In Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People he wrote about 4 quadrants. His thesis is that with every activity that we undertake during the day, that activity would be categorized as 1 of 4 activities:
He writes that we spend the majority of our time operating in quadrants 3 and 4. Both of these quadrants represent tasks, processes, etc that are not important whether they are urgent or not. These are the categories that represent time wasting. Working in Quadrants 3 and 4 can make you feel like you are getting something done. It creates that feeling of being busy. Yet, you are not really accomplishing anything of real value. As a result, you put off things that are important and not urgent which out of default places you in quadrant 1 – urgent and important. You don’t want important items becoming urgent. That is operating in crisis mode.
However, if you would focus on quadrant 2 specifically, your life would stay in order, you would get the most important things done, and the important things would never turn into crisis mode. Ironically, it ends up being a dangerous cycle. Because you are operating in crisis mode (quadrant 1) you become stressed. The stress makes gravitate back towards the lower quadrants doing busy work and lower or no stress items like answering emails. This makes you feel busy and offers a distraction from quadrant 1 and 2 tasks.
The stewardship of money is a quadrant 2 process. It is important. The challenge with the stewardship of money is that can create all kinds of emotions that we don’t want to deal with. Thus we end up dealing with money only when it turns into crisis mode.
This year’s trouble in the stock market has created a lot of quadrant 1 investors who have ignored their investments in a market that has for the most part gone up. When the market is going up, your money is not in quadrant 1. Thus, you can handle the quadrant 1 fires while leaving the stewardship of your investments on the back burner until they appear in quadrant 1.
Now that market volatility has your attention turning your investments into a quadrant 1 scenario, fix it once and for all creating a method for keeping it in the quadrant 2 category. Take these steps:
1) Make sure you are in the right investments for your risk level
2) Identify and fix any problems that you might have with your investments
3) Make sure you are working with the right advisor that can get you from point a to point b.
4) Make sure that you have a plan B in the event plan A is not working and know at what point you would go to Plan B
5) Make sure you have a plan so that you know where you are going
6) Be intentional about setting regular, future appointments with yourself to review your results and make sure you are going in the right direction
Who knows if the market is recovering or about to decline a lot more. Either case, this is an opportunity to put those 6 steps into action and stay out of quadrant 1 for good! If you would like to talk further about those 6 steps, sen me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 972-386-0384.