Printable Time Management Quadrants to Help You Manage Your To-Do List


In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about the idea of balancing urgent tasks with the truly important ones, an idea that Charles Hummel also wrote about in the 1960s in Tyranny of the Urgent.

This grid was created based on these principles, and I’ve reproduced it in classic Life Your Way style for you! Take some time to think about the things on your to-do list and classify them according to urgency and importance:

For example, taking the trash to the curb may be an urgent task because the trash man comes at a scheduled time, but it’s not ultimately an important task. It still needs to be done, of course, but you need to make sure that you’re not spending all of your time on urgent-but-not-important tasks while the truly important tasks are being left undone.

On the other hand, rocking a fussy baby could be classified as urgent and important. It’s time sensitive, and you’re also meeting the needs on your children.

But there’s a third category, the important-but-not-urgent tasks, that usually lay the foundation for future goals and accomplishments. These are the tasks that usually get pushed to the side, but — not to sound cliche — they’re often the most important. These include working toward personal and business goals as well as investing in relationships.

Classifying your tasks in this way will help you make decisions about how you’re spending your time and better prioritize the things on your to-do list.

Click here to download or print your time management grid!

Have you ever classified your to-do lists in this way? What urgent tasks take up too much of your time? What important tasks would you like to