The objective of Quadrant II management is to manage our lives effectively -- from a center of sound
principles, for a knowledge of our personal mission, with a focus on the important as well as the urgent, and within the framework of maintaining a balance between increasing our Production and increasing
our Production Capability
This is, admittedly, an ambitious objective for people caught in the thick of thin things in Quadrants
THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE Brought to you by FlyHeart III and IV. But striving to achieve it will have a phenomenal impact on personal effectiveness.
A Quadrant II organizer will need to meet six important criteria.
Coherence: Coherence suggests that there is harmony, unity, and integrity between your vision
and mission, your roles and goals, your priorities and plans, and your desires and discipline. In your planner, there should be a place for your personal mission statement so that you can constantly refer to
it. There also needs to be a place for your roles and for both short- and long-term goals.
Balance: Your tool should help you to keep balance in your life, to identify your various roles and
keep them right in front of you, so that you don't neglect important areas such as your health, your
family, professional preparation, or personal development.
Many people seem to think that success in one area can compensate for failure in other areas of life.
But can it really? Perhaps it can for a limited time in some areas. But can success in your profession compensate for a broken marriage, ruined health, or weakness in personal character? True
effectiveness requires balance, and your tool needs to help you create and maintain it.
Quadrant II Focus:. You need a tool that encourages you, motivates you, actually helps you spend
the time you need in Quadrant II, so that you're dealing with prevention rather than prioritizing crises.
In my opinion, the best way to do this is to organize your life on a weekly basis. You can still adapt and prioritize on a daily basis, but the fundamental thrust is organizing the week.
Organizing on a weekly basis provides much greater balance and context than daily planning.
There seems to be implicit cultural recognition of the week as a single, complete unit of time. Business, education, and many other facets of society operate within the framework of the week, designating
certain days for focused investment and others for relaxation or inspiration. The basic Judeo-Christian ethic honors the Sabbath, the one day out of every seven set aside for uplifting purposes.
Most people think in terms of weeks. But most third-generation planning tools focus on daily
planning. While they may help you prioritize your activities, they basically only help you organize
crises and busywork. The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your
priorities. And this can best be done in the context of the week.
A "People" Dimension: You also need a tool that deals with people, not just schedules. While you can think in terms of efficiency in dealing with time, a principle-centered person thinks in terms of
effectiveness in dealing with people. There are times when principle-centered Quadrant II living
requires the subordination of schedules to people. Your tool needs to reflect that value, to facilitate implementation rather than create guilt when a schedule is not followed.
Flexibility: Your planning tool should be your servant, never your master. Since it has to work
for you, it should be tailored to your style, your needs, your particular ways.
Portability: Your tool should also be portable, so that you can carry it with you most of the time.
You may want to review your personal mission statement while riding the bus. You may want to
measure the value of a new opportunity against something you already have planned. If your
organizer is portable, you will keep it with you so that important data is always within reach.
Since Quadrant II is the heart of effective self-management, you need a tool that moves you into
Quadrant II. My work with the fourth-generation concept has led to the creation of a tool specifically designed according to the criteria listed above. But many good third-generation tools can easily be
adapted. Because the principles are sound, the practices or specific applications can vary from one
individual to the next.
Becoming a Quadrant II Self-Manager
Although my effort here is to teach principles, not practices, of effectiveness, I believe you can better understand the principles and the empowering nature of the fourth generation if you actually
experience organizing a week from a principle-centered, Quadrant II base.
THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE Brought to you by FlyHeart Quadrant II organizing involves four key activities.
Identifying Roles: The first task is to write down your key roles. If you haven't really given
serious thought to the roles in your life, you can write down what immediately comes to mind. You
have a role as an individual. You may want to list one or more roles as a family member -- a husband
or wife, mother or father, son or daughter, a member of the extended family of grandparents, aunts,
uncles, and cousins. You may want to list a few roles in your work, indicating different areas in which you wish to invest time and energy on a regular basis. You may have roles in church or community
You don't need to worry about defining the roles in a way that you will live with for the rest of your
life -- just consider the week and write down the areas you see yourself spending time in during the
next seven days.
