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Life is very busy, especially for those who have immediate and extended families, church responsibilities, work life and who want at least some personal time. It’s like we’re running on treadmills that never, ever stop. How do we gain control over our time when we feel like we’re running from one urgent matter to another? Urgent school projects are due, the church choir needs help, an elderly parent has fallen again and we’re behind on our production targets at work. And we still need to be good partners, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. We are exhausted sometimes before we even begin. How do we get off the treadmill?

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, created the Eisenhower Decision Matrix (see below), which was popularized by Stephen Covey in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” By conveniently dividing activities into four distinct quadrants (should social media be in quadrant 4?), we would all benefit from using this matrix to decide where to invest our time.

While we don’t want to waste more time than necessary in quadrants 3 and 4, we need to spend as much time as possible in quadrant 2, which requires us to put these activities on our calendar and stick to the schedule regardless of what else comes up. Quadrant 1 activities should be completed as quickly as possible to get them out of the way. Try to delegate everything in quadrant 3 and eliminate everything in quadrant 4.

To help me with this, I use My Perfect Week Scheduler. I begin by putting in activities with my family and friends and other personal things that are important to me. Then I insert my prospecting time and the time necessary for being at listing appointments or out working with buyers. Lastly, I insert the time I need to work on the future of my business.

If you have a salesperson’s personality, you might not want to schedule every minute of the day. I like some empty space on my calendar so I can do things I want to do. During these times, there’s no need for me to consider the importance of the activity. This makes me willing to jump right back into quadrant 1 and 2 activities when they arise on my calendar. If you’d like a copy of My Perfect Week Scheduler, just shoot me an email at

Cleve Gaddis is a master coach, speaker and trainer with Workman Success Systems. He works with some of America’s most profitable teams and specializes in helping family-owned brokerages and teams successfully navigate their unique challenges. Gaddis hosts the Your Move Atlanta weekly radio show on 640 AM, a Fox News station on iHeartRadio. He learned sales the hard way, by selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. To have Gaddis speak live to your company, team or group, connect with him at