Eisenhower Matrixes.

Recently, I have started to really get into matrixes as a tool to help decision-making and just generally clarify situations.

For Blue, we recently reviewed the roadmap (i.e. what’s coming next, product-wise?) and used a matrix that had Low Impact to High Impact on the x-axis and Simple to Complex on the y-axis.

This really helped me to understand what we should and shouldn’t be working on.

And so, today I want to take a quick look at the Eisenhower Matrix.

This is essentially a time management tool that can help you prioritize and organize your tasks. It was developed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, between 1953 and 1961.

Which meant he was president during the Cold War, oversaw the creation of NASA, and was responsible for initiating the Space Race. Widely considered to be one of the most successful American presidents, he is criticized for his involvement in the Vietnam War.

Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. After the war, he became President of Columbia University. But then he was recruited by President Harry S. Truman to serve as Supreme Commander of NATO forces in Europe during the early days of the Cold War.

In that role, Eisenhower oversaw the Berlin Airlift and the creation of NATO. He also played a key role in the development of the American space program, which led to the launch of NASA.

And so, we can imagine that he has a significant number of critical decisions to make during his life and career, and so it is worth spending the time to review the tool that bears his name.

The matrix has four quadrants, which are labelled Urgent and Important, Not Urgent but Important, Urgent but Not Important, and Not Urgent and Not Important.

  1. Urgent and Important tasks are those that need to be done immediately and are important to your goals.
  2. Not Urgent but Important tasks are those that are not urgent but are still important to your goals.
  3. Urgent but Not Important tasks are those that need to be done immediately, but are not important to your goals.
  4. Not Urgent and Not Important tasks are those that are not urgent and not important to your goals.

You can use the Eisenhower Matrix to help you prioritize your tasks by quadrant. For example, you may want to focus on Urgent and Important tasks first, followed by Not Urgent but Important tasks. Or, you may want to focus on Not Urgent but Important tasks first, followed by Urgent and Important tasks. It depends on your goals and your priorities.

I find that often what happens is that things move between the quadrants as time passes. Something that is merely important but not urgent eventually becomes urgent as it gets closer to some specific timeframe or deadline. It may well be beneficial to complete that task well ahead of the required time, but that is not always possible.

Thus, when something gets too close to the deadline, we can move into the Urgent and Important quadrant, and then we know that we have to get moving.

I don’t use this tool that often, only when I am specifically overloaded with work, and I have a tough time prioritizing, then it is pretty easy to sort things out in my mind or on a piece of A4 paper.

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