Eisenhower and productivity

September 3, 2019

So what does Eisenhower have to do with being productive?

Well apparently in addressing a the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, former U.S. in 1954 the President stated “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” (He was in fact quoting Dr J. Roscoe Miller, president of Northwestern University but that seems to have been overshadowed!)

You may have also heard of it as the Important/ Not Important Matrix- made famous by Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Whatever you want to call it the Eisenhower Matrix is an excellent method for working out where you should be investing your focus – whether that be personally or professionally.

It has four quadrants that allow you to 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 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, DUMP or DON’T DO list includes anything that you neither have to do, 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 and number two!

If you want more information or to download a template you can visit here.

Got a question? Want to chat. I’d love to connect – message me here.

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