TMM #009: This is O.D.D.

The 4 Quadrants of maximizing your time...

Read Time: 7 min

Last week I gave the analogy of the 100 coins game

It was an analogy of time.

We’re all given the same amount (coins), we all have to spend it, and we all get more the next day.

For some, that usually means that they just waste it… and it shows.

For others, they realize the true value in using that time wisely… and it also shows (for the better).

How are we given the same amount of the same thing yet all end up in wildly different places in life?

It’s where and how we spend it.

So, I’m going make this memo incredibly practical.

We’re going to talk about my practice for evaluating my time, making decisions on how I want to spend that time, and maybe even more important… how I don’t want to spend my time.

I call it the O.D.D. Method.

I thought of this when I was 25 years old and have used it ever since on a regular basis.

This practice, plus another practice I call calendar grading have been massively influential in my pursuit of margin. (I’ll share calendar grading another time)

So, let’s get into O.D.D.

O.D.D. Method

Step 1: Know how to weight and measure your time

The entire premise of O.D.D. is to be incredibly self aware of what you currently spend your time on.


To understand that everything you do gets plotted on 2 axes (x-axis & y-axis)

The X-Axis represents the continuum of “VALUE”… aka how valuable a use of time is on any given task, project, person, activity, and so on. Far left is low value, far right is high value.

The Y-Axis represents the continuum of “EFFICIENCY”… aka how much time is spent on any given task, project, person, activity, and so on. Bottom is low efficient/high time commitment, Top is high efficiency/low time commitment.

As you will see below, this creates 4 quadrants.

  • Quadrant 1 (Top Right) - High Efficiency/High Value (aka takes less time, drives high value)

  • Quadrant 2 (Top Left) - High efficiency/Low Value (aka takes less time, provides low value)

  • Quadrant 3 (Bottom Left) - Low Efficiency/Low Value (aka takes lots of time, provides very little value)

  • Quadrant 4 (Bottom Right) - Low Efficiency/High Value (aka take lots of time, provides high value)

Obviously, Quadrant 1 is where a lot of the gold is. This is where you make leaps and bounds in your life at a much faster pace. (Example: Having a 30-minute zoom with a mentor)

Quadrant 4 is a gold mine still, however you may not accumulate the gold nearly as fast. This quadrant usually gets the most neglected because it takes the most time. (Example: Going through 12 weeks of proactive marital counseling with your wife)

Quadrant 2 is likely a waste of time, but not as much time is wasted. Not great, but not the worst use of time. (Example: Sorting and filtering your own emails)

Also obvious, Quadrant 3 is the absolute worst use of your time. Many average and below average people spend the majority of their time here. (Example: Binge watching a Netflix series that exists for no other reason than to numb out)

Step 2: Label Your Time & Plot It

This is where self awareness needs to kick in.

This is where I want you to identify everything in your life that you spend your time on AND everything in your life that you SHOULD spend your time on.

I would say, “look at your calendar” but that doesn’t tell the whole story for most.

So, here are the blocks of time in your week I want you to think through…

  • Weekday, Before Work

  • Weekday, During Work (use calendar)

  • Weekday, After Work

  • Saturday AM

  • Saturday PM

  • Sunday AM

  • Sunday PM

Use these categories to brain dump the absolute most amount of things that you do.

Think about everything that you do: workout, spend time on phone, cooking, cleaning, meetings, projects, time with wife, time with kids, driving, thinking, partying, socializing, writing your wife a letter (this is likely something you should do, but don’t lol), watching a show, reading a book, listening to a podcast, , etc etc etc.

This list should be substantial.


Draw those quadrants on a big piece of paper, take that list, and write every one of those items in the quadrant that it belongs in.

We’re not done.

The most important part

Step 3: O.D.D. It

As the method is called, it’s time to “O.D.D. It”

It stands for…

O- Optimize (Get the same outcome but do it more efficiently or get a better outcome using the same amount of time)
D- Delegate (Get the same or better outcome but have someone else do it for you)
D- Delete (Don’t do it at all)

Basically, you should be asking the questions:

Should this be done at all?
Can it be done better?
Can it be done by someone else?

Remember, the overarching goal of this exercise is to better spend your coins.

That means there will be things that are already perfect… keep those and do nothing different. No O.D.D. necessary. Coins well spent.

There are things that are necessary, valuable, or important that YOU have to do… optimize those. Get the same outcomes but spend less coins on it.

There are things that are necessary, valuable, or important that OTHERS can do… delegate this to someone else. Spend someone else’s coins for you. Leverage!

There are things that you should absolutely not be spending your time or anyone else’s time on… delete it. Save your coins and spend elsewhere.

I think you know what is next…

Take your quadrants and lists and go one by one…. keep as is, optimize it, delegate it, or delete it.

HEADS UP: Just because something is already in Quadrant 1 does not mean that you have to be the one to do it (in fact, this is called the ultimate leverage - when someone else can do highly efficient and highly valuable things for you). Being in Q1 also doesn’t mean that it can’t still be made more efficient.

Let’s give some examples to get the juices flowing.

Example 1: “Cooking really healthy and delicious meals”
This is obviously something that needs to be done if I want to be healthy, in shape, and at my peak. Great! Well it’s a decent time suck if you count out the hours per week that’s devoted to it. Needs to be optimized or delegated.

Ok, well one option is that we could meal prep all at once on Sundays. This gives us healthy meals and probably cuts our time in half. This is optimized.

Or even better (this is what my family does), you have a chef come to your house one day per week and cook insanely good meals that taste amazing for you. He shops, he cooks, he cleans, and he packages everything. Lunch and dinner for every day. Pull it out, put glass Tupperware in preheated oven, and we’re eating 8 minutes later. This is delegated.

Example 2: “1:1 meetings with other business professionals”
If networking with successful local people is of importance or high value to you then it must be done. Can’t delegate it, must optimize it.

Lunches are a massive time suck. Drive time, sit, wait, order, eat, talk, drive. 2 hours.

Coffees are better than lunches but still not the best. Drive time, sit, drink, talk, drive. 1.5 hours.

Inviting your connection to your office (or in my case, my ranch) where coffee is sitting there for the two of you. No drive time, sit, drink, talk, they leave. 1 hour tops.

Example 3: “Team meetings within your company”
This doesn’t have to be a long explanation…. If a meeting isn’t necessary, never have it again.

If it’s necessary, make it far more efficient. There is nothing wrong with a 17 minute all-hands meeting. There is nothing special about 30, 60, or 90 minute placeholders. Some people feel the need to use every single minute. I’d encourage you to start scheduling meetings in 10 minute increments instead of 30.

I can go on and on of examples… lawn crews to do your yard, podcasts on 1.7x speed, personal trainer to your home instead of driving to gym, assistant to manage calendar, assistant to manage email, assistant to help you prep for calls, bulk creating content, GPT for ideation… did I mention an assistant? (If you don’t have an Executive Assistant, you’re missing out.)

Hopefully that got your creativity flowing a bit.

This practice is a quarterly thing for me. I don’t find that I need to do it much more frequently than that.

On a weekly basis however, I do what I call Calendar Grading where I open up my calendar from the previous week and I color code it Green (keep), Yellow (make shorter or better), Red (never do again).

I’ll talk more on that at another time.

Put this to practice and let me know how it goes!

Shoot me a screenshot of your quadrants.

To your pursuit of Margin,
Joey Gilkey