Using the Eisenhower Matrix Productivity Method
Longtime productivity technique, Eisenhower Method, is often tied to the myth of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. After all, it’s named after him! But, there’s much more to the prioritization method than meets the eye. In this episode, the ProductivityCast team explains the Eisenhower Matrix (or more aptly, the Merrill-Covey Matrix) and analyzes the use cases for the time-tested tool.
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In this Cast
Show Notes | Using the Eisenhower Matrix
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
- How to be More Productive by Using the “Eisenhower Box”
- Avoid the “Urgency Trap” with the Eisenhower Matrix
- Remember the Milk
Raw Text Transcript | Using the Eisenhower Matrix
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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place. ProductivityCast the weekly show about all things productivity, here are your host Ray Sidney-Smith and gousto been out with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
Welcome back, everybody to ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:22
I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:23
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:24
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:25
Welcome, gentlemen, and welcome to our listeners to this episode of productivity cast. Today, we are going to be talking about what is colloquially known as the Eisenhower method or the Eisenhower matrix. And what I wanted us to do is to cover kind of the origin and the outline of what the Eisenhower matrix is. So we all have a better understanding of it. There’s a little bit of mythology around the Eisenhower matrix and the methodology underpinning it, then we’re going to talk about our experiences with the Eisenhower matrix and how matrices generally can help us be more productive. And then talking a little bit about when and why you should use it. Where are the contexts in which the Eisenhower matrix can work? And then, of course, how we can blend it with other methodologies, productivity methodologies that we all use in our own productive worlds. So let’s start out with what the Eisenhower matrix or what the Eisenhower method is. I’ll start with the fact that in 1954, former US President Dwight D, Eisenhower quoting someone else, he was actually quoting Dr. Roscoe Miller, who was the president of Northwestern University. And so he was speaking to the second assembly of the World Council of Churches, it turns out and he was he is quoted as quoting Dr. Miller as saying, quote, I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important, the urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent and quote, this has come to be known as the Eisenhower principle or the Eisenhower matrix. Many people have then mythologized that somehow Eisenhower had developed this whole entire methodology around it. But the reality is, is that his importance and urgency construct was was taken from someone else. And while Eisenhower himself was a great time management afficionado, someone who really paid attention to how he used his time and had many other principles that he abided by, he was not the progenitor of any specific methodology, but it is what we come we have come to known as the Eisenhower matrix, that takes us forward to the concepts behind the Merrill covey matrix. And a lot of people don’t know this, but Dr. Stephen Covey had been doing work with Rebecca Merrill and Roger Merrill. And the three of them combined, ended up creating what is now known as the Merrill covey matrix, which is the matrix that most of us know in the view of the four quadrants, and what pieces fit into those four quadrants, and in in the form of importance and urgency, we’ll cover that shortly. But just understand that there’s been a long arc of progression of people’s thoughts around what the Eisenhower matrix is, and ultimately, what became the middle covey matrix and how we actually see that in much of the productivity Literature Today, and a lot of people get this wrong. And so I just wanted to kind of, at least point that piece out in terms of its history, so that we’re all understanding the fact that everything between Eisenhower quoting Dr. Miller and any piece of productivity material that has been seen pretty much after the meril covey matrix was published and First things first, and other materials that covey and the Merrill’s put out if they are interpretations of the concept of other people,
Art Gelwicks 4:08
I mean, it breaks down the old, important, urgent, not important, not urgent analysis of being able to prioritize things. Therefore, something is important and urgent, you should go ahead and do it. It’s important and not urgent, you’re supposed to schedule it. If you’re if it’s not important, but it is urgent, you delegate it. And if it’s not important, not in urgent, you just kind of put it in the trash can. The methodology is, this is about as close to common sense, as I think we see in the productivity space. These are the logical things, if it’s really important that something gets done, you have to prioritize it. If it’s really urgent that something gets done, it has to be prioritized. If it’s neither one of those things, why you’re wasting your time on it. So I get that stuff. I struggle a little bit with one of the categories Which we can talk about a little bit later on. But at the highest level, what I just outlined, that’s, that’s the question criteria that you apply to tasks and, and anything else, you’re really trying to reprioritize to determine where actions are where and when action should take place.
