Eisenhower Matrix

The Urgent-Important Matrix

Use the Urgent-Important Matrix, or Eisenhower Matrix, to help you make better decisions. Assess the Urgent and Important nature of the problem, then act from there.

This tools is a simple 2×2 matrix ideally suited to daily decision making of unplanned tasks or problems that arise , or are part of a flood of things that need to be done.

“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” 

Dwight D. Eisenhower

The concept is very simple

The issue at hand, the task, can be prioritised and a decision made, based on the task Urgency and Importance. This forms a 2×2 matrix, with each quadrant suggesting how to action the task

If the task is . . . then . . .

  1. Urgent and Important – DO it immediately
  2. Important, but Not Urgent – PLAN to do later
  3. Urgent, but Not Important – DELEGATE to someone else
  4. Not Urgent, and Not Important – ELIMINATE it
Eisenhower Matrix

This tool helps prioritise tasks that are not typically part of an Action Plan (which is a more controlled set of actions), but could be used in times when you Action Plan needs to be re-shuffled. 

This tool is more suited to Personal Productivity, as it helps you address the Urgency/Importance of tasks there-and-then.


The matrix in digital form 

For Evernote fans, you can use a template provided by Evernote : see  >> here <<

And for those of you who just prefer apps to handwriting, well, there’s an app for that. Check out and signup for the free Eisenhower App from Rowanclifford.io – see more below.

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