Project Management

Eisenhower Decision Matrix

last edited by: Joao Sarmento on Jan 23, 2020 4:10 PM login/register to edit this page

Contents
1 Procedure
   1.1 Category 1 – Urgent and Important Tasks (Do First)
   1.2 Category 2 – Not Urgent but Important Tasks (Schedule)
   1.3 Category 3 – Urgent but Not Important Tasks (Delegate)
   1.4 Category 4 – Not Urgent and Not Important Tasks (Don’t Do)

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix was developed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States of America who also served as a General in the United States Army and as the Allied Forces Supreme Commander during World War II.

With his many titles and his wholly successful career, Eisenhower was the epitome of productivity and time management. His experience and skills led him to develop the world-famous Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

Procedure

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a powerful tool for time management. It helps you to decide on and prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance while sorting out less urgent and less important tasks.

The matrix consists of four categories:

  1. urgent and important tasks;
  2. not urgent but important tasks;
  3. urgent and not important tasks;
  4. not urgent and not important tasks.

Category 1 – Urgent and Important Tasks (Do First)

The first category consists of urgent and important tasks or the “do first” items on your to-do list. These tasks require your immediate attention as they are related to your long-term life and career goals.

Category 1 tasks will usually consist of deadlines, emergencies, and crisis situations.

By planning and organizing ahead of time, you can prevent most important responsibilities from becoming urgent. If you get tasks done ahead of the impending deadline, you won’t be stressed at the last minute.

For example, if you know that you have a document due on a certain date, get it done a week in advance and scratch it off of your (probably long) list of things to do.

Category 2 – Not Urgent but Important Tasks (Schedule)

The next category consists of tasks that are not urgent but are nevertheless important. You should schedule these activities into your planner or calendar.

These tasks typically consist of self-care, self-improvement, social relationships, and planning for the future.

Duties in this category might take a lot of willpower to complete because there are no deadlines looming over your head. You should still be motivated and driven to get these tasks done, especially when it comes to self-care. Exercising, meditating, and making time for hobbies are often pushed aside for more urgent matters. It is important to instill a sense of urgency by scheduling the tasks into your calendar, creating your own deadline.

Category 3 – Urgent but Not Important Tasks (Delegate)

Tasks that fall under Category Three are responsibilities that are urgent but are not important as they do not further your goals. These are duties that you should delegate whenever possible and include doing favors for other people.

These types of tasks are not wrong but it’s important that you don’t spend all of your time helping others in turn, forgetting about yourself. For this reason, it’s wise to refer these favors to someone else who can better help, whenever possible.

Category 4 – Not Urgent and Not Important Tasks (Don’t Do)

Category four activities are the “time-wasters.” These activities are neither urgent nor important and don’t do anything to bring you closer to your goals. These are the “don’t do” tasks and are considered distractions.

Unfortunately, many of us spend way too much time in this category. That’s not to say that you can never have some unproductive leisure time. It’s important to unplug for a while and allow yourself a little entertainment but you need to set a time limit. Shoot for no more than one hour a day on these activities.


last edited by: Joao Sarmento on Jan 23, 2020 4:10 PM login/register to edit this page


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