Francis Wade 5:18
When the matrix is a, from my point of view is a clever, a clever after the fact analysis of something that’s already happened, which is that we create tasks in our mind. There are psychological objects and the moment of creation, we implicitly have a sense of whether something is urgent, not urgent, important or not important, it’s might say it’s subconscious. But it comes into existence in the moment that we create the task in our minds. So the matrix is, is a, like I said, a clever way to capture a decision that we’ve already made or a notion that we’ve already created. It’s a way of making external, something that we already internally know. Making it external makes it easier to manage. And I think that’s the genius of it, if any,
Augusto Pinaud 6:09
as much as the matrix, I believe, had incredible things. And I agree with what Art said, it sounds really, really simple. I think people tend to struggle with the concept of urgent and unimportant and covey did a really good job, trying to discover and identify, you know, what really important means what really urgent being, so it makes more sense in the matrix. But I think still, people struggle with those two concepts and really making them work for them.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 6:47
Just some other like small pieces here. So that we have a little bit of clarity in terms of what the Eisenhower matrix really can do, or what the methodology can do. All told. So the matrix is a visual device meant to be able to put particular items in a priority for you to be able to determine whether or not you do that thing. And so if urgency runs across the y axis, and importance runs across the x axis, then what you decide to do make a decision on delegate or delete ends up being those four DS ended up falling into those categories, in in the eyes of most people who talk about the Eisenhower matrix. So then it furthers beyond the visual device to then kind of this full methodology, you can use this for planning your week, you can use this for how to spend your time this, you know, the next three hours today, that kind of thing. And it can also help you plan the things into the future. So you can say, how should I spend my next year? How should I spend my next quarter, whatever it might be. So this tool is just basically a prioritization matrix that allows you to be able to look at almost any type of time horizon and decide things. Now, let’s think about it from the perspective that we all now have a basic understanding of the Eisenhower matrix, Eisenhower method, and I’m curious about each of our experiences with utilizing the Eisenhower matrix. And whether or not it has borne fruit for you in and around your productivity system. What has been your experience
Art Gelwicks 8:31
with it? The matrix itself is a good basic level tool. I use it to help people understand core concepts around prioritization. But honestly, in its daily use, it’s got a lot of flaws. The one flaw that I find in it most frequently is in the categorization of urgent but not important. And most of the time when people look at that particular quadrant, these are tasks that will often be misconstrued as busy work type of tasks, they have to be done, but they’re really not critical. But then they fail to take into consideration that most of the time those tasks are also coming from the outside. You’re not creating your own urgent but unimportant tasks. Most of the time, they’re getting passed down to you. And then you have to react to somebody else’s lack of prioritization and planning. So when I go through and I have people start to look at this type of a matrix, I say that box is the one you have to watch. The urgent versus important, great, that’s pretty obvious. Those are the big ones. Those are the things that you got to do the non urgent versus important. Those are the ones you have to plan for. But that urgent versus not not important. That’s the one that will grow and consume all of your time and your schedule and your mental well being. If you don’t keep that particular box in control and I think on Fortunately, the Eisenhower matrix oversimplifies this to the point of misleading people that these four quadrants are actually equal. And I don’t believe they are.
