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Improve productivity using the Eisenhower Matrix

04 May 2020

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Effectively prioritising your daily activities is at the heart of being more productive. But prioritising can be difficult, especially if you have more than one deadline to meet at any given time.

Many of you reading this are probably fairly good time managers. You work hard. You know how to make lists, check things off and get things done.

So, if you’re such a hard worker why do you often feel like you are not achieving anything?  And why is it that all the things you should have done are not and you did all the things you shouldn’t have?

Think of the truly impactful, amazing people you know. Chances are, they have an uncanny ability to prioritise and focus. They decide what’s important, and then they do the important things.

So how can you improve your ability to prioritize and focus? One technique that we have used in our business with great results is the Eisenhower Matrix.

It is really easy to adopt, and it can be used for both weekly and daily productivity plans.

How to use the Eisenhower Matrix

You start by listing your tasks / actions for a given period (day, week or month) and then categorise them into one of four quadrants of the matrix.

  1. Urgent and important – do these immediately
  2. Important, but not urgent – schedule time and resource to do these later
  3. Urgent, but not important – try and delegate to others
  4. Neither urgent nor important – eliminate them

Urgent actions are activities that you need to react to immediately such as meetings, emails, phone calls, events etc.

Important actions are activities that contribute to the project outcome or goal.

Separating your actions into the four quadrants is simple enough to do once, but in order to improve your productivity you must make it a habit. This requires focus and discipline.

The Eisenhower Matrix has worked in our business because of its simplicity and ‘lightness of touch’. It doesn’t get in the way of doing the work.

Another big benefit has been the ability to eliminate tasks / actions that are neither important nor urgent. We often found ourselves being busy for the sake of it and not focusing on the core objectives of the project.

The Eisenhower Matrix has been a useful decision-making tool for increasing our productivity and eliminating tasks and actions that waste time.

We hope you find it useful too.

Let’s discuss productivity

We’re always keen to have a conversation with businesses about how they can improve productivity, and now might be a great opportunity.

So if you would like to discuss business productivity and the effectiveness of your systems to handle your business needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can do so by calling the office on 01772 823734 or selecting one of the options below:

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