Eisenhower Matrix: What Is It, What Is It For And How To Build One?

Eisenhower Matrix: What Is It, What Is It For And How To Build One?

If you are a person who is always busy, full of tasks that need to be completed, and having difficulty organizing your tasks, you will love getting to know the Eisenhower Matrix.

In the next few lines, we will talk about how it is a very useful tool for those who have difficulty prioritizing tasks and making decisions assertively.

Therefore, continue reading to understand what this matrix is ​​and how it can help you organize your daily routines and improve productivity.

Also, check out a step-by-step guide on how to make this matrix in a very simple and easy way. Have a great read!

 

What is the Eisenhower Matrix?

The Eisenhower Matrix is ​​a tool used to prioritize tasks and guide decision-making processes in organizations. It was developed by the 34th president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, and that’s why it got its name.

In this way, the Eisenhower Matrix is ​​represented on a Cartesian plane to categorize the activities that need to be done according to two basic criteria: urgency and importance.

Therefore, the tool performs a sort of triage of your tasks to prevent you from wasting time on tasks that are less important or less urgent.

But how can we understand and distinguish whether a task is urgent or important? Aren’t they the same thing? Calm down, the difference is simple:

  • tasks considered important are those that are directly related to achieving a certain goal or objective ;
  • Urgent tasks are directly linked to the deadline established for their completion and/or their consequences for the company.
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With this in mind, the proposal is to better organize your routine, so that you can prioritize tasks that fall into both categories, positively impacting your productivity.

Main benefits of the Eisenhower Matrix

The Matrix can bring several benefits to those who use it, such as: prioritizing tasks, improving results, and making clear decisions. After all, it is a time management tool that can simplify your work routine.

Furthermore, it is a methodology that uses reason. It helps you take care of what you need to do and what you can leave for later.

See the main advantages of the Eisenhower Matrix:

  • prioritization of the most urgent and important tasks for the company;
  • improvement in productivity rates;
  • greater organization and clarity of activities;
  • resolution of possible problems;
  • greater agility in executing tasks;
  • developing highly effective people;
  • favoring reason over emotion;
  • more assertive decision-making.

 

How is the Eisenhower Matrix divided?

The Eisenhower Matrix is ​​divided into four quadrants. Each one has its objective to help you prioritize tasks. Are they:

  1. Important and Urgent: Tasks that are both important and urgent must be addressed immediately. These are crises, looming deadlines, and other issues that require immediate action. Tackling these tasks is crucial to avoiding future problems.
  2. Important, but Not Urgent: tasks that are important, but do not have an imminent deadline, must be planned and scheduled. These items include planning, long-term activities, personal development, and long-term strategies. By prioritizing these tasks, you prevent them from becoming urgent in the future.
  3. Urgent but Not Important: Tasks that are urgent but do not contribute significantly to your broader goals or values ​​should be delegated, automated, or minimized. These are the “fires” that arise daily but do not necessarily add value in the long term.
  4. Non-Important and Non-Urgent: Tasks that are neither important nor urgent should be avoided or performed only when time permits and all more important tasks are handled. This includes distractions, purposeless entertainment, and activities that don’t contribute to your goals.
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Step by step: how to make the Eisenhower Matrix?

To create your matrix, you need, first of all, to understand what your tasks are and fit them into the “important” and “urgent” categories.

By the way, a task can be important but not urgent. The opposite is also true. Interesting, isn’t it?

Therefore, we have separated five steps for you to get your hands dirty and understand this matrix once and for all.

Step 1 – Draw a Cartesian plane

The first step in constructing the matrix is ​​to draw a Cartesian plane. In other words, make a square and divide it into two axes (horizontal and vertical), forming four quadrants.

The vertical line represents the importance of tasks, while the horizontal represents urgency. Each quadrant will have an important meaning for prioritizing tasks.

Step 2 – Define urgent and important tasks

With the Cartesian plan drawn, it’s time to list the tasks and categorize them. We will start with the first quadrant, which should contain tasks that are important and urgent.

These tasks are those that deserve priority and cannot be postponed.

Step 3 – Define tasks that are important but not urgent

In the second quadrant, you must highlight which tasks are important but do not need to be performed urgently. Here, we are referring to medium and long-term tasks.

For example, delivering your department’s annual balance sheet and financial projection is very important, but it’s not urgent when you’re in the middle of the year.

Step 4 – Define urgent but not-so-important tasks

In the third quadrant, place tasks that are not very important, but that need to be done urgently.

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Here, tasks that deserve priority fit in, as the deadline for them to be completed is running out.

If your deadline is short, these tasks can be delegated to other employees.

Step 5 – Define non-important and non-urgent tasks

Finally, you must mark in the fourth quadrant all tasks that are neither important nor urgent. This step is important to understand what you shouldn’t waste your time on.

Tasks in this last quadrant can be discarded or carried out in the long term, without rushing.

Strategic planning system: an ally for your productivity

Is it clear what an Eisenhower Matrix is ​​and how to make it? Remember that this is a tool that you should always have on hand to better organize yourself and prevent tasks from piling up.

It’s an excellent way to manage your time, but there are others.

And, to further optimize your day-to-day work, the ideal is to have a strategic planning system.

This solution helps to increase, engage and boost results, with visual resources that improve the company’s strategic deployment

This business management system enables integrated monitoring of corporate performance, in addition to monitoring and centralizing all indicators, with a focus on decision-making.

Speaking of which, a software that has all these features is STRATWs One, which allows managers to organize their work routine with better management and engagement of the entire team.

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