What Is The Eisenhower Matrix?
The Eisenhower matrix is a technique that helps you determine whether you should perform a certain task or not. It is another way of helping you prioritize your tasks.
This method is especially useful for people with a lot of things on their plate. If you have a long to do list or a busy schedule ahead of you, this is one method you should definitely try out.
The technique is simple. It involves the use of a box divided into four equal parts (quadrants).
The Eisenhower matrix utilizes two basic parameters: importance and urgency. Depending on where your tasks fall under in the Eisenhower Box will determine your course of action.
How To Use The Eisehower Matrix?
The structure consists of four main sections:
- Urgent and Important – tasks you will do immediately
- Important, but Not Urgent – tasks you will schedule to do at a later time
- Urgent, but Not Important – tasks you can assign to someone else to do it for you
- Not Urgent and Not Important – tasks that you will eliminate (don’t do these tasks at all)
One of the great features about the Eisenhower matrix is that it can work for a variety of tasks!
1. Quadrant 1 – Urgent And Important
The tasks that fall under this category are those that needs your attention ASAP. These tasks can be from things you didn’t finish, but are due soon. They can also be tasks that you procrastinated on! In addition, rescheduled or unforeseen tasks can also fall under this category – in this case, quadrant.
2. Quandrant 2 – Important But Not Urgent
Quadrant 2 tasks are tasks that usually have to do with your goals. They should have a meaningful purpose that will benefit you in some way(s). Even though they don’t require your attention right away, it is important that you schedule them at a good time to take care of them. Don’t let it become a urgent and important task, so avoid procrastination and avoid giving yourself to much time to do them.
3. Quadrant 3 – Urgent But Not Important
These are the tasks that you should be cautious of. They can be a little tricky. Depending on what it is, you might be tempted to do these tasks yourself, when it is more efficient to have someone do them for you. Now, I know that now everyone is a millionaire and can afford to hire someone else to do their tasks. If that’s the case, you might want to reconsider on whether that task should fit in this category.
4. Quadrant 4 – Not Urgent And Not Important
Well, if any of your tasks fall under this category, the answer is simple: eliminate it! Don’t do them at all. These tasks are the tasks that will take up all your valuable time. Time is everyone’s most valuable asset. Time is something you cannot buy. Sure, money can lower the amount of time spent on certain tasks, but it doesn’t change the fact that the amount of time you have will still remain the same. Don’t hesitate, and ignore these tasks altogether. They should not exist in your schedule.
NOTE – This is not the end all be all method to task prioritization (e.g. The 80/20 Rule). There are other methods out there. Try them out, and see what works best for you.
What Is The Difference Between Urgent And Important?
Urgent tasks are tasks that require your attention immediately. Urgent tasks are tasks that needs to be taken care of first before anything else.
As the saying goes:
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
Important tasks are tasks that have a purpose. They are the tasks that contribute to something else, usually as a stepping stone or key factor towards the success of something else. In most cases, these tasks should be related to your goals, whether your goal is big or small.
If your goal is to clean up your garage, then some of the sub tasks that come along might be organizing the items, throwing some items away, making an inventory list of all the items in the garage, etc.
Again, this is not the end all be all method of productivity and time management. You should explore other methods out there, and find out what’s best for you. Keep on experimenting with them, and consider combining a few techniques together.