Some Perspective

Planning Your Time in a Pandemic


Bryan Brown

Director of International Training and Leader Development


Here is a perspective to keep in mind during this pandemic:
This important concept comes from Steven Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

Consider the above four quadrants of Life Management. Now prioritize (“1” being first and “4” being last) where to spend your time. Perhaps obviously you would put “1” in the upper left – those things that are both Urgent and Important. Number “4” is easy as well – lower right. No one wants to give his or her time to things that are neither urgent, nor important.

Now the tricky part – where do you put “2” and “3”? What gets priority, the things that are screaming for your attention, or the important things that seem like they can be done later?

You may think – “Let me get the urgent out of the way, then get on with the really important.” Actually, that doesn’t work – the important things always get left behind. Family, time with God, relationships, etc. – these are things that we lose. The smart pick for “2” is the Important / Non-Urgent. That is the quadrant that is most neglected, yet second in importance.

This Covid-19 pandemic has proven one thing for sure – you cannot anticipate everything, and change is going to happen. However, it is easier to get where you want to go with a plan than it is without one. That is why I recommend developing a rhythm for planning out your time – this is even true when your options are limited as they are now.

Weekly Planning Time – The most critical hour of your week. This is best done during the weekend for the coming week.

Two steps:

Evaluate last week

  1. Did my life reflect what is most important to me?
  • What was accomplished?
  • Not accomplished?
  1. Did I walk in the Spirit?
  2. Did I focus my priorities, including the important/non-urgent areas?
  • What was accomplished?
  • What was left undone?
  1. Did I protect my schedule/plan?
  • What areas did I compromise?
  • Why?
  1. What changes should I make for next week?

Plan this week

  1. Review your calendar and list any actions it generates
    What do I need to do this week?
  2. Review your goals for this week
  • What is most important
  • Consider all areas of life
  1. In light of my calendar and priorities, write down the three most important tasks I can accomplish this week
  2. Write down other things that you need to do or want to get done.
  3. Pray over this week
    • Will this plan help me live out my priorities?
    • Will this plan meet the needs of my family?
    • Will this plan develop the key people in my life?
    • Is this plan reasonable and by faith?
    • What am I trusting God for?


  1. Schedule your week at only 70% capacity or less. Remember – leave some white space!
  2. Consolidate time into large chunks.
  3. Do the most important thing first.
  4. Do one thing at a time.
  5. Focus on outcomes, not activities
  6. Who do you need to ask for help?
  7. Plan your day – 10 minutes each evening or early morning.
  • Mentally walk through your day – What do you want to accomplish?

Write down what needs to be done. Prioritize your list.