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Mastering the (Eisenhower) Matrix
For some, it provides the utmost relief. For others, it’s an intimidating chore version of Dance, Dance Revolution. We GET it. You’re busy and adding another layer of organization on top of your existing task list seems like a stretch. But the benefits of visually square dancing your tasks away with the Eisenhower Matrix makes checking off that to-do list a breeze.
What the Heck is an Eisenhower Matrix?
Four little squares that determine the fate of your productivity - the 34th U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was credited for launching the idea publicly when quoting a university president as saying, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important and the important are never urgent.” Stephen Covey ran with this idea to create the “Eisenhower Matrix,” a four-square series that provides better answers than your average paper fortune teller.
How to Use The Matrix
- Do - Place tasks here that are both urgent and important. This square is for tasks that require immediate completion (either for deadlines or peace of mind).
- Schedule - Place important tasks here that are not looming issues. Can this wait a week or two? PERF. Add a calendar reminder and remove that thought as an immediate concern.
- Delegate - Is the task appropriate to your skill set? Or is it something that you can use to train someone else? Give that proofing or transcription task to your intern. Does it involve design? Let the creatives create. Provide ways for others to shine/hone their skills, while freeing up your day/week.
- Delete - Toss those unimportant suckers.
If you’re struggling with finding a place for tasks to reside within the quadrant, limit to 10 tasks per section. Make to-do lists based on the matrix and prioritize. Once you finish prioritizing, clear off any unimportant tasks trailing off at the end of the lists by delegating or striking them out. Ta DA! Just like that, you’ve organized your week and are free to practice your winning Dance, Dance Revolution combos.