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How to Effectively Schedule Priorities

How to Effectively Schedule Priorities
What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”
- Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States



What is Task Management?

We’re all busy. But are we busy with tasks that matter?


Are we scheduling our priorities, or are we caught up in the thick of thin things?


President Eisenhower had a model for answering these questions and getting this right. He used a prioritization matrix of his own design, and the matrix organizes tasks into four quadrants:

  • Quadrant I: Urgent, Important

  • Quadrant II: Not Urgent, Important

  • Quadrant III: Urgent, Not Important

  • Quadrant IV: Not Urgent, Not Important

The    Eisenhower Matrix   , created by the 34th American President and popularized by American business leader and author, Stephen Covey.

The Eisenhower Matrix, created by the 34th American President and popularized by American business leader and author, Stephen Covey.


And it worked for him.


As Supreme Allied Commander of Europe in WW2, he led the D-Day invasion of Normandy. And liberated Europe from Nazi control.


As President, Eisenhower created NASA. He ended the Korean War. He expanded Social Security and helped end McCarthyism. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and integrated schools in Arkansas. He built the Interstate Highway System. His two terms saw economic growth and prosperity.


That kind of leadership doesn’t happen without preparation, planning, and values clarification. Quadrant II stuff.


Eisenhower would say Quadrant II is the best quadrant. It’s our sweet spot. The most effective people spend more time in Quadrant II, try their best to reduce time in Quadrant I, and avoid Quadrants III and IV altogether.


Quadrant II can keep us busy. But not rushed busy. Focused busy. Busy with tasks that matter, like liberating Europe from Nazis.



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