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How many of you feel like there is never enough time in the day?  You always feel like your wheels are spinning and you’re trying to get ahead.  What if I told you that you’re doing too many things? You’re probably thinking, DUH! Lol! You are doing wayyyyyyyy too much stuff, like way too much.

You need to drastically shrink your to-do list.  You can get your to-do list and filter it through the tip we’re about to discuss and eliminate at least 50% right off the bat. What?!?!?!? My perfectionist to-do list junkies are probably about to break out in hives at the mention of crossing things off your to-do list without doing them first.

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Yep, you can knock out at least half of your to-do list with this filter. The Eisenhower Matrix. You’ve likely never heard of the Eisenhower Matrix (or don’t realize you’ve had) before.  The Eisenhower Matrix was created by former President Dwight Eisenhower to help him make decisions while in office.

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The Eisenhower matrix is used to help you break up a task to one of 4 categories:

  1. Urgent & important
  2. Urgent, but not important
  3. Not urgent, but important
  4. Not urgent, not important

We will go through each section and this will help you scrub your to-do list.  I am telling you a friend that you have way too much on your to-do list. This concept blew my mind when I heard about it. I was doing so much of the stuff we're going to eliminate.

So, let’s go over each section to figure out how to categorize your to-do list.

 

Urgent and important

These tasks are both urgent and important.  These are the tasks that you should do first before anything else on the list.  These tasks are time-sensitive and add value to your life.

Examples:

  • Help your child study for a test.
  • Dr appointments with your children.
  • Pressing problems
  • TRUE emergencies 

Urgent, but not important

These are urgent, but not important to you. These usually have to deal with other people’s priorities and not your priorities. These are things you can delegate to other people. You want them done, but you don't need to do them yourself.

Examples:

  • Emails
  • Most phone calls
  • Non-emergency crises

 

Not urgent, but important

These tasks are not urgent (have a close deadline) but are important to you. This is where the magic is. This is where you want to spend most of your time. You prioritize these by putting them on your schedule making sure they have top priority (outside of already scheduled appointments).

Examples:

  • Working on goals
  • Planning out your week
  • Learning new things
  • Taking courses
  • Investing in yourself (LINK TO POST)

Not urgent & not important

This is where you really need to dig deep into your list. These are items that are not urgent or important. No one needs to be doing these tasks. You need to eliminate these from your list altogether.

Examples:

  • Busy work
  • Wasting time
  • Activities where you are escaping
  • Some emails
  • Some phone calls

If you have anything in this section, mark the item off your to-do list completely.  You do not need to have these on your to-do list at all.  They are time wasters and do not get you to your goals. In fact, they don’t get you anywhere but burnt out and worn out.

 

You can use this system to categorize your to-do list.  I bet you have a ton of things on your list that you can eliminate. I used to be OBSESSED with to-do lists.  I got things done, but not the RIGHT things. 

Productivity is all about doing the RIGHT things, not just staying busy. Anyone can stay busy 24/7, but it takes a little bit of practice to really dig deep and prioritize and stop putting busywork on your schedule.

I used to have a full to-do list all of the time. It is better to do 5 things a day that actually matters and get you to your goals than to do 30 things and 29 of them are busywork that leads to nowhere.  Productivity is a skill you can get really good at with practice. I know you have it in you to say no to busy work.

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If you really want to maximize your time, you should check out our Create a Smarter Schedule. It will help you automate the tasks you do every week to save you hours every week! It's free and you can grab your copy HERE.

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