Important and urgent tasks

The Eisenhower principle is one way of dividing upcoming tasks into categories. It was practiced and taught by US President and Allied General Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Definition

The application of the Eisenhower principle enables priorities to be set according to the criteria of “importance” and “urgency”, thus providing a decision-making aid.

“Important” refers to the content. Important tasks help you or others to get ahead. The completion of an important task is usually an advantage or a disadvantage is eliminated.

“Urgent” refers to time. Urgent tasks have an appointment. Having completed an urgent task on time usually results in a benefit or damage has been prevented.

Use

In order to have a decision support, which tasks should be realized and in which order they should be approached, proceed as follows:

  • List tasks
  • Placing Tasks in the Diagram
  • Approach tasks according to priorities

Quadrant 1:

These tasks are very important and very urgent.
You should do it yourself right now!

Quadrant 2:

The tasks are important, but not (yet) urgent.
They are scheduled, that is, their completion is scheduled for a later point in time.


Quadrant 3:

The tasks are urgent, but of little importance.
You should delegate these tasks as far as possible, i.e. assign them to others for completion.


Quadrant 4:

The tasks are less urgent and less important. You should ignore them if possible, i.e. they are placed in the clipboard or in the trash.

Although there are some critical voices about this – admittedly – simple model in today’s complex world, there is a quite practical solution for managing one’s own resources.

Those who use this opportunity for themselves and live a transparent and comprehensible understanding of “important” and “urgent” not only make an important contribution to their personal work-life balance, but also have a positive influence on their environment.