Have you ever felt overwhelmed making a decision because of competing priorities?

A man wearing glasses appearing stressed saying

Whether you have personal or professional responsibilities, the Eisenhower Matrix is a simple method to help you prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance.

Using this method to categorize your responsibilities into the following 4 quadrants, you'll be able to make effective decisions easily.

  • Do

  • Schedule

  • Delegate

  • Eliminate

4 Quadrants categorized from low to high importance and urgency labelled do, schedule, delegate, eliminate.


Important and urgent

Tasks in this quadrant are urgent priority. Think of tasks with deadlines and consequences if they aren't actioned right away.

  • A project for a work client

  • A research paper for school

  • Picking up your child from daycare

Frustrated cartoon girl grabbing volley ball net saying to boy on the other side Complete tasks in your Do quadrant first as they have a great impact on yourself and others.


Which task should you do first?


Important but not urgent

Tasks in this quadrant are high priority. Think of tasks without a set deadline but are important to your personal or professional life.

  • Book your annual dental cleaning

  • Take an online course to further your career skills

  • Go for a run to train for the next 10K

Young girl sitting in a home office saying These are tasks that work towards the goals that you plan and schedule. If an urgent priority comes up, these are tasks you can reschedule or postpone.


What task should you schedule?


Urgent but not important

Tasks in this quadrant are medium priority. Think of tasks that have to be completed but don't require specific skills and can be delegated or outsourced.

  • Responding to emails

  • Picking up a gift for a co-worker's retirement

  • Meal prep

Cartoon Homer Simpson relaxing with an iced drink beside character Kavi on the phone saying

These are tasks that have to get done but not necessarily by you.


Select all tasks you can delegate or outsource.


Not important and not urgent

Tasks in this quadrant are low priority. Think of tasks that have no consequences and are potential distractions that make you procrastinate.

  • Binge-watching your favorite Netflix show

  • Organizing your already clean closet

  • Sorting your junk mail

A cluttered apartment needing to be organized with a man fiddling with a stand up fan with text It can be tough, but eliminating low priority tasks so you can focus on your first 3 quadrants will make you feel relieved and accomplished once they're done. Then low priority tasks can be a reward rather than a distraction.


Which task should you eliminate?

Take Action

Yellow graphic with moving text reading To Do: 1. 2. 3.

Now that you've learned the 4 quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix, it's time to categorize your tasks and make some effective decisions.


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