Today has been, largely, unproductive for me; I have spent most of my time spinning my wheels, trying to get busy with my business, but I simply feel I have been getting nowhere. It is a classic symptom of spending time in sectors three and four. And, in my case, today has mostly been spent in sector four – the worst case scenario in terms of getting anything done.
In case you are not familiar with the four sectors of time management, as discussed in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you might like to see the following useful article on the four sectors. As you will see, sector four is characterised by a complete lack of focus and it feels something like running about like a headless chicken – in motion, yes … but ultimately, pointless.
For me, it is something of a new experience. I have my mission and goals well quantified and I can usually be found spending a significant proportion of my time in sector two – and that’s, generally, a pretty good place to be because it’s how you produce real results. Of course, I do get into sector one, as we all do, when the need for fire-fighting arises and, occasionally get drawn into sector three, attending to other people’s priorities. But sector four, for me, is usually no-go.
However, today has been different because a significant amount of my time has been squandered engaging in things that are entirely unproductive. And what does sector four feel like? It feels like I am out of control; it feels like I have temporarily lost my way; and overall, it feels bad. I am grateful for the experience because it is all a part of life and personal growth, but it is an experience I will not wish to repeat too often.
So when you get stuck in a rut, how do you get out of it? What is it that you actually need to do? Well, I intend to spend a considerable amount of my time, tomorrow, refocusing on my mission and goals. I intend to write a list of all the things I have been putting off, either because they are unpleasant tasks or because they seem daunting, and then I will get stuck in to them. This, of course, naturally reconnects me with sector two – the essential key to personal effectiveness.
Today I will simply write-off to experience. Sure, it may not have been a very productive time, but, I feel I have learned something valuable. This is what sector four feels like – and I really don’t like it.