quadrants a lot of us can quickly recognize where a
lot of our time ends up going! (Eek, anyone feeling a little stuck in Quadrant 4?) So how do we get in front of the time suck in order to make our time work for us?
The key is actually ditching the antiquated concept of the to-do list and evolving it by incorporating a different tool altogether—one all of us are familiar with and many already use in some form. This would be your calendar. Originally used as a tool to track the movements of the cosmos and the sun, such as the ancient Aztecs did, we now live or die by what we can fit into our schedules. Most of the time however, people think about their calendar as an interface only to be used when adding external commitments such as appointments, events and work/school schedules. But when we limit our calendars to record and track just these types of time commitments, we’re not really being honest with ourselves (or our coworkers, spouses, kids, etc.) about all the ways our time is actually spent!
The disconnect many experience between to-do’s and time lies with the fact that without an accurate gauge of what occupies our time, then the ability to commit to getting anything done on our to-do list becomes a near to impossible task. A to-d0 list piling up is a symptom of this. And do you know why they also fail to work for us? Because the intention behind them is not in the now. (Get it? “To” do. That’s right—to-do is in the future… not the present tense!) This then has a negative snowball effect on both the rest of our to-do list and schedule causing everything to run off track—which generates a lot of frustration when we keep feeling like failures at getting anything done.
This post is for subscribers only
Subscribe now to read the post and get full access to exclusive content.