May 12, 2015

Taking control of your To Do list with a modified version of the ‘Eisenhower Box’

I recently read an article in the Huff Post called “How to Be More Productive and Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities by Using the ‘Eisenhower Box’” and as an avid lover of all this productivity orientated, my interest was peaked. Well the general gist of this article that Eisenhower, the 34th present of the US, was an incredibly productive guy and he had this strategy for taking action and organizing tasks.

It went like this:
Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

And looked something like this:

Well, the idea was good, and I have the principal that first thing I do in the morning while drinking my life saving cup of caffeine-infused tea is to focus on what I need to do that day. But the matrix didn’t quite jive for my own personal use. I am an educator and creative. I am constantly working on projects and research. Tasks large and small fall into my plate, so I decided to take the Eisenhower Box and rework it.

I am a firm believer in using the design cycle and the idea of revision for optimization in my workflow and organizational methods. I am constantly revisiting how I am doing tasks, how I am organizing, so that I can make the flow work better and more efficient. Therefore, this is a work in progress, but having started to use this document in the morning, I do feel like I am more focused and hopefully it will lead to being more productive. So take a look below.

The Eisenhower Box Revised

Looking at my current list of tasks in Wunderlist ( (a great cloud-based list manager, an desktop & browser application and an app!) I divide my tasks into the following categories.

Urgent and important
DO – Tasks I will do now

Important, but not urgent
DECIDE – Tasks I will schedule to do later this week

Urgent, but less important
BOOK – Tasks I will book a time to for today

Not urgent and less important
BURNER – Tasks I am putting on the back burner

Urgent Projects
TODAY – Big projects I need to spend some time on today

Not Urgent Projects
TOMORROW – Projects that are on my list, but can be put to the side for now

The Eisenhower Box

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May 12, 2015