Actionable plan to create an effective Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix allows you to prioritize tasks by urgency and importance. You create 4 quadrants: Do, Schedule, Delegate, and Eliminate. Each quadrant has different components. Let’s look at each:
1. First Quadrant: Do
This quadrant contains tasks that are important for your life and career. They must be done today or tomorrow. The activities must be done urgently because they have a deadline or cannot be delayed.
Before putting a task in this category, analyze your priorities and decide whether it meets the “do first” criteria. If it needs to be done today, it is an urgent task. To complete the tasks, you can use a project management app to help you concentrate. You can also use one of Kissflow’s templates to complete the task faster.
An example of a “do first” task is a report you have to send to your boss at the end of each week. It’s Friday morning, and you haven’t started working on the report because you had a hectic week. You must write the report today, so add it to the “Do” quadrant.
2. Second Quadrant: Schedule
The 2nd quadrant consists of tasks that are important but not urgent. They may be professional emails you have to write, follow-ups, and personal appointments and commitments. They align with your long-term goals and contribute to your overall growth. Write down tasks you need to put in your calendar here.
You can complete the tasks in this quadrant tomorrow or in the near future. An example of a task that can be scheduled is getting fit. It’s crucial to your health, but you may not be able to dedicate time to it right away. So, you must schedule a time for it.
Schedule the tasks in this quadrant well so you don’t have to move them to the ‘urgent’ category. Set aside enough time to execute them while they still fit in this quadrant.
3. Third Quadrant: Delegate
This quadrant is for the tasks you can delegate as they are quite important. The activities don’t contribute much to your productivity. You can decide whether to reschedule them or get someone else to handle them.
Tasks that fall in this category are mostly interruptions that take you off your course. They may allow you to help others meet their goals. Delegate these tasks or they will negatively impact your productivity. You can keep track of delegated tasks via email or phone. You can also check on their progress during meetings. Tasks in this quadrant include responding to certain emails, scheduling interviews, or holding team meetings.
Most people spend a lot of time in this quadrant and believe they are working on urgent tasks. But oftentimes, completing these tasks doesn’t bring them closer to their long-term goals.
4. Fourth Quadrant: Eliminate
This is the last quadrant of the Eisenhower Matrix tool. It comprises tasks that are productivity killers, those that don’t contribute to your goals. To give your productivity a boost, identify these activities and eliminate them.
Common examples of activities you can eliminate include constantly checking your phone for messages, surfing on social media, or other activities that affect your productivity. When you focus on these tasks, you don’t deal with the important tasks in the first and second quadrants.
If you spend most of your time in this quadrant, you will feel stressed and unfulfilled. Track your time to identify the unnecessary tasks that affect your productivity and then create a plan to eliminate or limit them. You can also seek advice from a supervisor or a colleague. They can help you identify which tasks to delegate or eliminate.