4 Quadrants of Time Management Matrix

Franklin Covey introduced 4 quadrants of the time management matrix in his book of 7 habits of highly effective people. He has developed a book of 7 habits of highly effective people on a different level that starts from grade1 students, till the mature businessmen.

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4 quadrants of the time management matrix will help you to focus on the relationships and prioritize the family tasks as per their deadlines, like making someone happy in your home when it's their birthday. 

4 quadrants of time management matrix

We should arrange the tasks in ascending or descending order just like we used to do in mathematics by arranging the numbers. Arranging and categorizing the tasks is just like the way you arrange your things in a cupboard. If things are arranged, you will find them easily similarly when tasks are clear. You will track them and do them easily as per their prioritization. Here is detailed information about the 4 quadrants of the time management matrix that will help you to make your life organized and easy to lead. 

Before using the 4 quadrants of the time management matrix, you need to know the parameters we will be used to categorize our tasks in these quadrants. There are two basic types of tasks which are given below.

  • Important 
  • Urgent 

Important tasks are long-term tasks and need more attention and time for their completion while. 

Quadrant 1, the quadrant of urgent and important tasks

In quadrant 1 of 4 quadrants of the time management matrix, you will put the tasks that are much important and urgent. This quadrant is in the top left of the 4 quadrants of the time management matrix and holds the group of tasks that need immediate action. This quadrant majority occupies the emergencies, problems, and crises. 

In this quadrant, you will put those tasks that are short-term and need to be addressed on short notice with a nearer deadline. So, you need to see these tasks and complete them by the deadline, so there is no chance to compromise with this quadrant due to its complexity. If you do compromise in this quadrant, you will be facing a lot of problems like bill payment, assignment submission, etc. 

Quadrant 2, the quadrant of important but not urgent tasks

Parallel to quadrant 1, on the right side, is located in quadrant 2. This quadrant holds the long-term tasks that are important too. The tasks of this quadrant are more important and wild that you cannot neglect them at any cost and need to plan for the long term. You may also say these are small projects having no deadline or very long deadlines. These tasks can be personal or official like maintaining health by doing exercise and gym, that is not possible to leave it at all and compromise your health and similarly when you want to maintain reputation in your office, can you take any off. This is the most important quadrant, and we all need to live in this quadrant mostly to assure the perfection of all other quadrants. 

Quadrant 3, the quadrant of urgent but not important tasks 

Quadrant 3 is located beneath quadrant 1 of 4 quadrants of the time management matrix of Franklin Covey. This quadrant keeps the tasks that are urgent but not important. The activities are not important, but you need to do them on an urgent basis. 

These tasks are not included in your planning, but you have to do them urgently. Suppose taking a call on your phone is not included in your plan, but you have to take this call by grabbing time from the schedule of your urgent task. 

Quadrant 4, the quadrant of not urgent, not important tasks

This is the last and unimportant quadrant of the 4 quadrants of the time management matrix as it belongs to those activities that are not urgent and not important as well. You need to quit the activities of this quadrant to save maximum time and invest that precious time in quadrant 2, in which you need to stay most of the time to make the roots of your business or personality strong. 

How to execute these 4 quadrants of the time management matrix practically?

We have gone through 4 quadrants of the time management matrix but still confuse about the way how to make and use 4 quadrants then. Don't worry, here is the guide for you.

Developing a to-do list of the tasks you will be doing in the respective month. 

First of all, you need to develop a list of the tasks you think you do most probably and will be doing throughout the month. When you have developed the list, it means you have defined tasks that are your responsibilities. It will be helpful for you to categories the tasks and hence prioritize the important ones. It also makes your work simple and most clear to look forward to. 

Mention their deadline in front of each task

After writing the tasks of the month do not leave them as it is but note down the deadlines of those tasks that you will do by following the exact deadlines or expected deadlines. This will also help you to keep track of the tasks you need to complete. 

Draw 4 quadrants of time management matrix

Now, draw 4 quadrants of the time management matrix on a paper or software like MS. Word. Name each quadrant a number and their name as well as per the properties of the tasks. 

Do check which urgent tasks are 

The next step of using the 4 quadrants of the time management matrix is to check the urgent tasks that you think need to be extracted from the other tasks. You need to collect these urgent tasks and put them into the quadrant 1 and 3 by recognizing the importance of the tasks. 

Start organizing the tasks in ascending order. 

Now, make arrange the tasks to categorize them based on their importance in ascending order by putting the numbers like 1, 2, 3. This will help you to check the number of important tasks you have in your plan. 

Now, extract the big rocks of your to-do list by placing tasks in the right quadrant. 

Next, it is time to extract the tasks that are most important among the important tasks. Franklin Covey has addressed these most important tasks as big rocks that you need to achieve with the consistency of developing habits of highly effective people. 

Advantages of arranging tasks in 4 quadrants of time management matrix 

4 quadrants of the time management matrix have made it easy for us to categorize, arrange, and even track the tasks that we will be doing.  4 quadrants of time management matrix have become of advantage at every level of life to make us the good social person, and it is only possible if we are organized. Here are some advantages of adopting 4 quadrants of the time management matrix. 

Improve our habits 

If you follow these 4 quadrants of time management in your life, whether education, personal, or business life, you would develop some good habits like being on time, recognizing your responsibilities and owing them, making a difference between important and unimportant tasks, and valuing others' opinion. 

Make us proactive

4 quadrants of time management also make us proactive in the sense of making us pre-planned, regular, responsible, less reactive, and accepts the change happening around us but take the initiative to stand with that change instead of resisting it.  

Not feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities.

When you are organizing everything you files, stuff, room, and even the tasks, you will not be overwhelmed with your responsibilities and take them as a burden over your shoulders. 

Put us on the right road to achievement 

4 quadrants of the time management matrix will also put you on the right track because you are having the exact value and arrangement of the tasks and we will also be able to track the tasks. 

Enable us to balance the life 

When we are not feeling burdened, we will lead a balanced life in which we will be spending time doing work and also making time for the family and friends. 

Increase the productivity 

Being organize we will achieve our targets on time and it will enhance productivity.


4 quadrants of time management are of great importance in business, education and even in our personal life that helps us to be organized, give the proper tie to each activity of the life and lead a balanced and healthy life instead of getting overwhelmed, depressed, and fed up of life.

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