Eisenhower matrix
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Eisenhower matrix

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Eisenhower matrix, also known as Urgent-important matrix, helps you decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all.

🔖 Table of contents

💡About Eisenhower matrix

This frameworks helps create focus in a myriad of tasks you have each day. It guides you to ruthlessly prioritize and decide what tasks to take on at this moment - first, you do what is important and urgent, then what is important and non-urgent, then you do urgent but not important and lastly, you do whatever is left.

✂️ How to use it?

1. Write down your tasks

Free your mindspace by putting all the day's prioritisies in one to-do list. Maintain only one list for both your work and personal tasks.

Notionery tip: When making a list, limit yourself to no more than 8 tasks per quadrant - 32 in total. Before adding more, complete the most important one first. This is not about collecting tasks, but finishing them.

2. Prioritize using the matrix

Take your ideas and drop them into the matrix, sorting them into one of the 4 quadrants by their importance and urgency.

  1. First quadrant - Do first
    • These tasks are important for your life or work and need to be done today or tomorrow at the latest. You could use a timer to help you concentrate while trying to get as much of them done as possible.
    • Notionery tip: Process-related tasks (e.g., make a restaurant reservation) are usually best done first. Once you kick these out, you can focus on tasks that require more of your mental capacity
  2. Second quadrant - Schedule
    • These tasks are important, but less urgent and can be postponed for later.
  3. Third quadrant - Delegate
    • The third quadrant is for tasks that less important to you than others but still pretty urgent - try delegating them to someone on your team. You can keep track of delegated tasks with an e-mail reminder, or schedule a meeting to check back on their progress later.
  4. Fourth quadrant - Don’t Do
    • You should not do these tasks at all, most likely they give you a reason to procrastinate and are a good excuse for not being able to deal with more important things.

Urgent

Not urgent

Important

DO FIRST
Task 1
SCHEDULE
Task 2

Not important

DELEGATE
Task 3
DON'T DO
Task 4

🌊 Example

1. Write down your tasks

Respond to Nick's email
Set up a call with Jennifer
Create a strategy overview document
Do laundry
Book a restaurant for tonight

2. Prioritize using the matrix

Urgent

Not urgent

Important

DO FIRST
Respond to Nick's email
SCHEDULE
Create a strategy overview document
Do laundry

Not important

DELEGATE
Book a restaurant for tonight
DON'T DO
Set up a call with Jennifer

📚 Additional reading resources