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The Eisenhower Matrix – Prioritize Like a Pro

The Eisenhower Matrix - Prioritize Like a Pro

The key to creating the most effective use of your time is to prioritize your tasks.

Plenty of individuals create to do lists; then, they get to work on the actions on the listing in an indiscriminate order. As a outcome, they are typically busy all day lengthy however without attaining significant results. In any case, not all duties are created equal.

Enter the Eisenhower Matrix, a software which can provide help to to prioritize tasks by urgency and importance. This matrix was first proposed by Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th president of the USA of America. President Eisenhower once stated the next:

“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

This insight led him to provide you with what is known as the Eisenhower Principle. He recognized that he needed to use his time in a approach that was each environment friendly and effective. In addition, the best way to try this was by not permitting the urgent to get in the best way of what was most necessary.

On this publish I’m going to elucidate what the Eisenhower Matrix is, and I’m going to offer you methods on easy methods to begin applying it in your personal life with a view to make the most effective use of your time.

As I defined above, President Eisenhower planned his days alongside the size of urgency and significance. Here’s the excellence between the 2:

  • Essential actions are those that may permit us to realize our objectives and goals, in addition to stay in accordance with our values. One method to determine if a activity is essential is to ask your self the following: “Can I reach my goals and stay true to my values if I skip this task?”
  • Urgent activities are people who have a looming deadline. One approach to determine if a activity is urgent is to ask yourself: “When is the deadline for this task?”  As I clarify additional down under, simply because something is urgent doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do it.

Given these two dimensions–necessary and urgent–, activities can fall into one of the four categories of the Eisenhower Matrix:

  • Category 1: Essential and Urgent
  • Category 2: Necessary and Not Pressing
  • Class three: Not Necessary and Pressing
  • Class 4: Not Essential and Not Urgent

This provides us the following matrix:

Eisenhower matrix

You’ll discover an evidence of every of these classes under.

Category 1: Essential and Urgent

The first category of the Eisenhower Matrix–necessary and pressing–consists of firefighting. It’s the place a lot of individuals spend most of their time.

eisenhower matrix

Duties that fall into Category 1 require our instant consideration. When it comes time to determine which gadgets in your to do record you need to do first, start with these. In case you don’t get to work on these things, one in every of two things will occur:

  • There might be a destructive consequence–for instance, your boss will yell at you for not handing within the monetary report on time.
  • You’ll miss an necessary alternative–as an illustration, when you fail to deliver the grant software on time, you gained’t be capable of compete for the grant prize.

If most of the tasks in your to do listing fall into this category, you’re continually in troubleshooting mode. This may be very annoying, and it’ll intrude together with your potential to work on your long-time period objectives.

There are two primary explanation why activities end up on this category:

  • You procrastinated on an essential venture or process.
  • One thing unexpected occurred.

Class 1 Examples

Some examples of things that fall into this category embrace the next:

  • It’s Tuesday, you might have a check on Friday, however you haven’t even started learning.
  • It rained closely and now your basement is flooded.
  • It’s a must to give a presentation to the board of directors in two days, but you haven’t gathered all the crucial knowledge.
  • Your web site was hacked.
  • You get a name out of your kid’s faculty saying that he’s sick and you must go decide him up.

Learn how to Scale back Class 1 Duties

Your technique on the subject of Class 1 ought to be to try to scale back the number of duties that fall into this class, with the aim of preserving them to a naked minimum. Listed here are 5 things you are able to do to scale back the period of time that you simply spend in this class:

  • Study undertaking management so as to complete your tasks in an efficient and well timed method.
  • Apply prevention: exercise; eat healthy meals; comply with a schedule of normal maintenance in your automotive and necessary household home equipment; and so on.
  • Set yearly, monthly, and weekly objectives.
  • Plan every day the night time before. Then, each morning, evaluate your plan.
  • Take steps to overcome procrastination.

Category 2: Essential and Not Urgent

This is the category the place your values and your goals reside. Unfortunately, it’s typically uncared for since you permit duties that fall into the other three classes to eat away at your time.

Eisenhower Matrix

Whenever you’re prioritizing your to do record, make sure that to schedule a time and place for Class 2 activities. Then, make an unbreakable commitment to yourself to work on these duties, even if they don’t include a sense of urgency.

This category is where the magic occurs. Duties that fall into this class are those that may assist you to achieve your lengthy-term objectives in all life areas, as well as forestall fires that you simply then need to put out in Class 1. As well as, it’s a pretty stress-free class.

Class 2 Examples

Some examples of things that fall into this category of the Eisenhower Matrix embrace the following:

  • Private improvement–reading books on private improvement, attending seminars, and taking online programs.
  • Strategizing periods.
  • Studying new expertise–studying to code, studying one other language, or acquiring business expertise.
  • Enhancing very important expertise.
  • Exercising.
  • Meditating, doing yoga, or doing Tai Chi.
  • Taking scheduled breaks.
  • Spending time together with your youngsters.
  • Happening dates together with your spouse.
  • Creating a disaster administration protocol for what you are promoting.
  • Enhancing techniques.
  • Training self-care.
  • True recreation.
  • Engaged on a rewarding pastime.
  • Getting ready to vary careers.
  • Working in your novel.
  • Creating a second source of revenue.
  • Taking steps to stop the crises that put you in Category 1.

If this class is so nice, why don’t individuals spend most of their time here? Because these actions are typically pushed to the aspect by duties and actions that fall into the opposite three classes. In addition, the results of not doing Class 2 activities don’t appear immediately.

