From Chaos to Control: Going Beyond the Eisenhower Matrix
The Owl and The Beetle: Thursday Memo
I'm sure you're familiar with the Eisenhower Matrix - an excellent tool for organizing tasks based on urgency and importance. For example, you can split your tasks into four quadrants, giving you a clearer picture of which tasks need to be done immediately, which can be scheduled for later, delegated to someone else, and eliminated. It's a great way to ensure you don't get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you must do!
As an Engineering Manager, I often had to prioritize tasks daily and figure out the best way to delegate them to my team members or manage to get them off my plate.
Ensuring that the most important tasks were addressed was a constant challenge while finding the right balance of delegation and responsibility. Finding ways to stay organized and on top of tasks was vital to succeed in my role.
At first glance, the Eisenhower Matrix seemed like a straightforward solution, but I soon struggled to make it work. Despite my best efforts, the only outcome I was able to achieve was my frustration.
After a few iterations, I've been able to maximize its potential. This article highlights my journey of learning, understanding, and expanding this powerful tool.
This essay covers the following:
🚨 What’s Urgency, and how to rank it.
📈 What’s Importance and why it didn’t work for me.
💥 How I evolved the matrix, exponentially delegating my tasks.
🙋 How to make your instance of the matrix serve your purpose.
✅ Tips and tricks to ruthlessly prioritize your tasks.
By the end of this article, you can build your prioritization matrix, rank tasks appropriately, and determine which follow-up actions to take.
Let’s get going!