Time management is more frequently becoming a foreign idea to many of us modern day individuals. In a world where facebook, Pinterest, TV and the internet are so accessible, procrastination comes so easily that it seems near impossible to avoid falling into the trap of wasted time. This being said, as I procrastinated starting my day’s to-do list, I stumbled upon a lengthy, yet incredible video from 2007 featuring Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Melon professor.
Randy’s lecture entitled, ‘Time Management’, is one that gives incredible insight into how to appropriately deal with time as the only commodity that truly matters.
Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September of 2006 and by August of 2007, he was given the diagnosis of 3 to 6 months of good health left and on July 25th, 2008, he unfortunately passed away. With his finite amount of time left, Randy actively needed to live out the time management tips and tricks he was preaching in his 2007 lecture.
We have a limited amount of time to do things in life. What we do should inspire us, bring us joy and satisfaction, and the time spent doing these things should be worth it. Randy shared ‘Covey’s Four-Quadrant To Do’ chart and it is broken up into 4 parts:
2. ‘Not urgent-Important’
3. ‘Urgent-Not important’
4. ‘Not urgent-Not important’
As business people or just individuals in general, we should actively recognize our tasks and assign them into the appropriate quadrant. Too often we waste our time on trivial things rather than using time wisely and purposefully. Randy brings up the great point that if we are to complete the task as it sits in the ‘Not urgent-Important’ quadrant, then we will never feel the stress of time creeping up on us because we have dealt with it before it had the opportunity to reach the ‘Urgent-Important’ quadrant.
This allows us to live a more ‘zen-like’ life as Randy described it. Peaceful living is something we should all aspire to reach. Recognizing that time isn’t infinite, gives us a better perspective on how we should use it and pushes us to spend it doing the things that matter most. How you spend your time and what you end up doing, will differ from one individual to the next, so take some time categorizing your to-do list. I’ve laminated Covey’s chart and have it hanging at my desk. It acts as a constant reminder of the order of completion for the tasks at hand.
Randy Pausch left an incredible legacy and is continuely inspiring and helping others in the ways they spend their time to this day.
By: Swingline Intern, Emily K