Time Management Using The Eisenhower Matrix

Many rules and tips, including the Eisenhower matrix, can help you master time management. 

For small and medium-sized enterprises this Urgent-Important Matrix is perhaps the best solution: you keep an overview of your tasks and your time.

The Eisenhower model, also known as the Eisenhower matrix or Eisenhower quadrant, is one of the most famous models for time management.

The Eisenhower model is a model that comes from the famous statement by Eisenhower that urgent business rarely is important and that important business rarely is urgent. 

Although this model is straightforward, it is a useful tool for setting priorities. 

In this article, I will explain what the Eisenhower model is and how you can use it to manage your time better and thus get more done!.

Eisenhower Matrix: Convenient & Easy To Use

eisenhower matrix

eisenhower matrix

TheUrgent-Important Matrix is a convenient, but a simple-to-use tool to organize all your tasks and responsibilities.

With the model, you can set priorities, because it distinguishes between the things that are important and urgent.

And yes, it is named after the famous President Dwight Eisenhower, who developed the model to give his productivity a boost.

The basis of time management comes down to recognizing where your priorities lie and know which tasks deserve the most attention.
Productivity is not about working harder, but about working smarter. 

Get control of your time. 

At each task that is waiting for you, you must ask yourself these two questions: is it urgent and is it important?

These questions will help you to distinguish between 4 types of tasks:

  1. Urgent and important: do this right now.
  2. It is important, but not that urgent: do it, but plan for later.
  3. Urgent, but not that important: delegate them.
  4. It is not important and not urgent: do them, remove these tasks.

When you know which tasks you are dealing with, you can manage the working day easier.

The types of tasks are mapped, but how does this work in practice? 

1. Get started immediately with urgent and important tasks. 

Before you begin, you must first create a to-do list!
This way, you can clear your head a bit.
Remember: important tasks contribute to your long-term strategy, so at the end you reap the benefits.

Decide what you will do first, by asking yourself this simple question: what should I have done in the next 30 minutes, the next hour or before lunch?

Calculate how much time each task takes and try, logically, to conform to that time.

Keep in mind that it is a question of completing your tasks and at the same time keeping the overview.

As major tasks are part of this part of the matrix for two reasons: unforeseen circumstances or the lack of proper planning.

Conditions that you have no grip on can never be avoided; keep this in mind and make sure that you have some space in your planning.

The lack of good planning is entirely in your own hands. Plan as much as possible and arrange your tasks.

Plans are nothing; planning is everything. Dwight D. Eisenhower

2. Plan the important but not urgent tasks for another moment. 

When a task is not urgent, but it is important – such as the planning of an important sales pitch for a potential customer next week – give yourself some time before you start.

But do plan a date on which it should be done.

You will find the most important tasks will fit in here.

In fact, this is the window in which you will spend most of the time. Why?

All these to-dos contribute to your long-term strategy and are important for your business' growth.

An important factor you should take into is the fact that others should not determine your priorities.

That makes tackling these tasks unnecessarily tricky.

Besides, there are enough distractions on the work floor: a chat message from a colleague, scheduled meetings and so on!

3. Delegate urgent, but not important tasks.

In the small and medium-sized enterprises, the chances are that you want to do everything yourself: attend meetings, calls, making reports, etc.

The work will be done better if you do it yourself, won't it?

The answer is no.

According to Stephen Covey, a successful businessman, this way, you even endanger your planning.

To carry out all the tasks on your own, you can get the misleading sense of satisfaction when you've completed them.

While you finish different tasks, most will not contribute to your long-term goals.

You often finish them, because they feel important.

Often this is because others find these to-dos important.

This is not right, and that's why it is crucial to ice this idea once and for all.

Releasing certain affairs helps you keep your focus on your priorities – at the same time, you can improve your work/life balance. Win-win!

4. Let trivial and non-urgent tasks go. 

What do you do with tasks that aren't important?

Simple: drop them.

Often they are also time killers.

So, spend your time well instead of scrolling through your screen or your social channels.

Imagine how much time you are acting on automatic pilot in a day, without realizing that you are at the same time wasting a lot of time.

You might have noticed, that the Eisenhower model is indeed a strong framework to manage your own time, as well as that of your colleagues.

Eisenhower Matrix: Using The Model

For each quadrant of the Eisenhower Matrix: make sure you never have more than eight tasks at the same time. 

This way, you maintain the overview, and you won't be buried under the tasks that need to be done.

Let's be honest: it can be difficult to drop irrelevant tasks or delegate tasks.

The Eisenhower method gives you a robust framework, to begin with.

And do you struggle to determine which task is urgent or important?

Do not think too much about it, but start with the method and check after a few weeks if you are on the right track.

STEP-BY-STEP PLAN FOR TIME MANAGEMENT WITH THE EISENHOWER MODEL 

  1. Step: Create a list of all the things that you need to do.
  2. Step: Write them in the four quadrants
  3. Step 3: Decide for tasks in:
  • Quadrant 4 to never do them again.
  • Quadrant 3 to delegate to someone else or delete.
  • Quadrant 2 to directly plan into your agenda.
  • Quadrant 1 to do at once and to spend some time on today

In addition to the Eisenhower matrix, there are plenty of useful methods and time management tips that will help you to manage your time.

Discover what other ways there are and boost your business!

Online software can also help you in your daily activities.

With the right tools, you can organize your time better and even save time in the long term.
When you discuss the importance of time management you can't do without mentioning the Eisenhower Matrix.