Bright Side

How to Use the Eisenhower Matrix to Manage Your Time More Efficiently

You might have asked yourself before, why can’t we buy time at the store just like any other product. Because, sometimes, even if you wake up earlier than usual or you work until late, somehow, that to-do list just doesn’t get any shorter. In fact, the opposite might even happen: tasks accumulate since there’s always something new to be done. Checking emails, finishing a report for work, cleaning your space, or even just doing the laundry becomes a burden when you’re busy. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with so many things going on at the same time.

That’s why, today, Bright Side wants to share a few tips on how to use the Eisenhower matrix, a useful and simple tool created by Dwight D. Eisenhower that you can use to organize your time in an efficient way. At the end of the article you will also find a bonus with advice shared by users on how to manage your calendar better. You totally deserve some time for yourself!

What is the Eisenhower Matrix?

How does it work?

Quadrant 1: Do first

Quadrant 2: Schedule

Quadrant 3: Delegate

Quadrant 4: Don’t do

General time management advice

And remember:

Bonus: General advice on how to manage your schedule efficiently

  • It’s about being realistic with how long things take. Example: I’m going for a one hour run. That’s 15 minutes to get dressed, find all my stuff, and get out the door, then an hour to run, and 20ish minutes to stretch and cool down afterward. If you don’t account for all the extra bits of time, you quickly end up over-scheduling and not “having time” to do all the things you’d planned to do. the-eighth-dwarf / reddit

  • Meals and meal planning. It’s easy to burn a lot of time each day just cooking and eating. Meal prepping (or at least preparing large enough portions to last you multiple meals) is a huge time saver. TheBFD / reddit

  • Plan your days by prioritizing the most important things you want to get done and allotting a sensible amount of time to do them. Splitting your days into manageable chunks, makes achieving what you want feel more feasible. With regard to studying/chores, it can keep you more focused when having an allotted time to do them and can help you to avoid procrastination. I also find making lists of things to be done helps with the focus aspect and also gives you a satisfying feeling when you can cross that activity off the list. Alex_G_Music / reddit

  • Be good with downtime. Find ways to be efficient with those awkward blocks of time in your schedule that often turn into browsing Reddit or zoning out. TheBFD / reddit

  • Unemployment. The secret is unemployment. koron123 / reddit

  • In the morning, do all the things that piss you off. In the afternoon, do all the things that are no big deal. At night, do all the things that make you happy. Then get some sleep. DangerousMilkMan / reddit

  • We have 5 kids under 5 here, one we are currently fostering. We are busy constantly! You will settle into a routine. For us, we have found that reserving a specific window of time every day where we are ‘unavailable’ for appointments is really helpful. They can take naps and have much-needed downtime/ family time. I also cannot stress enough how important self-care is! Find something for you, that you love to do, and carve out the time to make it happen. Also, take at least 5-10 minutes of each day to connect one-on-one with each of your kiddos. All the appointments and visits can feel like a whirlwind. If you feel stressed, chances are they do too. llama-mama16 / reddit

  • Find reasons to do it now, not reasons to do it later. You will be surprised at how much you can do in not very much time. The left over time is great. Ike_Snopes / reddit

  • Find ways to do something you enjoy, while working on the things you don’t want to do. If you like a podcast, listen to it while you do the dishes or fold your laundry. TheBFD / reddit

  • Plan time for you. If you just grind all day, every day you can easily burn yourself out. Find time to do the things you enjoy, and just moderate it. For example, if you’re a gamer, limit yourself to a reasonable amount of time. Watch an episode or 2 of your show, but don’t binge. Check Reddit while you’re sitting on the toilet, instead of dedicating large chunks of time to it. Moderation, not elimination, is key. TheBFD / reddit

What do you do to manage your time efficiently and meet your deadlines? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other readers? Let us know in the comment section!