I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important.
The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

Last week we talked about how work can make us lose sleep, shared some thoughts about improving sleep habits, and discussed differentiating important versus urgent tasks. Today we’ll build on that a bit.

Have you heard about the Eisenhower Matrix? It’s considered a productivity, prioritization, and time-management tool that can be used to help better manage your time by reviewing all of your activities and projects and categorizing them. And, as the name implies, former President Eisenhower created it.

There are four parts to the Eisenhower Matrix:
Quadrant 1: Important and urgent / Do

Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent / Schedule

Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important / Delegate

Quadrant 4: Not important, not urgent / Delete
1. Quadrant 1:
Urgent and important tasks require your immediate attention are often date driven and generally help with goal attainment. These tasks come to the top of your to-do list and are to be done first.

2. Quadrant 2:
Not urgent but important tasks are generally not date driven and will help you achieve your goals. These are on your to-do list beneath “urgent and important”.

3. Quadrant 3:
Urgent and not important tasks rarely help you achieve your goals. Rather, they may be disruptive to you achieving your goals, while helping others meet theirs. Whenever possible, delegate these tasks.

4. Quadrant 4:
Not urgent and not important tasks aren’t pressing, nor do they support achieving your goals so delete them (or put them at the bottom of your to-do list).

The idea is to improve where you use your time and energy by placing each to-do in one quadrant on a daily basis.

Let us know if it works for you!

Mike and Jan.

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
—Stephen Covey