How to use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix
How to use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix

How to use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Gain Focus & Maximize your Time based on the highly effective Eisenhower Time Management & Prioritization Matrix.

The Urgency by Importance Decision Matrix, as it is also known, makes it easy to Visualize your Tasks as a Four-Quadrant Matrix, where Task Urgency are columns and Task Importance are rows.

The matrix makes it easy to Identity and Focus on Doing your Urgently-Important Tasks found in the first quadrant.

Next, you want to “Schedule Time” for your Important (but not so Urgent) Tasks found in the second quadrant. These Tasks will provide you with the most pleasure because they are Important to you.

In a way and ideally, the Urgently-Important quadrant is loaded with Tasks that are important to you, and it’s time to work on them. It’s your to-do list for the day.

Next, look to “Delegate” the Urgent (but not so Important) Tasks found in the third quadrant.

When using Getting Things Done (GTD)®, your delegated Tasks will appear in your “Waiting on List” so that they won’t get forgotten.

And lastly, there are the not so Urgent and not so Important Tasks found in the fourth quadrant that you want to try and “Eliminate.”

You can permanently Delete these Tasks or Postpone them, and again when using GTD®, these will appear in your “Someday/Maybe List” so that you can come back to them at a later time.

What make a Task Important?

  • Important tasks contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • They are sometimes urgent but usually aren’t.
  • Important activities are proactive and lead to long-term benefits.
  • Conversely, the negative consequences of not doing them tend to accumulate over a longer period and become a crisis.

What makes a Task Urgent?

  • Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention.
  • They are things that you can’t put off and are often for others.
  • The negative consequences of not doing them are immediate.
  • Urgent tasks are reactive, defensive, hurried, short-term, and have a narrow focus.