Time management with the Eisenhower Principle

I think a good time management is essential in daily business. Normally you will not have the time to do all the tasks you get. And of course you don’t have the time to do everything immediately. A good time management will help you to handle this issue. But this will only work if the time management method itself doesn’t need much time. During my daily business I have tested a couple of different methods. Nowadays I use the Eisenhower Principle to manage all my tasks. This principle is a very basic one which will allow you to execute your time management very easily and with a low management overhead.

This method is said to have been used by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower but this thesis is not fully proved. So some sources say that the principle is only named according to Eisenhower and some sources say that he has used the principle.


Eisenhower Matrix

The basic idea of the Eisenhower principle is to sort tasks in categories. The category then defines how to handle the task. A task is evaluated using two criteria’s: importance and urgency. Based on these criteria’s the following so called Eisenhower Matrix can be created.

Urgent Not urgent
Important A B
Not important C D


How to handle the tasks

At first you have to evaluate a task according to the above matrix. Then the task is handled according to its type.


Tasks of type A (Important, urgent):

Execute them immediately and personally.


Tasks of type B (Important, not urgent):

Define a final execution date and put these tasks into a to-do list. Execute them if all tasks of type A are done or if the execution date is reached. Execute these tasks personally. If the execution date is reached the Tasks of type B will become urgent and so they change to type A.


Tasks of type C (Not important, urgent)

Delegate these tasks to competent co-workers.


Tasks of type D (Not important, not urgent)

You should drop these tasks immediately.



The Eisenhower Principle allows you to evaluate tasks and handle them accordingly. This easy to use principle will help you to perform an efficient time management. The following matrix shows the task evaluation matrix with the according actions.

Urgent Not urgent
Important Execute immediately and personally Define a final execution date and put task to a to-do list
Not important Delegate Drop


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