You know how some times you are not sure if you are making the right decisions?
Well, usually we get triggered by outside pressure, or maybe things that we consider to be urgent and take up a lot of space but are not necessarily important (at least for us). So how can we identify them to make better decisions?
Here is a chart called the Eisenhower Matrix that is really useful to help you improve in your decision making habits:
So let’s explore how it works:
You have 4 quadrants that divide things between:
- Urgent & Important (Q1)
- Not Urgent BUT important (Q2)
- Not Important BUT Urgent (Q3)
- Not Important & Not Urgent (Q4)
So mainly you would ask two questions to see where you place your task:
- Is this task Important?
- Is this task Urgent?
Based on the answers you will place your task in the corresponding quadrant. Easy right?
Now let’s explore what does each quadrant really mean:
URGENT & IMPORTANT
Items in Quadrant 1 are the things that we MUST DO. These things require special attention and need to be handled first. Why? Because these are tasks that might come with negative consequences if not handled appropriately.
We might usually label these things as crises, or fires that we need to handle.
These are usually things that either: we could not predict, or that we not handled correctly. To avoid the second part we must pay close attention to Q2 to make sure we plan correctly.
NOT URGENT BUT IMPORTANT
Here is where you want to spend the majority of your time. You want to take these things seriously and make sure your long-term and mid-term goals are listed here.
Usually since they are not urgent we tend to let them for later, and this is a key error that a lot of people make. Because if not handled correctly they might turn later in IMPORTANT & URGENT items, and we do not want that.
Our goal is to invest more time in planning and eliminate as much as we can items in the first quadrant.
NOT IMPORTANT BUT URGENT
In this category/quadrant we would usually put outside requests, things that does not directly benefit you or help you get closer to your goals but that are important for someone else.
Also in this quadrant we need to address things like checking constantly for new emails, checking social media to see how our ads/post are performing or responding to incoming calls that could wait. Sometimes we generate the urgency feeling but if evaluated we can see that these things are not really urgent.
So in this quadrant try to really see what things you could eliminate just by changing your own behaviors/habits, learn to delegate things that are not important to you, and to renegotiate deadlines.
These things are just keeping you busy but not productive, they are not adding you real value.
NOT IMPORTANT & NOT URGENT
This category is pretty self-explanatory. If they are not important and not urgent there is no place for them; do yourself a favor and eliminate them!
You will be happier and more productive if you honestly sit and evaluate your tasks and eliminate everything that is consuming your time. If you do this you will free a lot of time that you can spend in quadrant 1 and 2.
These tasks are not serving you to achieve your long and mid term goals.
I hope you got it and it helps you start making better decisions and make a better use of your time.
Leave me a comment below if this helped you, if you’d been using it or what other methods do you use to bring more productivity to your life.
With love & respect,