The Eisenhower Matrix was created by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, who also served as a General in the United States Army and Supreme Allied Commander during World War II. With his many titles and highly successful business, Eisenhower was the epitome of productivity and time management. His experience and skills led him to develop the world famous Eisenhower Matrix.
Eisenhower says: I have two kinds of important problems. Necessary essentials and important ones are never necessary.
Eisenhower’s Time Management, also known as the Urgent and Critical Matrix, is a powerful time management tool. This will help you organize your tasks based on urgency and importance while still being a little organized. In the Eisenhower matrix, it is opposed to 4 types of tasks:
○ First category includes the urgent and important or “do first” items on your to-do list. These tasks need your immediate attention due to the length of life and career. Group one usually includes deadlines, emergency situations, and critical situations. Here are some examples of group one possibilities:
▪︎ Emails that require immediate attention and response cannot be ignored.
▪︎ Any deadline that includes homework deadline, tax payment deadline, and others.
▪︎Participating in meetings is one of the duties of every person that he does many times.
▪︎Any emergency or crisis that requires a quick response.
Use planning and organization ahead of time to prevent your most important responsibilities from becoming urgent. If you do your work ahead of time, you won’t be stressed at the last minute. As in, if you know you have to publish an ad report on a certain date, make the preparations a week in advance and cross it off your (most likely) to-do list.
So, the first quarter of the Eisenhower matrix consists of your most important tasks. Necessary activities whose deadline is near and cannot be ignored. To place tasks in this group, you must first thoroughly analyze your priorities and then decide how well they fit your criteria. If this task must be done within a day and should not take more than a day, it is an urgent task.
● The second category includes tasks that are not urgent but are important nonetheless. You should schedule these activities in your schedule or calendar. These tasks usually include self-care, self-improvement, social relationships, and planning for the future. Examples of category two tasks are:
▪︎ Spending time with family
▪︎ Weekly planning (determining the schedule for the coming week)
▪︎ weekly financial planning
▪︎ Shopping for food and other items
▪︎Spending time to pursue your hobbies
Tasks in this quarter should be scheduled for another time. Generally, these tasks are in line with your long-term goals and help you grow. As we said, a common everyday example can be exercise. You know it’s very important for your health, but you can’t devote time to it. So, you have to decide when you are ready to set it. Schedule tasks so they don’t get relegated to the “urgent” category. Make sure you have enough time to run them while they are still in this section.
● The third category are responsibilities that are necessary but not important because they do not advance your goals. These duties can be done at any time and include doing good deeds for others. Some specific examples of this category are:
Answering phone calls and text messages.
▪︎ Emails that are not important but need attention.
▪︎ Do something for the benefit of colleagues, friends or family members.
▪︎Answer the new colleague’s questions.
○Doing these kinds of things is not wrong, but it is important not to devote all your time to others and not to forget your own work. So refer these things to someone else who can help better or move it to another time. Activities in this category can trick you into thinking that these tasks are important. In fact, doing these things won’t help your productivity much.