Eisenhower Box

4I was reading this post Eisenhower box from James Clear. (James Clear is one of my favorite bloggers and he posts wonderful posts every Tuesday & Friday)

Eisenhower was the 34th president of USA and he has used a simple technique to prioritize the work. Many of us struggle to prioritize work and the method used by Eisenhower (called Eisenhower box or Eisenhower matrix) would help us a great deal. It is so simple and just knowing it would help us a great deal.

Urgent vs important

This is the corner stone for Eisenhower’s method. According this classification, urgent things are not always important.

  • Urgent: These are the work which we need to act immediately. Examples are attending to a frustrated a customer, helping a colleague who is struggling on a piece of work, answering a phone call from unknown number, etc.
  • Important: These are the things which contribute to long term vision, objectives or achievements. For example a retrospective meeting is an important piece of work.

We normally don’t recognize or differentiate the urgency vs importance while working. The key to productivity lies on differentiating the above two aspects and we should treat & prioritize work based on them.

What Eisenhower box tells us is to categorize our work based on the above two factors. So it creates a 2X2 matrix. There is a guideline given on how to treat each box.

Eisenhower box


The above diagram is self explanatory and I am sure this can make a huge difference in our way of working and productivity.

Reference : http://jamesclear.com/eisenhower-box

Photo credit: http://content.artofmanliness.com/uploads/2012/05/4.jpg


3 thoughts on “Eisenhower Box

  1. Nice reminder of old wisdom. I recently heard a podcast where Rory Vaden added a third dimension: that of significance, meaning long term impact.

    In a sense, that’s an aspect of importance, but in another sense, it’s separate.

    What do you think: Interesting or not?

    1. Hi Johannes, I would think that the word “significance” would be a better choice than “importance”. The word significance would give a natural sense of long term face compared to the world importance.

      But I guess adding “significance” as a third dimension would complicate the whole matter which is exactly what we don’t want 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s