For the past two years, I’ve been involved with a group that truly transformed how I approach leading my agency. Each month my Women President’s Organization (WPO) chapter meets to brainstorm and advise each other on real business challenges. WPO counts in its membership more than 1,800 accomplished women entrepreneurs at the multimillion-dollar level who aim to increase their business success.
An integral part of each meeting is completion and discussion of a matrix that I just discovered was first created and used by President Dwight Eisenhower. As both a military and political leader, Eisenhower had an incredible productivity level. His most famous time management strategy was a planning tool that you can use today to increase your productivity.
How to Use the Eisenhower Box
Mastering the box process is fairly simple. Think of everything you do or have to do and separate your actions based on four possibilities.
- Urgent and important – tasks you must handle immediately.
- Important, but not urgent – tasks you will schedule to complete.
- Urgent, but not important – tasks you will delegate to someone else.
- Neither urgent nor important – activities you will stop doing.
Here’s an example of a completed matrix for a sales executive.
'What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.' -Dwight Eisenhower Click To Tweet
How I Use This Box
Completing this box on a weekly basis helps me set my priorities straight. Focus enables me to eliminate my time wasters (mine is checking the stock market too often). It also ensures I remember to spend time on planning and process. Finally, it reminds me to delegate everything that doesn’t demand my personal attention.
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