Time management is one of the most important soft skills that is often written and talked about because, today, news and changes are around every day. Our brains often endure colossal loads while trying to focus on our duties and process this entire array of information. The variety of techniques allows you to choose the time management method that suits you for your needs and requirements. As a result, you will have time not only for work but also for some fun activities, like betting at 20Bet or watching your favorite Netflix show. The Eisenhower Matrix is one of the most popular options, and here’s how to use it.
What the Eisenhower Matrix Is
The name of this method goes back to its creator. He was the 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, who sat in the presidential chair from 1953 to 1961.
“I have two problems: urgent and important. The urgent one is not important, and the important one is urgent,” was the approach to problem solving demonstrated by this famous politician. It sounds like a paradox, but in practice, this principle turns out to be effective. Let’s look at what it consists of.
The cornerstone of the Eisenhower matrix is prioritization. It is this skill that it develops. Using this method, you can determine the importance and urgency of the tasks you have set for yourself and understand whether you should do them yourself or assign performers. And something can be canceled because of its low potential usefulness. The point of the matrix is not to tell you how to have time to do everything, but to learn how to understand whether all tasks are worth doing and how objectively we are able to assess the importance of our tasks and prioritize them.
The Eisenhower matrix looks like this. Try to make it yourself: draw two intersecting axes — vertical and horizontal. The vertical axis will be the importance axis, and the horizontal axis will be the urgency axis. Turn the resulting cross into four squares. Thus, each of them will contain a certain indicator.
Let’s designate each square with a letter for convenience, understand the priority, and label the tasks.
Now take the tasks from the list for the day and organize them into these boxes. This will give you a clear picture of all your tasks. In the process, you will conduct a useful analysis of your tasks, which will once again train your thinking and concentration.
Using the Eisenhower Matrix in Time Management
So, we have visualized our tasks, and now we can go into more detail on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix.
Here, we can see almost all the time management mechanics in action.
It’s the most important skill of highly effective people, which is required in order not to be in a state of constant stress and not to feel that the mountain of tasks is growing. This mountain must be broken down into individual stones, and all of them must be sorted by importance.
So let’s ask ourselves the main question: How important is the task?
Following the understanding of priorities comes the ability to determine and allocate the time required for each specific task. Once we understand where we have important and urgent tasks and where we have non-urgent and unimportant ones, we can plan how, how much, and when we will work on them.
Another question to ask yourself is: How fast do we need to do the task?
For many people, this item is almost the most difficult. Society often wants us to be overly productive. Hard work, control, and independence are encouraged, which are undoubtedly fine qualities, but in moderation. If we are afraid to let go of even one thread of the huge number of our duties, we run the risk of spending most of our lives in square A because it’s impossible to keep up with everything, and low-priority tasks will inevitably crowd out important ones, pushing them to the limit.
So, if you notice that this characteristic is close to you, use the Eisenhower matrix to train yourself to transfer tasks to square C, which easily allows delegation. After a while, you may discover how much extra you took on yourself and how much easier it became to live and work without this load. Any time management technique isn’t aimed at making you able to take on more and more important tasks, but at making you able to unload as much as possible while increasing efficiency.
The third important question is: Is the task something only I can do?
Write your to-dos into the matrix you drew and start analyzing. What do these cells mean in the end, and how do you work with them?
A — Deadlines
Urgent things that need to be done as soon as possible, otherwise, the result can suffer greatly. Ideally, time management techniques are aimed primarily at avoiding such situations, but everything can happen. We take care of everything in this category immediately or assign it to someone else quickly, if that’s allowed.
B — Routines
A solid foundation for your employment and a guarantee of your mental health. Work, study, sports, health care, creativity, and other things that bring you fulfillment, joy, benefit, and results. Time management is designed to adjust your productivity so that B doesn’t turn into A and you can complete all important tasks thoroughly, efficiently and on time. Determine how many actions you need to take in relation to the items in the box so that they are all completed on time.
C — Delegation
Urgent and unimportant tasks can usually be delegated to others, like a hot potato, if the importance isn’t so high that you have to deal with it yourself. For example, if you need to pick up an ordered cake for a holiday while you have a work deadline, it’s time to look for helpers in the form of friends, relatives, or couriers. It’s a good workout for those who tend to be controlling and constantly try to do everything themselves, even if they are overworked.
D — Cancel
These tasks are non-urgent and unimportant. This is where it’s easiest. The only time for cell D is when you are free and have nothing more important to do, which doesn’t happen often in our lives. Not that we shouldn’t be playing games on our smartphones and scrolling through our favorite social media feed at all, but we should do it when it won’t be detrimental to our other tasks.