The Eisenhower Matrix

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th American president, had a reputation for being very efficient at time management. In fact, he was known for getting everything done when it needed to be done.

The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management tool based on his philosophy that helps you organise your priorities.


Everything that is placed into the DO box should be of high value and urgent. This refers to important tasks that need to be executed almost immediately and can only be done by you.

is for items that you need to do, but cannot, or do not, have to be completed right away.

is for everything that you can outsource or hand off to someone else to do.

is for all the things that are unimportant to your business and which you probably should not or will not be doing at all. These are usually things like reading junk mail or that TV show you recorded months ago but still haven‟t gotten around to watch.


Determining Priorities

Take a moment to think about all the things you need to do for work and organise them into the four categories of the Eisenhower Box by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  1. Is this something that is relevant and necessary to my business? If not, drop it in the DELETE box now.
  2. Is this related to something I‟ve already asked someone else to handle? If yes, DELEGATE it to that person. For example, picking up a parcel from the post office. If you‟ve already asked your receptionist to go to the post office to mail a letter later in the day, instead of you going to the post office too, have her pick up the parcel while she‟s there.
  1. Is this something only I can do? If not, put it in the DELEGATE box.
  2. Is this something that must be finished today? If not, put it in the DECIDE box and set aside time to work on it later.
  3. Is this something I can do in 5 minutes or less? If yes, DO it now!
  4. Now schedule the remaining tasks according to how much time each will take and how soon each task needs to be done, then DO them.


Now all that’s left is to stick to it!