Habit #3—Put first things first
The above Time Management Quadrant was adapted from Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix and modified to fit my own life workflow. Thinking about my time management and about the end in mind, and whether I am "putting first things first", I concluded that I toggle back and forth between Q1 and Q2. As much as I really do try to plan and set goals in order to "prioritize", I often find myself in the "Procrastinator" box. I used to be in the "Yes, Man" box, but during the past few years I have moved out of the Q3 box for the most part. However, I occasionally find myself in it out of guilt or when I am not effectively delegating tasks that I do not need to do myself to someone else.
So, what is the next best thing to do?
For starters, designing the above time management quadrant helped me to visualize my next steps as opposed to having it all in my head. Now that I have a picture of where I'm at, I can better management my workflow. Returning to the David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) model which involves the five steps: collect, process, organize, plan, and do, I need to look at my list in Q2, and come up with a reasonable plan to accomplish these goals and then execute the plan. I find I'm good at organizing what it is I need to do, but don't break it down into specific allotments of time. I then find myself committing to additional tasks that I realistically either do not have time for or they are not helping me reach my end goal. My implementation plan for this habit is to figure out the time needed to achieve my priorities listed in Q2, plan according to these priorities (if necessary, reorder them), and in doing this, I should be able to achieve my highest priorities.
Commitment to teach Habit #3—Put First Things First (A Time Management Habit)
I plan to share what I am doing to implement the habit with my husband and with my AP World History students. This will be the perfect week for this as my husband and I have both been tracking our expenses now for a few weeks and he is also interested in time management strategies. Also, in terms of my AP World students, articulation is this week and this is the first time teachers rather than just counselors are involved in the planning and scheduling process. We are going to be using Naviance instead of articulation cards, and we are provide guidance to students for our subject areas and in long term planning to meet a-g requirements, as well as selection of colleges they are interested in attending and courses they might take.
Steps: Have AP World Students:
1. Reflect on last week's habit, begin with the end in mind.
2. Create a Time Management Matrix and asses what quadrant they are in.
3. List their priorities and think about what priorities they are putting first, what roadblocks take them off course, and how do they get back on course.
4. Select a classmate to help keep them on track.
5. Commit to revisiting how this is going in a week.