Manage your time with 4 quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix of time management
Time management is the core of success but most of us find it hard to manage our time. Recently, I heard about the Eisenhower Matrix of time management and it completely change my approach toward time management. In this article, I will try to explain how could you divide time into 4 quadrants and manage your time with the Eisenhower time Management Matrix.
Related: 15 pro-hacks of time management
But first do you know who is Eisenhower?
Dwight Eisenhower lived one of the most productive lives you can imagine. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, During his time in office, he launched programs that directly led to the development of the Interstate Highway System in the United States, DARPA and NASA were some of them.
Eisenhower had an incredible ability to sustain his productivity not just for weeks or months, but for decades. And for that reason, it is no surprise that his methods for time management, task management, and productivity have been studied by many people. He introduces Eisenhower Matrix.
Without wasting time, let’s jump to the point and start with the diagram.
- Q1- Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
- Q2- Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
- Q3- Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
- Q4- Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).
1. Quadrant I- Do
Actually, we just have one option in these types of tasks, these are urgent tasks and delay means we are going to be in problem. Quadrant I tasks come with a deadline and you need to work on Q1 tasks immediately.
Urgent and Important tasks demand you take action quickly. These items typically have visible deadlines and consequences for stalling on taking action. Most often, these are either things that were sprung on you from an external source or things that you put off until faced with a looming deadline. Either way, they require a crisis mode response.
2. Quadrant II- Decide
These are the most important task, you need to schedule time for it. If you looking for side hustling, physical activities, want to spend time with family, strengthen your relationships, future planning or all other things we know we need to do are taking place in this quadrant.
Quadrant II is the most important and most incremental time. The more we focus on this quadrant the more we grow in life. Quadrant II is at the heart of effective personal management.
But the reality is that most people think that they have enough time for these activities and procrastinate quadrant II tasks to the next day just because it doesn’t seem urgent to them.
3. Quadrant III- Delegate
If possible find another person for these types of tasks or automate these types of urgent but not important tasks. Spend less time on these tasks and find something or someone who can finish the Q3 task for you. These are less productive yet important tasks to do.
For example- We could manage our precious time by finding someone to manage household service(like cooking, cleaning the house or another important task) and focus on more productive tasks.
4. Quadrant IV- Delete
Just Eliminate these tasks they are not important and not urgent. The more time you spend on the Q4 tasks the fewer chances of success you have. This Quadrant stands for distractions, social media, watching web shows or spending your time without an aim.
We all know these tasks have the worst effect on our life but find it hard to not spend time in Q4. Quadrant IV tasks include short-term pleasure and have big guilt.
How you could apply Eisenhower matrix in your daily life?
Let’s take the example of John, who is working in a 09 to 05 job to feed his family and he also has a passion for writing and is willing to have a career in this field. He finds it hard to manage time for his passion.
Now we try to solve his problem by Eisenhower matrix.
Quadrant I- Urgent and Important
The most important and most urgent task for his life is to feed his family. He didn’t have a choice to quit his job and follow his passion but proper time management could change his life.
First of all, he should make sure to spend just enough time in Quadrant I, he should finish his work till 06 PM and a clear no to overtime. John need to make sure that he didn’t bring office work or pressure to his home. Once he finishes his office, he leaves his office problems and responds to the office.
He makes sure to just require time in his office.
Quadrant II- Not Urgent but Important
Quadrant II is the most important time of John’s life. In this time, he needs to focus more on his passion and health. These tasks may be not urgent but these are the most important if he wants to live a better life. Side hustle on his passion for future to escape 09 to 05 job and exercise to make himself physically more active.
He should spend more time with his family to strengthen his relationship and most importantly it will boost mental health.
Quadrant III- Urgent but Not Important
Quadrant III is important but he needs to automate the process or delegate it. First, he could do it by doing by eliminating the time of traveling from office to home. Second, he could find a maid for cleaning, cooking and household maintenance which help him to give more time to Q2.
John needs to automate as many as possible urgent tasks and needs to focus on Q2.
Quadrant IV- Not Urgent and Not Important
John needs to eliminate as many as a task from the Q4. He needs to start valuing his time and reduce the use of social media, TV or gossiping. These tasks just increase your mental pressure and more of these tasks have a bad effect on your time management. And many of these tasks are responsible for bad sleeping habits and increase laziness.
You have just one option in Q4, just reduce these tasks.
How Eisenhower Matrix helps me?
This is how my time management for Today look’s like.
The Eisenhower matrix is more about priority management. It helps you to understand which task needs your valuable time and energy and which is needed to eliminate right now.
Believe me, we never lack of Time in life but we have a lack of clarity and that could be solved by Eisenhower’s matrix of time management. Hope it will help you.
Worth visiting: 20 best time management quotes to make your day
Read the best book on Eisenhower’s Matrix