Find out how to Spend More Time in Class 2

If you wish to spend more time in Category 2, you should achieve this intentionally. Listed here are five issues you can do to spend more time on actions that fall in this category:

  • Set objectives–set brief-time period, mid-time period, and long-term objectives.
  • Be clear on your values.
  • Set aside one-hour-a-day to work on your most necessary objectives.
  • Create pretend deadlines for Category 2 activities and look for methods to hold your self accountable to these deadlines.
  • Comply with the recommendation contained in this article for decreasing the amount of time that you simply spend on activities that fall into Categories1, three, and 5. Apply that freed up time to Class 2 tasks.

Category three: Not Essential and Urgent

Duties that fall into Class 3 of the Eisenhower Matrix may be very seductive, because they often come with bells and whistles. The urgency of those duties can make them feel necessary, even if they’re not.

Eisenhower Matrix

You in all probability spend a lot of time in this class when you typically hear yourself saying things like the following:

  • “I was busy all day, but I didn’t accomplish anything of importance.”
  • “I’m exhausted  but I feel like I have nothing to show for it.”

To cease feeling this manner, look for methods to restrict the duties that fall into this class as much as you’ll be able to.

Class three Examples

Examples of duties that fall into this class embrace the following:

  • Interruptions, such as the doorbell ringing or a notification popping up in your pc display.
  • Other individuals’s emergencies.
  • Household chores.
  • Some telephone calls and conferences.

The greatest option to cope with these activities is to postpone them, delegate them, outsource them, get rid of them, or attempt to finish them as shortly as you’ll be able to.

Find out how to Scale back Class 3 Tasks

Listed here are five things you are able to do to spend less time on this class:

  • Set your personal agenda and your personal priorities so that you simply’re not continuously working on the agenda and priorities of others.
  • Study to say “no” politely however firmly.
  • Delegate and outsource tasks that fall into this category.
  • Create techniques to cope with tasks reminiscent of home cleansing and doing the laundry as efficiently and shortly as potential.
  • Discover a quiet area to work where you gained’t be interrupted and switch off all distractions.

Class four: Not Necessary and Not Urgent

Tasks that fall into this category are merely a waste of time and must be prevented in any respect costs.

Eisenhower Matrix

Although tasks that fall into this category are simply time wasters, individuals interact in them for a number of reasons. Listed here are a few of them:

  • Lack of focus–e.g., you lose your focus and find yourself reading articles on subjects that aren’t associated to the task you have been engaged on.
  • Low levels of dopamine–in case your ranges of dopamine are low chances are you’ll find yourself partaking in what you perceive to be pleasurable activities to attempt to increase your levels of this necessary neurotransmitter.
  • To avoid the discomfort of engaged on troublesome tasks.
  • Damaging habits — for example, you’ll have created a behavior of clicking on the instagram icon now and again, and now you do it on autopilot.
  • Burnout–you’re too burdened and drained to work on necessary issues that require numerous brain energy.

Class 4 Examples

Examples of duties that fall into this category embrace the next:

  • Busywork, reminiscent of extreme formatting and creating pointless reviews.
  • Checking your e-mail continuously.
  • Happening social media countless occasions all through the day.
  • Avoiding troublesome tasks by aimlessly looking the online, mindlessly watching TV, enjoying video games for hours on end, or organizing your desk for the umpteenth time.
  • Some telephone calls and meetings.
  • Gossiping across the water cooler.
  • Checking the information repeatedly throughout the day.

The right way to Scale back Class 4 Duties

Listed here are five things you are able to do to spend less time in this class:

  • Designate time for checking e-mail and social media. Should you feel the need to go on Twitter or open your inbox, remind your self that you simply’ve set time apart for that later.
  • Block out chunks of time for essential tasks. When it’s time to work on those tasks you only have two choices: work on the duty or stare at your thumbs.
  • Schedule time for enjoyable and rest so that you simply’re much less tempted to flee by spending time on Class 4 activities.
  • Make a listing of the ways by which you waste time so to catch your self if you’re partaking in any of these actions.
  • Create a clear structure in your day so that you simply don’t accidently wander into Class 4 (it happens).

Methodology to Comply with

I hope that it’s clear from the reasons above of each of the 4 classes of the Eisenhower Matrix that prioritizing your duties is significant in your success. Right here’s a ten-step process you must comply with:

1. Make a listing of all of the tasks that it’s a must to complete throughout the day.

2. Go through each process and ask these two questions: “Is this important?” and “Is this urgent?” Your record might look something like the following:

tasks eisenhower matrixthree. Depending on the answers to the 2 questions above, put each activity in one of the four classes of the Eisenhower Matrix. You’ll be able to download the PDF under and use that.

eisenhower matrix

4. Take out your agenda, day ebook, calendar, or whatever you employ to arrange your day. Schedule duties that fall into Category2.

5. Get rid of, postpone, or delegate any tasks that fall into Class 3. If it’s a must to cope with these duties, schedule a time to work on them as shortly as potential.

6. Delete all Class 4 duties.

7- Now that your day is deliberate, get going. Eat the frog and get to work on Class 1 activities — start with probably the most urgent one.

eight. Devise a technique for spending as a lot time as potential on Category 2 actions by following the recommendations found in this article.

9. Apply the technique that you simply provide you with.

10 Reevaluate in a month’s time.


Arrange your life in a means that may assist you to spend most of your time working on these issues that are conducive to the achievement of your objectives. The matrix created by President Eisenhower is a useful gizmo for doing this. Stay your greatest life by prioritizing your tasks with the Eisenhower Matrix.


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