The Time Management Matrix

The Time Management Matrix from "Habit 3, Put First Things First", in Stephen Covey's book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a model to understand and prioritize how time is spent.

Urgency ➡
Importance ⬇


Not Urgent


Q1: Urgent and Important
Do it now!
  • Crises
  • Pressing Problems
  • Looming Deadlines
Q2:Important, Not Urgent
Decide when to do it
  • Crises Prevention
  • Relationship Building
  • Recognizing new Opportunities
  • Planning
  • Self-care

Not Important

Q3: Urgent and Not Important
Delegate it
  • Interruptions
  • Junk mail, spam, etc.
  • Useless Meetings
  • Many phone notifications
Q4:Not Important, Not Urgent
Drop it!
  • Busy work
  • Most social media
  • Passive entertainment (TV, movies, etc)

The basic idea is that one should try to maximize time spent on activities that fall in Quadrant 2 and minimize time spent on activities in Quadrants 3 and 4.

Broader Topics Related to Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix

Personal Productivity

Tips and resources to improve personal productivity

Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix Knowledge Graph