Eisenhower didn’t just win WW2; he also won the to-do list!

I continue to meet business owner after business owner, professional after professional, with the same common thread. They felt distracted continuously and stressed. Their caught in the rate race of putting out fires and never feel like they have the time to focus on their goals.

I bet you have said this before. 

“Let me send one more email, and I will do (INSERT UNPLEASANT TASK HERE) later. Three hours later, it is too late. I’ll deal with it tomorrow”; sounds familiar.

If this has happened to you, keep reading. 

Why do you thinking you struggle?

  • Is it a lack of clear goals? 
  • No sense of direction. 
  • Overwhelmed by the share size of your to-do list.

Yes, it might be those things, but it is more than likely your lack of ability to understand and set priorities. The four main areas that most likely make up your to-do list are Tactics, Strategies, Mission, and Distractions.

  • Tactics the short to medium goals & task that allow executing strategies
  • Strategies the long term goals & systems that allow achieving a Mission.
  • Distractions are all the items you should say no to or avoid.
  • Mission the ideal state that you get from achieving all of your tactics and strategies and avoiding distractions.

Today, I want to give you one tool to prioritize your tactics and strategies and avoid distractions to achieve your mission. Let me introduce you to the Eisenhower Matrix.

Eisenhower Matrix 

The Eisenhower Matrix was a tool created by non-other then Dwight Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States of America. He made this method while serving as the supreme allied commander. Every day he was tasked with figuring out how to prioritize the efforts of the Allies.

As you can imagine, it was a gargantuan challenge. The tool President Eisenhower created allowed him to measure all his tasks by their urgency and importance. Take a look at the example below and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What quadrant do I spend most of my time in?
  • How much of my time is spent in that quadrant?

Suppose you’re like most people, you said quadrant 1, followed by 3. You said something like 60 to 80% of your time is spent in those quadrants. Does that not feel like a lot? This is how most of us spend our time between a hyper state of stress and a hyper state of distraction. 

Ideally, you want to spend the majority of your day in quadrant 2. In this quadrant, most of your day will be spent working on projects and tasks that will have long-term benefits to yourself, your job, or your business. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment without the stress of rushing to meet a deadline. It is in this state that we achieve growth. I want to propose a challenge to help you gain control of your workday.

Here it is a 7-day challenge to deploy the Eisenhower Matrix in your life. You will create a time journal.

Time Journal

Time
Activity
Quadrant 
9AM-11AM
Team Meeting
3
11AM-1PM
Daily Lead Reports
1
1PM-2Pm
Strategy Meeting
2
3PM-5PM
Emails, Instagram, Tick Tok
4

Total Hours:_______

Total Hours per quadrant  1_____ 2_____3_____4_____

Using this tool, I want you to track the amount of time you spend in each quadrant per day over seven days. To be honest, if you do this for just one day, you will be blown away by how you spend your time or maybe not. At least it will force you to hold yourself accountable for your actions.

At the end of the seven days, go back, review the amount of time and the list of activities you did in each area. From here, you can choose how to reduce the time spent in quadrants 1,3 & 4. Increase your time in quadrant 2.

Quick tips for improving your time use to spend more time in quadrant 2.

For quadrant 1:

  • Communicate with your team or support group about what is on your plate. They may be able to help.
  • Delegate 
  • Schedule management tasks (these aren’t really fires but feel like they are) like
    • Checking Email.
    • Fulfilling Orders.
    • Data Entry.
    • Lead Calls (Do it before 10 am).

For Quadrant 3:

  • Delegate 
  • Watch the time investment.
  • Do them last.
  • Add to a long term list.
  • Tell your colleague sorry I just don’t have time.
  • Put on do not disturb. 

For Quadrant 4:

  • Say “NO”
  • Suppose media/social media is essential to you; set times to check it throughout the day. Limit the length of those checks.
  • When a colleague comes over to chat, it is okay to say, “I can’t chat right now.”

Let me know the results. Click here for more Free Expert Advice. Thank you for reading my blog; it means a lot to me that you took the time. Please share this blog with your colleagues and friends who can benefit from better business practices.

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