Do you wonder what does decision matrix and effectiveness have to do with yoga? To me, yoga is not just a few hours spent on the mat where I bend and get into advanced asanas. Yoga is a way of living. And part of yoga is to constantly learn, become better so you can offer more to the world. This is my life philosophy anyway. And I also advocate for sharing and inspiring people if you have a skill or some particular knowledge.

One of my skills is that I am efficient. And for a good while, I thought that this is awesome. Little did I know that there is another skill, that I was lacking and that it is far more important: effectiveness. Reading Stephen Covey‘s book – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I’ve learned what that means:

Being effective is about doing the right things while being efficient is about doing things right.

Doing the right things means being good at prioritizing and executing around priorities. Which leads us to the decision matrix created by Stephen Covey, based on the Eisenhower’s Decision Principle. The decision  matrix consists of a square divided into four boxes, or quadrants, labeled thusly:

decision matrix
  • As you can see, the two main criteria on which you evaluate tasks are urgency and importance.
  • Covey writes: “Urgent matters are usually visible. They press on us; they insist on action. They’re often popular with others. They’re usually right in front of us. And often they are pleasant, easy, fun to do. But so often they are unimportant!”
  • According to Covey, many people spend most of their time on Q3 tasks, all the while thinking they’re working in Q1.
  • Quadrant 2 activities, on the other hand, don’t have the same immediate consequences, so we’re less likely to attend to them. We should seek to spend most of our time on Q2 activities, as they’re the ones that provide us lasting happiness, fulfillment, and success.

Where Do You Spend Most Of Your Time?

The main takeaway here is to take a step back so you can see the difference between how you should spend your time and how you are spending your time. Be honest with yourself and then see what changes could you make in order to spend more time in Quadrant 2 and be more EFFECTIVE.

I am still working on spending more time in Q2 and schedule my priorities. I used to spend my time in all the quadrants and just a little bit in Q2. to make time for what is really important you have to learn to say no to some other stuff, get a bit more disciplined and learn to differentiate between urgent and important.

Definitely it is not an easy thing to do, but you will see the rewards, in time, if you stick to it.


Why should you use this matrix? If you find yourself always procrastinating the important stuff, always wondering how others seem to have more time to do what they really want and you seem to be always overwhelmed with so many little, unimportant yet urgent things, and never getting to the really important tasks that you know will get you far, than this is for you.

We all get the same 24 hours in a day so how is it that some people are able to accomplish so much more than the rest of the population? And how can you start doing the same?

“The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.” – Stephen Covey

If you found this post useful then please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

decison matrix and personalities

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