Chaos or Control? Take advice from former President and US Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower on how

On the heels of last week's time management discussion, let's dig a little deeper into the topic of prioritization. At the beginning of the day, everything can feel urgent and important, causing you to feel overwhelmed. However, employing a prioritization method can give you control of even the most daunting to-do lists.

This week, we're focusing on a specific prioritization method, the Eisenhower Matrix. Once you have completed the "brain dump" we discussed in last week's blog, it's time to prioritize so that you can focus on the most important and urgent tasks first. The Eisenhower Matrix helps you determine the order in which you attend to all your tasks, leaving nothing to be forgotten.

If you didn’t read last week’s post, this would be a good time to do so... Chaos or Control? Take Control of Today and Plan for a More Efficient Tomorrow with These Simple Time Management Practices

The Eisenhower Matrix was inspired by the Dwight D. Eisenhower quote, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” The matrix helps you categorize your tasks so you know where to start and which tasks are flexible if something unexpected pops up in your day.

If you google "Eisenhower Matrix," you'll see a variety of formats. We'll cover one format here, but you may want to explore others to see what works best for you. Categorize your tasks into the following quadrants:

Quadrant 1

These tasks are important and time sensitive.

Quadrant 2

These tasks are not important but they are time- sensitive.

Quadrant 3

These tasks are important but not time-sensitive.

Quadrant 4

These tasks may not be highly important or time sensitive, but shouldn't be forgotten.

Let's look at an example. Here's a view of a project dashboard before prioritization:

Here's the project dashboard after prioritization:

You can use the filter function to view only tasks that are marked 1 and 2. In other words, the tasks that should be done before all others.

TIP: To determine where to begin, filter down to your Priority 1 tasks.

Unsure what quadrant to use for your tasks? Here are some examples from my own list:

Quadrant 1 - Important AND Urgent

A proposal for a client meeting today is a Q1 task because it is both time-sensitive and urgent, since client expectations are important to the success of your business.