The Eisenhower Box also referred to as The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management and decision-making model devised by President Dwight Eisenhower to help him prioritize and address the many high-stakes issues he had to deal with as a US Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Forces, and as president of the United States.
This model came to prominence after it was popularised by Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and it helps you determine which tasks should be:
The Eisenhower Box has two key elements that are not always present in other time management tools:
 It distinguishes between what is urgent and what is important.
Eisenhower subscribed to the view that what is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.
 It has a ‘delete’ option.
I have no issue with the idea of the The Eisenhower Box and I think it is a disciplined way of organsing yourself, BUT I feel it needs more refinement to be really useful and applicable in the situation and circumstances that most of us operate in.
In the very senior
positions that Eisenhower held he would have had teams of secretarial,
admin and support staff. Also, he lived in the pre-digital age and thus had neither the benefit nor the distractions of digitisation.
Typical issues you may face:
How to prepare to apply The Eisenhower Box:
 Getting Things Done - First 2 Steps
In Getting Things Done productivity expert David Allen sets out five clear steps that can help you apply order to chaos, and I want to highlight the first 2 steps here that you will helpful before you start to apply the eisenhower box:
1. CAPTURE - Collect what has your attention - write, record, or gather any and everything that has your attention into a collection tool.
It’s hard to prioritise until you have taken stock of everything you have to do. So, in this first step, you’ll brain-dump all of your current obligations onto paper, a Google Doc or whatever platform you feel comfortable using.
The absolute rule is get everything out of your head, as David Allen says: “your head is a crappy office.”
2. CLARIFY - Process what it means. Is it actionable? If so, decide the next action. If not, decide if it is trash, reference, or something to put on hold.
Clarify everything you have to do. What is the outcome? Is there a next actionable step? If there isn't one then you need to do one of three things:
If there’s an action to take, then what is it and what category does it belong in on the eisenhower box?
How to decide WHAT to "DO" [what is important]:
 What Is The One Thing?
The One Thing is a process for:
Not everything matters equally
“The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest.”
Without a clear sense of focus on the one big thing that we are working to achieve many things can feel urgent and important, and everything seems equal.
Activity and being busy is not the productive unless it is undertaken from a clear sense of priority.
"Achievers always work from a clear sense of priority."
The EXECUTION and TIMING of what to "DO" [what is important]:
 Deep Work - Producing At Your Peak Level With Full Concentration For 2-3 Hours Per Day
Deep Work is a reframing for the millenial digitally distracted age of the good old fashioned discipline of applied concentration.
The phrase "Deep Work" was coined by Cal Newport who is a computer science professor at Georgetown University and he positions deep work as:
“Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.”
I have read various studies and anecdotal empirical evidence that suggest:
How to decide WHAT to "DELETE" [what is not urgent and not important]:
 The Art Of Saying No
The Art Of Saying No is about WHY you need to practise the art of saying no.
When you are clear about the "Why?" then the "How?" will follow because you will have the motivation.
There are 3 big questions that will help you clarify why you should said no:
When you are clear about these core personal motivational drivers it you will have greater clarity about what is and is not important to you.
Time is your most important asset. It can’t be replenished, it can’t be stored for use later, and once it’s gone… it’s gone for good.
That’s why you have to learn to say NO. If you don’t, other people’s priorities will become yours. And you’ll constantly wonder why you don’t have enough time or energy to build something for yourself.
As Warren Buffett has said:
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
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Return from "The Eisenhower Box" to: Walking The Talk