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  • Samantha Lissington

Team Lissington Time Management

We had some time on our hands yesterday, so it was a great opportunity to sit in the sun and work out what exactly we were going to do with our lives over the next few weeks!

We ended up using my favourite life hack/time management tool – the Q2 Matrix by the Franklin Covey company (see quadrant picture). So here is a bit of insight into our change of focus and how we are going to make the most of this extra time.

Step 1: We categorise tasks; All the things that we have to do can be split into one of 4 categories;

Q1 (Important, Urgent) - They’re tasks that require our immediate attention but also work towards our greater goals. Sometimes they don’t move us forward massively but not doing them would set us back.

E.g. Feeding horses, day to day chores, urgent The Pure Feed Company orders, exercising horses, or fixing the fence when you want to move paddocks that day!

Q2 (Important, Not Urgent) – These are the tasks which don’t have a close deadline, but which are important to who we are as a team and our goals for the future. We actually started with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis yesterday which helped us to work out things that could be channelled into Q2 tasks.

Some of these were in relation to Covid-19, others not. - We talked about what is important to us both as a team and individuals. - We talked about where we wanted to be better. - We did a walk around the barn – making a list of all the things that we would like to do that we haven’t had the time for before. - And we did a walk around the paddocks to work out our plan of attack with the changing seasons, grass management and horse management in the coming months.

Other examples would be learning new skills, @kevinbaconsequine orders ahead of time, fixing the fence when it breaks, training at a higher level than we compete at, contacting potential sponsors, team building activities (e.g. our board games nights), date nights with Brayden.

Q3 (Not important, Urgent) – These tasks that are urgent and feel important but are not ones that progress us to our end goals. For me anything (except emergencies) that comes up when I am riding is a distraction which makes it a Q3! Emails and phone calls is a prime example.

Q4 (Not important, Not urgent) – We try to avoid these at all costs. It is basically anything in excess - So often it’s about admitting what we do and don’t need in our life. E.g. Eating bad food in excess, too much time spent on any activity (inefficient use of time), procrastinating, watching too much TV.

Step 2: PLAN! We then inputted our list into our daily plan (one per day) for the next two weeks, and we know that by the end of these two weeks we are going to feel like we have made a lot of progress towards stuff that is important to us as a team. Which means that we are going to come out of this lockdown feeling prepared, organised, connected and ready to crack on!

I personally have always been a morning person, it took me 25 years to admit to the fact that I am really unproductive at 3pm on a normal day. But I worked that out I could put more time into my mornings to do Q2 jobs, which makes me feel organised and productive, which allows me to focus more on my riding, which then gives me more relaxed day overall. The days that I have the most energy are the ones where I get up at 5am – weird isn’t it!

Wherever we have the most energy in the day, this is where we should be doing Q2 tasks. Over time we end up switching a lot of tasks to being Q2s instead of Q1s – because we are ahead of the curve, and life is just better.

And so it appears that writing my blogs are a Q2 job – I don’t have to write them (not urgent) but they are great for me to reflect, show gratitude, provide value back to the community that enjoy following our progress (important).


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