Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the top American generals during World War 2, and later also became the 34th President of the United States. As can be expected, these challenging roles kept him quite busy.
In order to keep a level head and get things done, he needed to be able to prioritize. This led him to develop a simple method to determine which tasks he had to do immediately and which he could avoid. It is now called the Eisenhower Method and uses one little tool called the Eisenhower Matrix.
It involves drawing up a box, dividing it into 4 quadrants and then labeling them. Basically, whenever you are doing a task, it is usually either important or not important. It is also usually either urgent or not urgent. These are also the labels that Eisenhower used.
The top left-hand box is labeled important and urgent. That’s where you put all the things that you need to do right now and that are important.
The top right-hand box is labeled important, but not urgent. These are things that are important, but ones that you don’t have to do straight away. These things you can pre-plan for later.
The bottom left-hand box is labeled not important, but urgent. These are things that you should attempt to delegate to others.
The last box, the bottom right-hand one, is labeled both not important and not urgent. These are usually things you shouldn’t be doing at all. So eliminate them.