2/15/2016

The Eisehower Matrix

Hey, everybody!
When I manage my task or schedule my day, I make intuitively use of the so called Eisenhower Matrix, an important time management method that helps managing your activities.


First of all, I want to explain, why this method is so essential for a good time management. Due to the recent developtment of world and society, ost of use do have a huge variety of goals and things they want to achieve. It's not longer the time to have only one job. It has, however, because of the society, we live in, become almost impossible to focus on one's goals and the way to achieve them. People are constantly distracted by all kinds of other thing, keep multi- tasking on urgent issues and feel exhaustet yet not like having achieved something.
This is mainly because these people do not pay attention to their goals and their importance and do not think about what they want to achieve. Instead, they keep being a working machine, just reacting to the most urgent call and the loudest e- mail.
To do not get in this trap, the Eisenhower Matrix can help.

It is basically a matrixe to organize and cathegorize your tasks by dividing them in four Quadrants.
As you can see on the picture, on the upper axis, the task's urgency is evaluated. The axis on the left hand side shows a task's importance. Thereof, four types of tasks can emerge;

 a) Tasks that are urgent and important 
When managing your time the right way, this kind of tasks should not even occur, because important tasks should be accomplished before they get urgent. It can, however, also be the case, that suddenly an unforseeable important task occurs.
Typically, this tasks are urgent homework, papers, finishing a reading assignment. 
This tasks often demand a huge amount of concentration and focus what can be hard given that they need to be done quickly, They often contain a time- consuming or very exhausting work.
For long- term time management, this tasks should be eleiminated as far as possible.
When they, however, occur, this tasks should be done by yourself as immediate as possible.

 b) Tasks that are not urgent but important
This are the kind of tasks, that are often ignored by people, what then leads to the situation descibed above. Not urgent but important tasks are professional or personal goals, that demand a lot of effort, time and concentration put into their achievement.
Examples for this could be reaching a certain score, loosing weight, finishing a big personal project.
This are the tasks, that bring people closer to their goals. (have a look at my article about the importance of habitsIgnoring them is very damaging, because they either become urgent and important goals, what will sooner or later lead to an extreme cluttering of ones schedule or, (what happens to a lot of personal goals) they are ignored and supressed and will never be achieved. This people are not very likely to gain happiness throughout their activities.
This tasks need to be scheduled carefully. They have to be done early enough to not become urgent, but what is more important is, that they need to be done at least sometimes. This is, what's essential.

 c) Tasks that are urgent but not important
These are the tasks killing your schedule and preventing your from achieving your goals. Tasks like that occur a couple times a day and are contemporary. They include small things, that just have to be done, like answering messages, researching a fact or preparing one's bag for the next day
Focussing too much on these tasks is very damaging, because they are killing the possibilities of focussing on task that are not so urgent, but a lot more important. ignoring them, however, will be difficult as well, because they often include things, that neccessarily need to be done for a proper enovirement, that enables focussing on the not urgent but not important goal.
As far as possible, this task shoud be avoided (if it is, for example, a person asking you for a favor. When knowing, that you do not really have the time for it, say 'No')  delegated to another person or scheduled to another time of the day.
It can be helpful to have a set time in the day where all of this tasks are done at once (have a look at my article about online time) This not only reduces the spent time but also provides your brain from exhaustion from too much multi- tasking.
By counterbalancing this tasks with the important but not urgent tasks, time can be managed well.

 d) Tasks that are neither urgent nor important
This task can be very time- consuming and distracting as well, but they are easier to manage. Typical tasks include Social Media, some kind of games or gossip talk.
They should simply be avoided and eliminated. As they are neither urgent nor impossible and often bring just a low amount of short- termed joy, they should not be something, to potter at.

First of all, figure out, what cathegory your activities belong to. Next schedule them. Start with sump all the d) activities (often the easiest). Avoid or plan the c) tasks as far as possible (forseeable events can be schedules easily). Make sure to finish off all of your a) activities for know but try to avoid them in the future. for this, schedule and plan your b) activities intensively. Those activities should be the hugest part in your scheudule.

So, here you go, a easy but exetremely beneficial way to cathegorize your activities.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this article and it helped you understanding the Eisenhower Matrix better. See you soon!

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