Work Like A President

Former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower famously organized his problems and priorities into two categories: urgent and important.  If you turn this “Eisenhower Principle” into a matrix, it looks like this:

The Eisenhower Matrix is a great tool to both:

  • Gain perspective on how you’ve been spending time and energy, and;
  • Plan how to spend your limited resources.

Put It To Work

If you find you need to check either of the above, try this exercise.  You’ll need:

  1. A copy of the Eisenhower Matrix
  2. A list of your long-term, big picture priorities
  3. Your todo list
  4. Your calendar

For each calendar and todo item, honestly ask yourself:

  1. Is it important, i.e. how does it relate to your priorities and where does it rank?
  2. Is it urgent, i.e. how soon does it need to be addressed?

Once you know how urgent and important each item is, you can drop them into the corresponding areas of the matrix.

If it isn’t obvious, you really should be trying to spend as much of your time and energy as possible on things that fall into the “D” square.

If things are landing outside of that “D” square, they’re likely annoying, a waste of resources, and a sign that you should be reconsidering why those things get any of your bandwidth.