Prioritize tasks like a BOSS with the Eisenhower method 😎

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Hello fam! How's life treating you?

I truly hope you are doing well. If not, here's a small dose of inspiration for you! 😁

If you liked my previous blog, you may enjoy this one too! 😊

What is the Eisenhower method really? 🤔

For those unfamiliar, the Eisenhower method (also referred to as the Eisenhower matrix or Eisenhower box) is a technique that allows you to organize and prioritize your tasks.

A little background history... 🤓

If you are curious to know where this method got its name from, you are in the right place. If you don't care about its history, you can continue to the next section.

This method was initially ideated by the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was the President of the US from 1953 to 1961. Before assuming the role of President, Eisenhower served as:

  • a general in the US Army,
  • Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II and
  • first Supreme Commander of NATO.

As you can see, Eisenhower was a man involved in various important roles. These roles constantly required him to make important and swift decisions. And for that reason, he decided to put together a method for prioritizing tasks. This method is still used til this day.

Now, you may be thinking: "Cool, thanks for the unsolicited history class. But how does this work? And why should I, a mere mortal, even care?". Good thing you asked... Let us move on to the next point!

How does this Eisenhower method work? 👀

The Eisenhower matrix is made up of four quadrants, as illustrated below:

Eisenhower Matrix

Image Source

First of all, note that these quadrants are formed by analyzing the importance and the urgency of the task at hand. So, on the y-axis the importance of the task is measured and categorized as important or not important. Conversely, the x-axis is concerned with urgency and categorizes tasks by either urgent or not urgent. Easy, right?

Let us take a closer look at each quadrant, shall we?

Quadrant 1️⃣: Urgent & Important

This first quadrant is where your most urgent and important tasks will live. Examples of such tasks are:

  • Putting out a fire
  • Resolving a conflict within your team
  • Fixing a critical bug in production
  • Replying to that mail from your boss or team lead

Ideally, you should start your day by tackling tasks in this quadrant.

Quadrant 2️⃣: Not Urgent but Important

The second quadrant is where your non-urgent yet important tasks live. Examples of such tasks are:

  • Checking your other emails
  • Exercising
  • Booking your worked hours

Quadrant 3️⃣: Urgent but Not Important

The third quadrant of the Eisenhower matrix is where urgent yet unimportant tasks will be located. These tasks should be delegated to others whenever possible. After all, these are the tasks that you risk putting off time and time again. You have been warned.

Quadrant 4️⃣: Neither Urgent, Nor Important

The last and fourth quadrant of the Eisenhower matrix is where your non-urgent and unimportant tasks reside. Tasks that fall under this quadrant are typically eliminated since they contribute little or nothing to your productivity or the goal you are pursuing. However, you could use this quadrant to add tasks that help you catch a break from work. You could put recreational activities here or small rewards that you want to give yourself for your hard work.

Tip 💡

I'll drop a tip to help you decide in which quadrant to place your tasks. Ready?

/* Now, ask yourself... 🤔
1) Is the task at hand urgent? true or false?
2) Is the task at hand important? true of false?
let urgent = (yourAnswer);
let important = (yourAnswer);

if(urgent && important) {
 console.log("Quadrant #1: DO IT NOW");
} else if (!urgent && important) {
 console.log("Quadrant #2: SCHEDULE IT");
} else if (urgent && !important) {
 console.log("Quadrant #3: DELEGATE IT");
} else {
 console.log("Quadrant #4: DROP IT/DO LATER");

Final words 🙇🏻‍♀️

And there you have it! (Sounds familiar? No? Okay...) That should be about everything you need to know about the Eisenhower method/matrix/box. Let me know what you think in the comments below. 👇🏻 Have you tried it before? Will you try it? Why or why not?

Go on and crunch these tasks!

Oh you got it dude

See you next time! Happy hacking! 👩🏻‍💻👨🏻‍💻


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