Decisions Fit For A President

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How do you decide what to do next? That’s the million dollar question, because the right answer to that will move you toward what’s most important right now. The Eisenhower method is attributed to former US president Dwight David Eisenhower, who famously decided how to tackle his day based on four clear decision quadrants. Here’s how to do it like Ike:

Amp Productivity Via Important Filter

  • Important. See what’s truly important instead of seemingly urgent. Avoid chasing shiny objects to stay focused on this group of tasks.
  • Not Important. These are the routine matters that may or may not need to be handled in the near term.
  • Urgent. Hot stuff that demands your attention. The question to ask? “Is this truly urgent or a shiny object to distract my attention, talent, time and other resources?”
  • Not urgent. The things to do when we get the important and urgent things out of the way.

Create a simple table like this and put your to-do list items in the correct quadrant:

Urgent Not Urgent
Important Do it now Delegate or defer action
Not Important Delegate Defer or delete list item

The choice to delegate or do it yourself depends on the team resources that are available to you. Sometimes we have to do the work ourselves.

How Will You Manage Your Time Today?

You can create a simple 3×3 table, on a piece of notebook paper to create a priority triage system. You’ll quickly and clearly see what’s truly important compared with those things that are seemingly  urgent.

How do you decide what to do each day? Please add your comments below!

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