Here are two examples of the way people might see their various roles.
3. Manager New Products
4. Manager Research
5. Manager Staff Dev.
6. Manager Administration
7. Chairman United Way
1. Personal Development
4. Real Estate Salesperson
5. Sunday School Teacher
6. Symphony Board Member
Selecting Goals: The next step is to think of two or three important results you feel you should
accomplish in each role during the next seven days. These would be recorded as goals.
At least some of these goals should reflect Quadrant II activities. Ideally, these short-term goals
would be tied to the longer-term goals you have identified in conjunction with your personal mission
statement. But even if you haven't written your mission statement, you can get a feeling, a sense, of
what is important as you consider each of your roles and two or three goals for each role.
Scheduling: Now you look at the week ahead with your goals in mind and schedule time to
achieve them. For example, if your goal is to produce the first draft of your personal mission
statement, you may want to set aside a two-hour block of time on Sunday to work on it. Sunday (or
some other day of the week that is special to you, your faith, or your circumstances) is often the ideal
time to plan your more personally uplifting activities, including weekly organizing. It's a good time to draw back, to see inspiration, to look at your life in the context of principles and values.
If you set a goal to become physically fit through exercise, you may want to set aside an hour three
or four days during the week, or possibly every day during the week, to accomplish that goal. There
are some goals that you may only be able to accomplish during business hours, or some that you can
only do on Saturday when your children are home. Can you begin to see some of the advantages of
organizing the week instead of the day?
Having identified roles and set goals, you can translate each goal to a specific day of the week, either
as a priority item or, even better, as a specific appointment. You can also check your annual or
monthly calendar for any appointments you may have previously made and evaluate their importance
in the context of your goals, transferring those you decide to keep to your schedule and making plans to
THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE Brought to you by FlyHeart reschedule or cancel others.
As you study the following weekly worksheet, observe how each of the 19 most important, often
Quadrant II, goals has been scheduled or translated into a specific action plan. In addition, notice the box labeled "Sharpen the Saw TM" that provides a place to plan vital renewing Quadrant II activities in each of the four human dimensions that will be explained in Habit 7.
Even with time set aside to accomplish 19 important goals during the week, look at the amount of
remaining unscheduled space on the worksheet! As well as empowering you to Put First Things First,
Quadrant II weekly organizing gives you the freedom and the flexibility to handle unanticipated events,
to shift appointments if you need to, to savor relationships and interactions with others, to deeply enjoy spontaneous experiences, knowing that you have proactively organized your week to accomplish key
goals in every area of your life.
Daily Adapting: With Quadrant II weekly organizing, daily planning becomes more a function of
daily adapting, or prioritizing activities and responding to unanticipated events, relationships, and
experiences in a meaningful way.
Taking a few minutes each morning to review your schedule can put you in touch with the
value-based decisions you made as you organized the week as well as unanticipated factors that may
have come up. As you overview the day, you can see that your roles and goals provide a natural
prioritization that grows out of your innate sense of balance. It is a softer, more right-brain
prioritization that ultimately comes out of your sense of personal mission.
You may still find that the third-generation A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 prioritization gives needed order to
daily activities. It would be a false dichotomy to say that activities are either important or they aren't.
They are obviously on a continuum, and some important activities are more important than others. In
the context of weekly organizing, third-generation prioritization gives order to daily focus.
But trying to prioritize activities before you even know how they relate to your sense of personal
mission and how they fit into the balance of your life is not effective. You may be prioritizing and
accomplishing things you don't want or need to be doing at all.
Can you begin to see the difference between organizing your week as a principle-centered,
Quadrant II manager and planning your days as an individual centered on something else? Can you
begin to sense the tremendous difference the Quadrant II focus would make in your current level of
Having experienced the power of principle-centered Quadrant II organizing in my own life and
having seen it transform the lives of hundreds of other people, I am persuaded it makes a difference -- a quantum positive difference. And the more completely weekly goals are tied into a wider framework
of correct principles and into a personal mission statement, the greater the increase in effectiveness will be.