What is the Eisenhower Matrix?The Eisenhower Matrix, or the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a simple yet effective tool for prioritizing tasks. It's named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, who was renowned for his incredible efficiency. He famously declared, "What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important."
Imagine a square divided into four smaller squares.
Here's how it works:
- Important and Urgent (Top Left Quadrant): Tasks that are crises or have looming deadlines. These need to be tackled immediately.
- Important, but Not Urgent (Top Right Quadrant): Tasks that matter in the long run but aren't time-sensitive. These are often related to your long-term goals and personal growth. Schedule time to work on these regularly.
- Urgent, but Not Important (Bottom Left Quadrant): Tasks that demand your attention now but don't contribute to your long-term objectives. These can often be delegated to others. How to delegate.
- Not Important, Not Urgent (Bottom Right Quadrant): Tasks that don't contribute to your goals and aren't time-sensitive. These are the time-wasters and should be eliminated or automated.
How to use your templateHere are some tips on how to use the template on-screen:
- Entering Text: Click on a cell and simply start typing to enter your tasks or appointments. If you want to write on a new line within the same cell, press Alt + Return. This will allow you to keep your tasks organized within a single cell.
- Understanding the Eisenhower Categories: Each category in the Eisenhower Matrix is a single cell that's made up of three merged rows. If you wish to unmerge these cells, simply click on the cell, then go to the Home tab and find the Merge & Center button in the Alignment group. Click on it and select Unmerge Cells from the dropdown menu.
- Text Wrapping: All cells in the template are set to Wrap Text. This means any text you input will wrap within the cell, rather than overflowing it, keeping your template neat and easy to read.
- Alignment Buttons: In the Home tab under the Alignment group, you'll find various buttons to customize how your text sits within each cell. You can align text to the left, center, or right using the Align Text Left, Center, and Align Text Right buttons respectively. There are also options to align text to the top, middle, or bottom of the cell. The Wrap Text button ensures your text fits inside the cell, while the Merge & Center button combines selected cells into one and centers the text.
- Printing the Template: If you wish to print the template, simply go to the File tab and select Print. In the Settings area, ensure the print layout is set to 'Portrait Orientation' for the best fit on an A4 page. Adjust any other settings as required, then click Print.