Francis Wade 10:12
I agree with my esteemed colleague there that this is a nice entry level, beginners way to think about top row, what it really is, is task tagging, because you’re tagging tasks with one or four attributes, the four attributes from the matrix, but the matrix would lead you to think that a task can only belong in one quadrant, or that it would stay in one quadrant or not move around factors, tasks can move from any quadrant to any other. It’s it’s really, really just a useful way to think about the relative importance and urgency of different tasks. And it’s kind of useful in the beginning. However, after you get past the point, I remember I used to have a little sheet, or a spreadsheet or piece of paper with four quadrants, and I’d write the tasks in each quadrant, as if they could only belong to one quadrant. And as if they wouldn’t move. That’s really useful if you have three tasks to do at any one given time. But as the number goes up into the hundreds, that kind of approach doesn’t work, you got to do something like tagging. And then other kinds of attributes become more important than urgency and importance are more critical. And then you’ve got to include those tags. So you know, before you decide to take on any task, you know, what will I do in the next half an hour, you need to look at whatever the most important tags happened to be. And sometimes they’re urgency. And sometimes they’re important. And sometimes there’s something else all together. So it’s a, it’s a kind of a useful way to get into the idea that all tasks are not equal. And that you need a way to figure out which ones to pay attention to in order to decide what to do next. But it’s as I said, it’s limited. Just to echo what
Art Gelwicks 12:07
Francis just said, if you look one of my favorite task management tools, his to do list, and they have an article on the Eisenhower matrix. And if you look at how they describe implementing the matrix within their tool, they talk about two specific things. And the first thing right away is tagging. Tagging thing is important or is urgent, and then manipulating those tags. So Francis is dead on that. The matrix itself translates into those two tags and how you manipulate them to do this also does something a little interesting to that they leverage their priority structure priority one through four. And they correspond those to the matrix quadrants. So priority one is urgent and important priority two, not urgent, but important. Priority three, urgent, but not important. And priority four, obviously the last one. So again, it’s we look at this matrix is how do we interpret this into whatever system we’re wanting to do? It really just becomes a ladder, for, you know, how does this task fall through these buckets to get to the right level of prioritization? It’s useful that way. But I, again, I think it leaves too much out too much is open for interpretation.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 13:20
I’ll play devil’s advocate, then if you look at the the Eisenhower matrix, and you think about how you are going to manifest anything in terms of prioritization, that tool can be utilized in and around many other processes, other management systems, other productivity methodologies. And if you are thinking about it from that perspective, then the tool itself is just a quick kind of reasoning heuristic so that you’re able to determine what it is that you should do. So even in that To Do List article, I’ll put links all of these things in the show notes. And I and I did link up embed a little YouTube video explaining the Eisenhower matrix in the show notes as well for you folks. And and so the the idea, though, is that if I’m in the midst of decision paralysis, if I’m in a position where I need to really move forward on a thing right now, in the moment and say, in the GTD world, we use the the fourfold method for being able to design things if we are not GTD errs, and we don’t know about the fourfold method and or we find it to be obtuse or too complex, then we can come to the Eisenhower matrix, and make that decision in that moment. So it can be a surgical tool, a precision tool, even though it’s not something that we use all the time. So that would be my kind of argument for looking at the Eisenhower matrix, not as as purely something that is we’re gonna use it all the time. And we’re going to plan out our week according to it or plan out our day according to it, but it can be this really useful tool in the moment of saying, You know what, I really don’t, you know, all things are equal. I could do anything right now. What are the things In front of me, and how do I make a decision about doing that thing, the other piece that I find to be really useful is the concept of longer term planning. When you look at the things that might be much further out, you know, on the very high levels, say, in the GTD world, we would say horizons, three, four or five kinds of things. But but really horizons three and four. And we’re thinking, How do I, how do I plan out two to five years? How do I plan out the next five to 10 years? And thinking what what should stay on that list and what shouldn’t being able to look at the matrix and say, you know, what, what really is important to me, those things should come closer to me in terms of what ever criteria I want to use to make it important, and, and otherwise. And so this kind of takes me to my, my other thought on this, which is that this is going back, I mean, probably almost 20 plus years ago, I created my own method for prioritization, I forget what I called it, but it was like the, you know, the action or project prioritization formula or something like that. But it was something really silly because I, you know, I was in the midst of creating at the moment, and I wanted to be able to do something very specific in in and at that time. So what I wanted to do was, I wanted to