Task management is challenging! The number of tasks that we have to manage every day and various degrees of importance of the tasks require us to implement effective strategies so that we can work effectively/productively and complete the tasks based on priorities. Eisenhower matrix is one of the strategies which we can use to manage our tasks. The matrix comprises four quadrants:
1) Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent (top left) – Crisis. Things that have to be done now because they are both important and time sensitive. Having a lot of items here indicate that you may have had some poor planning up to now.
2) Quadrant 2: Important and not urgent (top right) – Planning. These are the most value adding tasks that you have to do. They don’t have to be done now, but they can be prioritized and readied for actual execution. Getting rid of these tasks should be your priority after handling the crisis.
3) Quadrant 3: Low importance and urgent (bottom left) – Reactive. These are administrative, or other non-value adding tasks that won’t go away, but tackling them also is not your core job function. These tasks are best delegated to people who are specialized. If you are in a management position, these are key tasks that are candidates for delegations so that they can be done, but do not consume a significant amount of your mental and physical resources.
4) Quadrant 4: Low importance and not urgent (bottom right) – Time waster. These are tasks that are not relevant to your work, nor do they need to be done now. Classify them and then throw them away.
5) Quadrant 4 (alternative): I think writing down your time waster is a waste of time. Instead use quadrant 4 as your inbox, or repository of all tasks that are can’t be categorized into any of the other quadrants yet.