How To Use the Eisenhower Matrix To Identify Urgent and Important Tasks - Andrea Liebross

How To Use the Eisenhower Matrix To Identify Urgent and Important Tasks

One of the hardest things to do when you’re stuck on a roundabout is to identify the roadblocks, fears, thoughts, or limiting beliefs that are holding you back from taking the next step in your journey of personal and business growth.  

That’s why women benefit from having a coach who isn’t embedded in their thinking and can see not only what and where the client is circling, but why. To understand what’s going on, you have to follow your thoughts through all their twists and turns. I often think of the situation as a bunch of tangled balls of yarn.

The value of prioritizing your tasks

Although it can be time-consuming and frustrating to untangle your mess of yarn, it’s well worth setting aside some time to take a strategic pause to assess your mental space if you want to begin making progress toward achieving your big goals in life and business.

Like untangling the yarn, untangling your mind helps you understand what tasks you want to work on and the related priorities or projects you want to tackle. You can also decide what lower-priority items can be put on the shelf for now to create space to work on more urgent and important tasks. 

Once you have a list of tasks, projects, and changes, how do you decide what to do first?

This is a perfect time to use one of my favorite tools: the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

Urgent vs. important: what is the Eisenhower Matrix?

The Eisenhower Matrix is a tool created by President Dwight Eisenhower that allows you to identify what is urgent and what’s not urgent, what is important and what’s not important.

Because the Eisenhower Matrix allows you to sort your priorities out in advance, you can use it to help you decide what you’re going to do today, tomorrow, this week, this month, this quarter, and maybe even this year!

This means the Eisenhower Matrix is an excellent tool for not only understanding the tasks and projects which require your immediate attention but also for creating short and long-term goals. 

How to use the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix contains four quadrants to group tasks into the following categories: Urgent/Important, Urgent/Not Important, Not Important/Urgent, and Not Important/NotUrgent.

Here’s a breakdown of how to plot your tasks and projects onto the Eisenhower Matrix.

  1. Urgent and Important

Put items that need to be done ASAP in this quadrant. These are things you’ll do right away — today or tomorrow — and that aren’t difficult to tackle. These should be tasks that create an immediate margin in your life. A margin-creating example could be, “Set an hour of focus time on my calendar for each morning.”

  1. Urgent but Not Important

If an item needs to be done ASAP due to the demands of others but doing it doesn’t create margin for you, and/or you don’t have to be the one doing it, put it in Urgent/Not Important. Think of this as meaning it’s urgent but not important for you yourself to do it. An example could be “Pay taxes” if they’re due in the next couple of days. 

  1. Not Urgent but Important

If an item is crucial for creating margin or long-term gain in one of your Seven Life Facets, but it is a larger project or task that you yourself need to do, it goes here. These are items that need more planning. An example could be, “Create and fill the new sales position.”

  1. Not Urgent and Not Important

If an item doesn’t create as much margin as other items and it isn’t urgent or important, it goes here. In our current scenario, you would probably only use this box if you’re trying to decide what to delegate right now versus what can be postponed so you’re not overloading others with delegated tasks all at once. 

Adopt a mindset of extraordinary achievement

The process of prioritizing your tasks and projects to create margin in your life and business is vital for you as an entrepreneur. Sorting through these items, creating a hierarchy of priorities, delegating tasks, and creating short and long-term goals allows you to spend more time working in your Zone of Extraordinary Achievement.

If you are a successful entrepreneur but have even an inkling that there is another level of success and you are meant for more, my book, She Thinks Big: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Moving Past the Messy Middle and into the Extraordinary, is for you. 

In it, I’m giving you permission to want more, be more, and achieve more, and I’ll give you the tools to bring it into your reality in a way that works for your life. 

Don’t wait! Order your copy today and start taking steps to create focus, flow, and freedom in your life and business so you can tap into the next level of success.

For MUST-HAVE planning tools that work seamlessly with the book to help you stop overthinking and make confident, quick decisions to get what you want — every single time, download my Think Big Toolkit. (I couldn’t fit everything in the book!) 

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I'm Andrea Liebross.

I am the big thinking expert for high-achieving women entrepreneurs. I help these bold, ambitious women make the shift from thinking small and feeling overwhelmed in business and life to getting the clarity, confidence and freedom they crave. I believe that the secret sauce to thinking big and creating big results (that you’re worthy and capable of) has just two ingredients – solid systems and the right (big) mindset. I am the author of best seller She Thinks Big: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Moving Past the Messy Middle and Into the Extraordinary and host of the Time to Level Up podcast.

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