be able to identify the exact priority of many things in front of me All, all at a given time, so that I would do them in the order that I needed them to be done. And that was really important to me, at the time, because I was running against a lot of deadlines. And I knew that if I didn’t work against the things that were highest deadline first, then they would, they would fall in some way shape or form to the wayside. And I would miss a deadline. But at the same time, I needed to be able to move forward projects that I considered important but not urgent, right, that they were things that were important to me, as well as things like self care, and other pieces of the of the puzzle. So I created this prioritization formula. In essence, it was a 10 point scale. And each item in the prioritization formula had a weight, right, it had a number, and that number waited it. And so I’ll explain it, I have an image of the laminated card I created showing the formula in the show notes. So you can also see what I created and how I and how the calculations work. So in essence, I broke it into three different parts. And so I had goals, and those were based on deadlines. The deadlines were long term, short term, or immediate and long term had a point of one short term, a point of two, and an immediate had a point of three. So you know, one, two, and three points for long term, short term and immediate, then I talked about personal priority in the next section. This is how it benefits me personally. And then again, low, moderate, or high 123. So something that was low, low benefit to me would get a one to help balance out that something was high, high priority in terms of deadline impending, but it was low benefit to me, it would it would help balance out those pieces. And then finally, I use the Eisenhower matrix as the next piece using importance and urgency as the next set of measurements. And so following the matrix, you get a 43214 important urgent down to not important, not urgent. Now, I disagree with my own prioritization formula in terms of what the final quadrant P is not important, not urgent. And I generally disagree with everything that said about that fourth quadrant about quote unquote, deleted. I think that today what we are frequently misunderstanding about things. And this comes to the point of deep work and and shallow work, this notion that there’s certain types of work that we have chosen to do. But that is not useful to us. It makes us seem like we’re too important or too too good to do maintenance work, work that is administrative in nature work that needs to be done to maintain our systems so that we have a proper operating world. And what is happening is that people then feel like oh, well, I don’t need to do that, because that’s in this quadrant of not important and not urgent. But what is important to you, in terms of higher level goals cannot be achieved without you taking care of the things that you consider mundane. The mundane is where the actions at. If you don’t understand how to get mundane things done, then you are going to have trouble with the difficult things that are the things that ultimately bear the greatest fruit. So this is I think just a really important piece that we all need to kind of wrestle with which is when we look at something that’s not important. I don’t think that belongs in the matrix, right? Like that should be filtered before it gets to the matrix. Why would you stack track and maintain rubbish? Right? Like something comes into your inbox, you look at it and you decide to get rid of it. You don’t decide to place it in a matrix and show it that it’s garbage. Like I just really don’t understand why you would you would place the the, the rubbish basket, the waste bin, on your desk, right? It’s there’s a reason why it’s under your desk, not on it. And what what by putting that deleted quadrant in the matrix, we are we are doing that, in essence,
Francis Wade 20:40
quickly. So the so I agree that this is a thought, I think use the word rubric, or a set of rules or a heuristic. So it’s a way to it as a whole matrix offers a way to think about tasks. Initially, it’s up as a tool. So as I mentioned, I used a piece of paper and a spreadsheet. But as you evolve and things become, you get a better understanding of how tasks need to be prioritized than the other factors that come into play. I think it just falls into the background and then becomes a heuristic as you said, it and you know, see that you don’t have to either categorize or explicitly tag every task in this way. However, you do need to consider urgency and importance always. And alike to what you said, if something is not urgent and not important than it doesn’t deserve to be managed. Probably, it probably doesn’t have any shouldn’t have any bearing shouldn’t take up any space in your psyche or in your system. And I also agree that there is there these background tasks that if you only think from Eisenhower matrix, kind of thinking, you would never do. But you know, for example, I exercise this morning. It wasn’t urgent, and it wasn’t terribly important that exercise this morning, because I exercise yesterday on Saturday. So was this morning, it’s still important. I don’t, probably not. But if I’m making up decisions like that at a low level to not exercise, then the maintenance that that it gives me this low level task, I would stop receiving the benefit. So task management and deciding what to do is way more complex than the Eisenhower matrix suggests. And that’s since I agree that second ladder, it gives you an initial kind of insight, a burst of understanding. And then as you continue and add more tasks, and no need to manage a greater number with greater complexity, you set it aside is my opinion, you basically need to just kind of set it and forget it, use it as a heuristic. But that’s it. It doesn’t offer up for too much more after that point.
