Time management is often thought of as an extremely boring topic. In fact, I bet few people are even reading this article because of the subject matter. Nevertheless, because good time management can be helpful with your dating/relationship life (and your life in general), I felt it would be helpful to address this topic. Obviously, dating and relationships require a lot of time, energy, effort, and often money as well. Therefore, good time management with all elements of your life will greatly help you to regularly invest in the relational part of your life. Concluding that you “don’t have time” for a relationship and not working at this area of your life won’t result in anything better happening for your life. Perhaps “I don’t have time” is an understandable but not a helpful or useful conclusion for you. Ideally, time can be created.
The Stephen Covey Approach to Time Management:
Stephen Covey was an expert in everything business, including time management. In his classic books, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, and “First Things First”, Dr. Covey shares a helpful theory on time management that I will give a simplistic explanation of for your use and benefit. To better understand this subject, you may wish to read either one or both of these books at some point.
In sum, Stephen Covey breaks down all choices of activities into 4 basic options or “quadrants”. In “first quadrant” activities, the activity in question has 2 traits: it is both urgent and important. In urgent activities, there is time pressure and a time crunch. There is a very limited timetable to try to get something done, which creates high levels of stress and anxiety. Quadrant I activities are often avoided and procrastinated to the latest moment possible because of all of the pain associated with the pressured situation. The goal with quadrant I activities are to eliminate and prevent as many of them as possible. Examples of quadrant I activities could include your house being on fire, being late paying your mortgage, or being late or negligent completing important duties at your work.
Quadrant II activities are those activities that are important to do and get done, but are not urgent. Meaning, there is a large or at least comfortable amount of time to get the activities done and completed by. Good productive and constructive results are usually achieved when focusing the bulk of your time, energy, and efforts in activities with this leeway. Healthy and happy people center the bulk of their time doing activities in this quadrant. And because there is plenty of time to do these activities, the process of doing these kinds of things are also more enjoyable with lower stress or anxiety. The goal with quadrant II activities is to spend about 80% of all your time doing these kinds of things. Examples of quadrant II activities include things like paying bills early, doing important work duties with plenty of time, or engaging in regular exercise.
Quadrant III activities are those activities that are urgent—meaning there is time pressure to get an activity done soon and in a rushed manner. Unneeded and unnecessary stress and anxiety are the result. However, these are not important activities to do. Meaning, if you never chose to do these activities, it really wouldn’t matter much if at all. The goal with these kinds of activities is to drop doing such activities and eliminate them out of your life altogether. Examples of quadrant III activities could include a sale at the mall, meeting up with a group of negative or unhealthy people, or buying random things at Amazon or Target.
Finally, quadrant IV activities are those activities that are neither urgent or important to do necessarily, but they are rejuvenating as either fun or relaxing. These activities are sometimes framed as a “waste of time” by some people, but they are not. The enjoyable and rejuvenating parts of life are less formally productive but make life worth living and recharge our emotional and physical batteries. Quadrant IV activities are the “spice of life” and “the frosting on the cake”. Please do not overly deprive yourself of these kinds of things. Of course, you wouldn’t want to spend too much time or resources doing these activities. Save these things as a reward for yourself after eliminating your quadrant I activities and spending the bulk of your time on quadrant II activities. The goal with quadrant IV activities is to spend about 20% of your time doing these things. Examples of such activities include watching a favorite TV show or movie, eating a treat, or going for a joyride.
The better you manage your time, the better you can then apply yourself toward the dating and relationship part of your life. Too often people conclude, “I don’t have time for a relationship”, but really it is often mainly a fear of possible failure, frustration, or heartbreak. Create time through good management and you will reap the benefits. And if your time challenge really mainly about feeling scarred or snakebitten from past relationships, acknowledge that and focus on working that through. Burying yourself in being busy is not a solution. Finding and nurturing a healthy future relationship is. Please focus on doing so. And remember,
“…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).