Every modern person strives to be successful. It is for this reason that time management is so popular. This is a teaching technique for effective planning. Today it is used not only by politicians and businessmen, but also by simple housewives. But do not consider time management the invention of the last decade. Half a century ago, many busy people thought about improving their own productivity. A striking example is the Eisenhower matrix, named after its creator. It was used by the thirty-fourth US president, Dwight David Eisenhower, as a prioritization tool.
D. Eisenhower - the genius of efficiency
Dwight David Eisenhower served as President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. This outstanding man is also known for his military career. Eisenhower took part in the First and Second World Wars, received the rank of army general. Known 34th US President and as one of the founders of NATO. Contemporaries noted that Dwight was a diversified person with a living mind, distinguished by discipline and organization. An outstanding figure left such an effective planning tool as the Eisenhower matrix for his descendants. Everyone can use it as a tool for prioritizing
and organizing their own activities.
General description of the Eisenhower matrixDwight Eisenhower
came up with a very simple and yet incredibly convenient planning system. For convenience and clarity, he depicted his matrix in the form of a square. Eisenhower suggests dividing all planned affairs into four categories. First of all, it is necessary to determine the most important thing that requires an immediate solution. The second is the work and responsibilities that are important, but can wait. The third category is all urgent, but not important. The last group contains unimportant and non-urgent plans. Eisenhower's matrix as a prioritization tool is ideal for short-term planning. With it, you can plan things for 1-2 days. How to build your own Eisenhower matrix? You only need a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a square and divide it into four equal parts. Now let's talk about what matters where you need to write.
The first square: the most important and urgent matters
In the first segment of the square of the Eisenhower matrix, the most important cases should be recorded, which must be done urgently. With the correct and constant use of this planning system, this list should always be empty. The essence of the matrix boils down to having time to do important things in a timely manner and not to allow rumors. Of course, if you are just starting to use this planning system, 1-2 positions in this category may be.
What important tasks can be worthy of placement in the block “What needs to be done urgently”? A student in this category can place an exam, the head of the company can meet with business partners, the housewife can call the emergency service for problems with the water supply. The priority assessment schedule should cover all areas of your life. Family plans and affairs, visits to doctors and stylists, shopping trips - all this should be entered into the Eisenhower matrix. For example, if you have a bad toothache, a visit to the dentist can be included in the first square of the daily plan (as an important matter that cannot be postponed).
Second square: significant tasks that do not require instant execution
One of the most significant areas of the Eisenhower matrix is its second square, in which it is necessary to write important cases that do not have a short time. With the effective use of the planning system, there should always be some tasks. It is important to timely check with your personal plan in this category and follow it. Write down the projects you are currently working on in this square. You can also make planned calls and meetings, writing a thesis here. The second square should list all the tasks that need to be done as much as possible. The planning system assumes that it is the cases from this category that will be dealt with first of all. Only in this case, force majeure and rumors can be avoided, and the first square of the matrix, respectively, will remain empty.
Third square: urgent but unimportant matters
The third zone of the Eisenhower matrix is designed to record cases that have an insignificant priority of importance, but require urgent solutions. This is all that lowers your productivity and interferes with your core work. Did your computer crash while reporting? This task should be entered in the third square, it must be solved as quickly as possible. You can also include viewing correspondence, performing daily routine work that does not require serious decisions. Keep in mind that the Eisenhower matrix — as a prioritization tool — should help you keep all your affairs under control. Do not miss the little things, and you will succeed.
Fourth Square: affairs urgent and unimportant
The last, fourth square of the matrix is designed to record tasks and pastime options that are unimportant and non-urgent. D. Eisenhower himself called this category a "list of time eaters." In the fourth square we write everything that does not have a positive effect on the main activity, but at the same time positively affects the psychoemotional state of a person. These are personal phone conversations, watching entertainment programs, social networking.
What can be made of the fourth square without sacrificing one's own productivity? Eisenhower's matrix will work if you can focus and not take breaks during the performance of a specific task. There is nothing wrong with “time eaters” if they help you relax and rest. For example, you can try to divide your work day into blocks and alternate vigorous activity with short breaks for rest.
An example of filling the Eisenhower matrix
How to quickly master the skill of effective planning with the Eisenhower matrix? Start with daily planning. In your diary, draw a square matrix, divide it into 4 equal parts and number them. Now it remains only to correctly determine the priority of their own affairs and tasks. It is for this that the Eisenhower matrix was invented. You can see an example of its filling in our article. If a busy day is
planned and there are a lot of cases, you can first write them out in a draft general list.
But how to set long-term goals for yourself? The Eisenhower matrix is designed for short-term planning. When working with long-term goals, it makes sense to use a separate list. Next, break the difficult task into several sub-items, and add some of them to the daily planning.