Art Gelwicks 23:01
Yeah, I’m gonna chime in on that bottom quadrant. I don’t know that it’s, I really struggle with the concept of deleted, because I think deleted ideas, kind of like what you were headed towards re should be outside the matrix. Just because something’s not important. And it’s not urgent, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done. It just is a low priority item. Those are those can often be filler tasks. I’ve written about this in the past where I talked about them being the equivalent of tasks, candy, those little things that you can just grab and knock out to get you back in a productive mindset to tackle the bigger tasks. So I wouldn’t necessarily say anything that falls in that lower quadrant gets thrown out with the bathwater. To me, those are the things that, yeah, if they get done, they get done. If they don’t, they don’t, but it’s a good opportunity to be able to tackle things that you want to get done, and have that sense of accomplishment. But again, it’s it’s derivative of the original concept. And I think we can manipulate this thing, all different kinds of ways, which is one of the strengths of this kind of a basic level implementation and this type of an idea is because it is open for interpretation and open for adjustment,
Augusto Pinaud 24:22
as much as I can agree with some of that the reality is sometimes it is the non important, no origin, what, what is going to take to take priority and it’s exactly where the challenge is, you know, and this, this episode has been an example of that. And as people is working at home and kids are into school, their cows was internet so it’s it’s important now it’s urgent, not really, but has take priority over the recording of the show on It’s where in the in the task dog things are not necessarily caught his trade out where you can say, Well, I have urgent and important and the rest need to wait. Sometimes he’s understanding that managing that non important and it’s, it’s the right call to do so you can so that people can go and move into their life and you can move into your own. So that’s one of the things that make these four quadrants, I think, challenging as we understand that we need to try to spend time on the important but not urgent, not always is possible to really stay into that quadrant.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:44
The funny part about life is that it forces necessity forces you your hand, in many ways. If you have a really strong sense of stubbornness, then maybe you’ll avoid those things that are important and urgent in front of you. But for the most part, if it’s important, and it’s urgent, and there isn’t an emotional blockage, right, that is you have this overwhelm or fear of not doing that thing, then the the truly important urgent will get done. So the idea of managing and tracking the things that are that are immediately important, and are prima facia, you need to do this thing right now. It’s life or limb, right, those things are not needed to be tracked. So we can set that aside in terms of thinking about the Eisenhower matrix, the important urgent that we’re really talking about are kind of major projects, things that are things that we need to make sure we are paying close attention to for purposes of making sure we’re moving forward on things that have basically that have deadlines, right things, major projects that have some level of deadline associated with them. And then on the on the flip side, that which is typically considered waste. And again, I disagree with my own prioritization formula quadrant four is, is what I place as you know, a one in terms of point system, I really don’t consider that waste anymore. What I consider that is mundane work. And mundane work is not necessarily something that is bad, it just happens to be something that is boring to do. It’s not exciting work. And if you want to move forward, important things in your world, you need to be able to do mundane work. I’ve really enjoyed hearing everyone’s perspectives here on this. And I think that what you need to do as a listener, is to think about how you manage your really exciting things in your world, and how you manage the things that are rather mundane and boring, and learn a way to balance those pieces out so that you’re better able to get both of those things done in order to be more productive. Okay, so I’d like to go into our third segment, which is to talk about, really, who should use the Eisenhower matrix and the method behind it that we’ve been talking about. And when this might work, and how it blends with other systems, aren’t you noted a little bit about it, blending with a tool to do list, I want to talk about how it actually blends with some of these other methodologies, whether that be the smart project methodology, GTD, pomodoro, personal Kanban. And otherwise, we even have the progenitor of the perfect time based productivity here. So maybe we can talk a little bit about how it how it manifests in making time demand decisions as well. So how does, how do we think about the Eisenhower matrix in terms of when and how it should be used? I think I’ve already covered it for myself, but I’m curious to hear that from you all. I think, Francis, you touched on that a little bit. But what what are your thoughts there in terms of when and how it should be used,
