These tasks don’t have deadlines, making them easy to put aside, but they are directly aligned with your long-term goals, values, and happiness. Focusing on urgent tasks puts you in a reactive mindset, which can make you feel defensive, rushed, and narrowly focused. Humans prioritize time-sensitive tasks over any other task, regardless of the long-term payoffs. When you focus too much time on urgent tasks, you neglect the important ones on your to-do list. In case you’re not a big fan of scheduling your tasks by putting them in writing, you can opt for an app that’ll store all your upcoming activities.

In other words, distraction in moderation was ok, but habitual distraction resulted in less work satisfaction overall. Eisenhower himself was a well-known bridge player — even playing nightly up to D-Day — and was famously criticized for his many golf trips while in office. The key is that these activities were a balance for the many stressful aspects of being a political leader. However, if you’re not intentional about it, the way you spend your downtime can actually drain your energy, passion, and creativity. For even more tips, refer to our comprehensive introduction to time management.

Prioritize Tasks

Prepping for an executive-level customer review that got moved up a couple weeks is an urgent task. Other examples of important, but not urgent tasks might include writing your will or the next great American novel. Try a priority matrix template or some of these productivity eisenhower time management matrix tools in conjunction with an Eisenhower Matrix. I used the Eisenhower Matrix to manage my tasks effectively to ensure a smooth and successful launch. I prioritized my tasks effectively, ensuring the most critical aspects of the product launch received the necessary attention.

eisenhower time management matrix

Once you know how to distinguish between urgent and important tasks, you can begin separating your tasks into the four quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix. While college is a time for personal growth and exploration, it’s important to recognize your limits. Overcommitting to extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, or social events can lead to burnout and hinder your academic progress. Learn to say no when necessary and strike a balance between your commitments and personal well-being. To handle this group, you need to focus on your work and spend more time with this group than the other 3 groups. Staying organized in this time-pressured world can prove challenging due to overlapping commitments and spontaneous ‘urgent’ meetings.

Implementation of goals

These tasks don’t require much effort or energy, but they can still contribute to your overall productivity. You can easily identify quick wins by focusing on tasks that have a high impact and require low effort. These are the tasks that can be completed quickly and provide significant results. Quick wins are like low-hanging fruit that you can easily pluck and enjoy the immediate benefits. They can boost your motivation and confidence, as you see progress being made without investing a lot of time and energy. Explore a variety of time management tools and apps that can help streamline your efforts.

eisenhower time management matrix