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Revisiting the Eisenhower matrix template

You may have used an Eisenhower matrix template in the past, a way of organizing tasks into Do Now, Do Later, Delegate, and Don't Do at all, relative to the level of importance or urgency your tasks have.


eisenhower matrix
eisenhower matrix

This matrix is a fantastic tool, but there are some nuances to consider in order for it to be truly useful and have the impact you want it to have in your planning.


  1. Be honest. Complete the matrix as though you actually want to see change and improvement in your life, not as though judgmental people are looking over your shoulder, tsk'ing at which box you put your tasks into. If baking a dozen cupcakes for the fundraising bake sale is something both unimportant and non-urgent, then don't let the potential judgment of other Mama Bake-a-lots "force" you to put it into a different box.

  2. Try to apply the same criteria to each task by using a reference point. Important and urgent are so subjective, you might find yourself adjusting your matrix by mood, time of day, or if something just happened to cause it to be top of mind. Is it more or less urgent than ____? Is it more or less important than ___? You can begin to level the playing field among your tasks. Not everything is as important or urgent as you may think it is. If your boss is breathing down your next on something, it may FEEL exceedingly urgent... unless he breathes down your neck about everything.

  3. Communicate your decisions to others. When you find items in the Delete section, let others know the answer is No and why. Don't leave people hanging, or with the wrong expectations. And don't avoid the Delete box because you are uncomfortable about having necessary conversations.

For help on items that end up in your Delete box, check out these tips on alternative versions of "no."


For help on items that end up in your Schedule/ Do Later box, check out this D.A.R.T. Method® best practice on using your calendar.


Implement the effective D.A.R.T. Method of deliberate planning with a coach. Schedule a consult today.


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