President Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed extremely busy as the 34th U.S. President, both commanding the Allied Forces during WWII and managing his duties as a decorated five-star general. It takes impressive organizational skills to succeed at just one of these positions, not to mention all three. Wondering how he did it? He used what’s is now known as the Eisenhower Matrix.
What is the key principle of the Eisenhower Matrix?
The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple prioritization method designed to help you organize a list of tasks according to their urgency and importance. Simply using this layout makes you think about urgency and importance as two separate concepts, often in conflict with one another.
To stay on top of things, Eisenhower quickly determined what needed to be done first and focused on those items which he deemed most pressing. He had a saying: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” With this philosophy in mind, he divided a napkin into four categories and assigned tasks to each category:
- Critical and Do Now: Of high importance, and time sensitive.
- Critical, but Do Later: Critical for me to do personally, but okay to set a further end date for completion.
- Not Critical, but Do Now: Delegate to someone who can get it done now.
- Not Critical and Do Later: Let go of these; they’re time wasters.
What are the 2 axes in the Eisenhower Box?
So what’s the difference between important and urgent (or Critical and “Do Now” as we prefer to call them)? Critical tasks are those that get you to your goal and contribute to the long run. “Do Now” indicates a pressing deadline, or time-sensitive nature of the task. Here are some examples of how this fits into a time management scheme.
- Critical and Do Now: reading email from your boss, handling a crisis at work, and stopping an overflowing toilet
- Critical but Do Later: checking all your email accounts, exercising, and finding out why the toilet keeps overflowing
- Not Critical but Do Now: answering email, making vacation reservations, and finding the best plumber
- Not Critical and Do Later: watching an entire season of your favorite television show, checking Facebook every two minutes, and painting the bathroom brown
How do you implement Eisenhower matrix?
Eisenhower may have jotted notes on a napkin, and maybe you like to work on paper, too, but for efficiency-sake, there’s an app for that. The Priority Matrix app is built on the principles of the Eisenhower Method, and lets you easily identify Critical and “Do Now” tasks.
Along with adhering to the Eisenhower prioritization philosophy, the app provides functionality to:
- Create projects
- Prioritize your tasks
- Collaborate with team members through delegation and instant chat
- Go mobile! (on your iPad, iPhone, Android device, or even offline)
- Increase team accountability
- Focus on what’s important
- Reduce time-consuming emails and meetings
Priority Matrix provides you with the tools you need to manage time more wisely and achieve your goals!
Updates are synchronized across all devices, so you can stay on top of your projects from anywhere.
Learn how Priority Matrix is built around the Eisenhower Method:
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You don’t have to be a five-star general to think like one. Try the Priority Matrix app for free today and see how much you can accomplish. What have you got to lose?