So what does Eisenhower have to do with being productive?
Well actually I’m not sure – but he does have a matrix named after him that I have found very useful over the last decade or so. It’s also known as the Important/ Not Important tool – made famous by Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a method for working out where you should be investing your focus – whether that be personally or professionally. It has four quadrants that rate a task based on its importance and urgency as follows:
- Important/ Urgent : this is your DO list. These items are important and they need to be done soon so that’s where the bulk of your attention should be.
- Important/ Not Urgent: this might be last year’s tax return in July. You need to get it done but not immediately. This is your DECIDE list. You have to do it but need to determine when.
- Not important/ Urgent : this is your DELEGATE list. Those things that have be done immediately but it’s not crucial that you take care of them.
- Not important/ Not Urgent: hello Facebook and Instagram. Your DITCH list includes anything that you neither have to do, and nor has any level of urgency. The time wasters, pleasant activities that are easy to be drawn into because they hold no pressure (or value). They are best to be avoided.
So if you are struggling to get your priorities in order grab your to-do list(s) and sit down and note down where they sit-in the above quadrants. Then get cracking on those in quadrant number one!
If you want more information or to download a template you can visit here.