…today’s secret…The Eisenhower Box.

The older you get the more the reality of mortality sets in.

Thoughts unsaid. Deeds not done. That kinda thing…

Don’t know why, but recently I found myself reviewing “The Eisenhower Box.” It is a little exercise many still use to save time and increase productivity.

I began using it as a student in college. However, for some reason, I was wondering why it disappeared somewhere in my mid-life.

Like Ike, I used to get up every day and separate the things I needed to do into one of four categories.

1) not urgent; not important.
2) urgent; not important.
3) important; not urgent.
4) important; urgent.

Of course Ike’s daily breakdown was helping him win a war and run a country. Mine was to get a job and date Prudy. Other than that, there was no real difference in how we used his Box.

The purpose of Ike’s Box is to ditch any task that shows up in the first two categories. They are neither urgent nor important. Ike delegated these to others because he could. I just ignored them.

Left then were only the things that were either urgent or important. Certainly we could prioritize those on our own?

Well, apparently, not.

Over the last couple of decades for me The Eisenhower Box (now called a Matrix) has gone from four categories to one in today’s version of modern living.

1) everything is urgent; forget whether it’s important or not.

Modern living today is warp-speed, a balls-to-the-wall multi-tasking world. Texting and e-mails alone demonstrate that how everything is urgent first, everything else next.

I think I stopped using this little Ike drill when I flipped the script and started prioritizing importance over urgency. Yep, that was it…

And here’s how I subconsciously use the Eisenhower Box today…

…if it’s important at all to me, I go for it. If it’s urgent and important for someone else, I put it off until I have the time or desire to help them with their own Eisenhower Box.

The older I get the more I realize that whatever I do today I’m exchanging a day of my life for it. Therefore, what I’m buying with my today’s hours should be important.

No, I can’t ignore urgent totally. Who can? But, you get the idea.

The Greeks believed, “A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.”

You are ‘Greeking it’ with the marginalized you have chosen to help.

Hopefully, your actions are about what’s important, not just what’s urgent.