Yay!! Your team has been assigned the coveted project and everyone is very excited!

But now you're overwhelmed trying to organize all the tasksyour team needs to do to complete it on time.

An office worker is crying and eating sticky notes that hold her to-do list.

Don’t panic! Use the Eisenhower Matrix to manage the project in an organized and efficient way.

What is Eisenhower Matrix?

The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple way to prioritize and organize all your tasks based on "urgency and importance".

You can use this method to categorize tasks into:

  1. Do now

  2. Schedule

  3. Delegate

  4. Don't Do

    An explanation of the 4 quadrants of the EIsenhower Matrix (use the audio player below for details). Listen to a description of the Eisenhower matrix.

Get Ready: Make a List

Make a list of all the things your team needs to do.

Don't worry about formatting and don’t leave anything out!

A person is writing a long list of tasks on paper using a pen. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Now use the Eisenhower Matrix to help prioritize the tasks and make sure that everything gets done on time.

Step 1: Do Now

Quadrant 1: Do Now (Urgent & Important)

Select all the tasks that are urgent AND important from your list and place them in the quadrant 1.

These should be tasks that have fast-approaching deadlines, making them urgent and important for your project.

A manager says in an urgent tone to

Examples might be:

  • Prepare a presentation on scope of your project for the meeting tomorrow

  • Prepare a prototype of your product/project for the presentation in 2 days

Notice that these are urgent (due soon) and also important (for the success of your project).


Mike and his team are busy working on an important product update for client. Which of the following tasks should Mike do first?

Step 2: Schedule

Quadrant 2: Schedule (Important but Not Urgent)

Some tasks are important to do, but you don’t have to do them right now. They're not urgent.

Place them in quadrant 2, schedule these tasks, and put them on the calendar.

A small child is holding a phone and asking whether they can schedule and appointment.

For example, these would be tasks like:

  • Team meetings to review progress, roadblocks, etc.

  • Team meetings to plan for the next week's tasks

  • Training that team members must complete

Notice that these tasks are important (for the success of your team project) but not urgent (they don't need not be done right now).


Nikki and her team of architects are designing a new waterfront resort. Which of the following tasks should Nikki schedule for later?

Step 3: Delegate

Quadrant 3: Delegate (Urgent but Not Important)

Some tasks are urgent and have to be done now, but you don't have to do them yourself because they're not super important and can be done by anyone. Place them in quadrant 3 and delegate them.

A person is doing the happy dance after successfully delegating jobs to his team

Examples of tasks that can be delegated are:

  • Replying to a vendor email about confirming the delivery date

  • Picking up a cake for a colleague's birthday

  • Researching the best way to get a meeting in another town

Notice that these tasks are urgent and have to be done now, but it's not important that you do them yourself.


Raj and team are working on designing a new robotic arm. Which of the following tasks should Raj delegate to someone else?

Step 4: Don't Do

Quadrant 4: Don't Do (Not Urgent and Not Important)

These tasks from your list belong in quadrant 4 and should be deleted or ignored.

They're not important and not urgent.They're just a waste of time at this point.

A man is hitting the delete button repeatedly.

Examples of quadrant 4 tasks:

  • Rearranging the office

  • Browsing social media for ideas about organizing the office kitchen

  • Scheduling a coffee chat with your teammates to discuss last week's football/hockey games

    Notice that these activities are neither urgent nor important.


Alyssa and her team are working on updating the software for a big client's billing system. Which of these tasks should Alyssa delete from her list?

Take Action

Plan and organize your team project using Eisenhower Matrix!

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