This 'SP Page' is based on Covey, pages 145 to 182. Spend 4.5 hours on this material to successfully meet the module outcomes and requirements.

What do you spend your time on? Do you save the more difficult tasks for later or do you neglect to give the significant things enough attention or time? Habit 3 of S Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to put first things first. Do you know what that means?

In summary, important things should be done before less important things. Have you ever said: "First things first!"? This means you are clear about your priorities and you act on them. In order to prioritise, we consider certain responsibilities/duties 'important' and 'not important' (we also deem them urgent or not urgent).

Remember, the first three habits fall under 'Private victories', which deal with self mastery and are the essence of character growth. Putting important things first is thus part of the incremental, sequential approach to the development of personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

What is independent will?

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will. – Charlotte Brontë

The fourth unique human endowment–independent will–makes self-management possible. This is the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than be acted upon. Integrity is intrinsically linked to this notion.

Our independent will is measured by our personal integrity (value we place on ourselves). It is our ability to make and keep commitments to ourselves–to "walk our talk".

We use our independent will to make decisions, commit and keep the promises we make to ourselves. Our principles are then used to value ourselves. We manage ourselves through not only our character ethic, but our principles as well.

Time Management

Time and self-management are intertwined with one another, as four generations of time management exist. This time management matrix puts forward that we should first manage ourselves, then our time. The first wave or generation is characterised by notes and checklists to the demands placed on our time and energy. The second generation reflects an attempt to look ahead and schedule events by way of calendars and appointment making. Prioritisation and clarifying values is related to the reflection of the current time management field, as well as the third generation. The fourth generation states that the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.

The Time Management Matrix (Covey, 1989).

The two factors that define an activity are urgent and important. Urgent means it requires immediate attention and that it acts on us (e.g. ringing phone). Importance, on the other hand, has to do with results: it contributes to your mission, values–high priority goals. We react to urgent matters, while important matters that are not urgent require more initiative, more proactivity.

What are the activities and results of the time management matrix? Can you illustrate these concepts if asked?

If we are proactive we spend our time in the second quadrant of the time management matrix.

Intrinsic VS Extrinsic motivation

Lebo is intrinsically motivated to run. Intrinsic motivation is when you do something because you enjoy it or find it interesting. Put differently, this form of motivation involves engaging in bahaviour because it is personally rewarding–essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for an external reward.

Thato's reason for running involves extrinsic motivation, or doing something for external rewards or to avoid negative consequences. So, we are extrinsically motivated when we engage in activities to earn a reward or avoid punishment.

Can you distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? What makes them similar? What sets them apart from one another?


To prioritise, we should say no to urgent and popular activities and yes to self-discipline, planning and PC activities. Move to Quadrant 2, get organised and put first things first. To do so, a paradigm shift is necessary.

Our key activities are as follows:

  • Identify your roles;
  • Select the goals you wish to pursue;
  • Schedule your time and self-management; and
  • Adapt to your world, daily.

Name the six important criteria for a Quadrant 2 organiser.

Remember to live it and do it! Habit 1: You are the programmer; Habit 2: Write the program; Habit 3: Run the program.

With better self-management comes delegation. In empowering ourselves, we must empower those around us.


  • Delegate to time = efficiency
  • Delegate to people = effectiveness
  • Increase P and PC
  • Distinguish between "Gofer" and "Stewardship" delegation

Clear expectations of the following:

  • Desired reults
  • Guidelines
  • Resources
  • Accountability
  • Consequence
  • Stewardship

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