Sometimes, at the end of the day, it feels like you've kept busy yet accomplished nothing.
It's not that you didn't work hard. You answered emails. You took phone calls. You attended meetings. You made decisions.
But for some reason you got nothing done.
Well, that's not true. You got other people's work done, just not your own. You've made little progress toward your goals. You've been running around solving other people's problems. You've been answering other people's questions, and spending time in their meetings.
There's a solution to this problem. It’s a way to move closer to your goals every day while quickly separating busy work from important work.
It's called the Eisenhower Priority Matrix. Here's how it works:
- Split a blank sheet of paper into four quadrants, just like the picture above.
- Label the four quadrants with Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, and Not Important, just the like picture above.
- Write each task in your to-do list down on your paper. Place it in the appropriate quadrant based on whether the task is important (or not) and urgent (or not).
Now, here's how you deal with each quadrant:
Not Urgent and Not Important? Delete it. These are things like checking Facebook, organizing files on your computer, or other trivial tasks.
Urgent but Not Important? Delegate it. Making dinner reservations, dealing with unimportant emails, and booking flights would qualify here.
Not Urgent but Important? Schedule it. These are things that must get done, but keep getting kicked to the back burner. This would include activities like calling a family member, exercising, developing a marketing plan for your business, etc.
Urgent and Important? Do it. Right now. This is real work. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where you make real progress toward your goals. Today.
If you've ever wondered why you stay so busy but get so little done, this just might be the answer.
It's a simple tool, but should keep you massively productive every day, and leave you with a sense of accomplishment (and time for fun and games)!
About the Author
HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE
I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.
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