Francis Wade 28:51
but I don’t think it should be used in the sort of early parts of one’s career when one is dealing with a low number of tasks. But as the number of tasks increase, it needs to go into the background and do its work there sort of, as you said, as a heuristic. And then the principle of, of choosing tasks based on different attributes, including urgency, importance, calendar, availability, energy context, you know, there’s a whole number that that you can play with in order to make your decisions. I think each person has to incorporate urgency and importance, but then they also need to come up with their own way of deciding what to do next, based on all these attributes, that’s the common problem that we all have, as the whole matrix offers a simplistic answer for someone who has a small number of tasks but then we all need this way only through a version of what you did. You know, even though you’ve assumed Your, your logic, you know, the one that you came up with a few years ago, your system with the pines and the one to 10 and a two leg skypilot is trying to use a similar, not methodology, necessarily to yours. But a similar kind of line of thinking, which is that there is a way to prompt someone to help them to decide what to do next, it’s better if they’re not the person who’s actually doing it. So having a super secretary, you know, crunch all of these tasks and crunch these priorities and use the mid matrix thinking and then tell you what to do. That’s the best thing of all. But these people are expensive and sort of hard to come by. The next best thing is maybe something like scared pile. And then the next best thing is having at least some discipline around what we decided to do next and how we make that decision. And that takes a great deal of, I would say insight, because you’re trying to know fit a lot of attributes to your personal taste. But it’s a, it’s a problem we all have is is the bottom line. And as a whole matrix thinking is just one small part that
Art Gelwicks 31:13
I think that matching this up with other systems it again, it’s such a small portion of the overall time and task execution process. It can plug into pretty much any system, if you look at not going to dig into the GTD side, because there’s a lot of aspects of that. But if you look at things like pomodoro, well, what are you going to do a 25 minute sprint on this can help you make that determination. And then you use pomodoro to actually execute on it and then cycle back. Those are the types of things that can help this structure. But I also think that this type of approach can work very well in a team based environment. If you’re managing projects, for example. And you’re you have multiple tasks up on a Kanban board, for example, and you’re trying to determine which ones need to take top priority, often they’re not determined by the client, they’re not determined by the team. They’re determined by the current timescale and what needs to be done for sequences, events and that sort. But something like Eisenhower can help you take things that appear to be equivalent, and give them some sort of differentiating measure. So then you can say, oh, okay, of A and B. B is really the more urgent and more important one, therefore, that’s the one that needs to get done first,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:38
like Francis and art, you both have noted here. I mean, there’s so many ways in which you can use Eisenhower matrix in very concise spaces. And I like the notion, Francis that you’re talking about of it becoming a heuristic, and it kind of falls into the background, I still feel like it’s still a thing that we can surface when we are struggling with making a decision, because it’s an easy and simple notion of just basically placing something into a box. And that will very quickly allow us to be able to decide on things kind of similar to like the johari window or other kinds of things that are just simple matrices that give us an immediate benefit of moving toward action. Because that’s really, my thought always is what’s going to drive action right now. Because any action is better than no action. So I don’t want to be paralyzed in this decision making process. So I need to, I need to make a choice. And then I just need to move in that direction. And for those of us who might have this, this kind of, you know, paralysis of decision, we need to have tools that can then help us jumpstart that process, right? It’s like jump starting the car, we need a way to be able to just jerk us out of the out of the mundane feeling and into action. Because really, once we get into action, we’re fine. It’s really that starter process. And so if the Eisenhower matrix can help you get in that starter process, in that startup process and that action focus, then I think that’s a really, really positive. I have this always thought about Eisenhower matrix being in opposition to the GTD fourfold model, because they think about what is priority in such fundamentally different ways. And as well on the project path planning level, Eisenhower matrix being in conflict with the smart methodology, which is, you know, specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time based. And when you’re project planning and you