Weeknotes 6, on Stephen Covey and time management

November 17, 20192 min read

Pretty good week at the coal face. I had a couple of challenging problems to solve and really managed to get in the zone and write some good code. One of those rare weeks when I believe I’m good at my job.

Follow-up on “priorities”

Following on from my thoughts about paying attention to the right things this week I came across Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence.

Covey’s diagram, outlined in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, encourages the reader to identify and concern himself with only what he is able to effect.

Covey’s Circle of Concern and Influence

My wife and I are in the process of buying our first home and I have already found this illustration useful when considering some of the roadblocks we have encountered.

Covey on Time Management

The book also provides another useful diagram: The Time Management Matrix.

Urgent Not Urgent
Important Quadrant 1
Pressing problems
Quadrant 2
Relationship building
Not important Quadrant 3
Phone calls
Quadrant 4
Time wasters
Busy work

The idea is to spend your time in Quadrant 2 (important, but not urgent). You neglect to look after your health (important, not urgent) so you get sick (Quadrant 1). You fail to plan ahead with work (Quadrant 2) so you struggle to meet a deadline (Quadrant 1).

Furthermore, the diagram helps to outline the unimportant, disruptive and low-value tasks.


Fasted for 6 days this week, although one of those days was because I drank too much the night before and slept for sixteen hours. Not my finest hour.

Ran twice. Bought some new winter running kit so I’m looking forward to getting out a bit more over the next few weeks.