Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. In the modern, fast paced workplace it can be hard to distinguish between what’s important and urgent. We often fall in the trap of believing all urgent tasks are also important, even if that’s seldom the case. In fact, most stuff trying to get our brain’s attention are usually trivial, non-important tasks, with a high sense of urgency.
The Eisenhower Principle
The Eisenhower Principle originates from a quote attributed to the former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
The principle is pretty simple. You evaluate your task in terms of urgency and importance, and then place them in different quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix, which gives you a visual overview of how to prioritize your tasks.
Urgent vs Important
Let’s start by defining what constitutes an important task and an urgent task.