you write out a project, the Eisenhower matrix doesn’t seem to rationalize with those pieces very easily. I think there are ways in which you can make them work together. That is write out the project using the smart method and then placing the project into the eyes and matrix. But the notion here though is that as you’re able to understand importance and urgency, I think that you still need to modify the matrix. Going back again, to my prioritization formula, I still think that there is this benefit to yourself, that is frequently we exist we, we permeate the world through self interest. And, and not even self interest. It’s really self a self perspective, right? We, we see the world always in a one directional view outward of everything that’s happening, right, everything is in relation to us, we are the center of our own worlds. And to be able to find right relationship with the world, we need to step outside of ourselves, in some way, shape, or form. And one way to think about the world is how does this benefit me? And how does this benefit others? I mean, especially if you feel like you are not, if you are a little bit self centered, you know, personality wise, and you want to fix that, you know, you want to be able to do better that way you can, you can modify the matrix to think about how it benefits others in your world, how does it benefit your spouse? How does it benefit your children? How does it benefit your colleagues? How does it benefit others the community, and start to think from that paradigm, so I say take the matrix, from its base level, and then modify it to the needs of your world to fill in what you believe are your weaknesses, capitalize on the strengths, and a little bit of you know, first break all the rules, Marcus Buckingham coming in there, right? And you want to, you want to think about how to infuse into it, the things that are going to shore up your productivity weaknesses, so that you’re able to then have a true view of where things live in your system, and how to prioritize those things going forward. So I can see how whether it’s to do list or remember the milk or OmniFocus, or skid PAL or otherwise, the way in which you manifest where projects are in your world. And their priority can really be utilized well, using the Eisenhower matrix. And it doesn’t have to be, it’s not a heavy methodology to have to use. So it’s very easy in those circumstances where you have a difficulty getting started. So use it when you can’t get started. And I think you’ll find benefit in that a little bit of a contrarian view to Francis’s notion that you learned early on, and then you kind of it falls into the background, I want you to actually bring it to the foreground for these periods where you have difficulty being able to make decisions. And so with that, any any final thoughts, questions? What what are your What are your takeaways for folks in terms of the Eisenhower matrix and the methodology?
Francis Wade 37:57
Oh, I thought you said, which is that, even if you bring it forward, you the way you bring it forward re is probably not the way I bring it forward. Because while we might agree on what urgency means, or notional, what importance is, is probably going to be different between you and I and context specific. So even as you even as you use it, and, and I agree with the idea that in times, especially in times of of crunch, crunch times, it needs to be in the forefront, you still have to customize and have an understanding of what important means to you, because that’s purely based on on context. And that’s completely created value. So there’s still this self reflection that has to happen in order to make use of these attributes.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:45
Alright, gentlemen, thank you so much for this conversation. While we are at the end of our discussion today. The conversation doesn’t stop here. If you have a question or a comment about what we’ve discussed during this cast, feel free to visit our episode page on productivity cast dotnet there on the podcast website at the bottom of the episode page, feel free to leave a comment or a question, and we can read and respond to those comments and questions. By the way to get to any productivity cast episode quickly, all you have to do is add our three digit episode number to the end of the productivitycast.net and then add a forward slash and then the three digits and that’ll take you over there. If you have a topic about personal productivity you’d like us to discuss on a future cast, please visit ProductivityCast dotnet forward slash contact, you can leave a voice recorded message or type us a message and we’ll and maybe we’ll feature it on a future episode. Who knows. I want to thank Augusto Pinaud Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks for joining me here on ProductivityCast. This every week you can learn more about them and their work by visiting ProductivityCast dotnet and click on the who we are or the about page. And with that. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith on behalf of all of us here at ProductivityCast here’s triple Adaptive life.
Voiceover Artist 40:00
And that’s it for this productivitycast, the weekly show about all things productivity with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks