Simplicity often leads to the most powerful frameworks, and the Eisenhower Matrix is no exception. One of the most popular and longstanding frameworks for prioritizing tasks and projects; the entirety of this famous system amounts to just 4 simple quadrants in a 2x2 matrix.
The simplicity of this system means it can serve as an excellent base for building on top of. We can use the Eisenhow matrix in its simple template form; or, in Notion, we can add new relations, properties and details to make it better suited to our specific needs (say, by adding other relevant tags and properties to each task and using it as a tasks database).
This Notion Eisenhower Matrix Template makes use of a kanban board layout to begin with--but there's no reason you can't get creative and make it your own.
But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. First thing's first... as Eisenhower himself would no doubt say 🤔
What is the Eisenhower Matrix?
Popularized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower (although he didn't actually invent it--the original matrix was created by an unknown author in the late 1940s or early 1950s), the matrix is based on two simple variables; urgency and importance.
Urgent tasks are those that need to be done immediately, while important tasks are those that are likely to have the highest impact on the goal you are trying to achieve.
How to use the Eisenhower matrix?
With these two simple variables in mind, we can break down the matrix into four distinct quadrants:
- Do First: Urgent & Important tasks
- Schedule: Important, but not Urgent tasks
- Delegate: Urgent, but not Important tasks
- Eliminate: Not Urgent & Not Important tasks.
Tasks in quadrant 1 are considered "to do" items, while those in quadrant 2 are "plan to do" items.
Tasks in quadrants 3 and 4 are "delegate" and "eliminate" items respectively.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a powerful tool for task management because it forces you to think about the urgency and importance of each task, and then make a decision accordingly.
As you add more tasks and projects to each quadrant, you can also begin to easily compare how they stack up against each other.
For example, if you have two tasks in the "to do" quadrant, but one is more urgent than the other, then it's likely that the more urgent task will take precedence.
This simple framework can be applied to any task or project, no matter how big or small.
It's also a great way to get started with prioritizing your work, if you're not sure where to begin.
How can I use this Notion Eisenhower Matrix template?
To get started, simply duplicate the template into your own workspace and then start adding your own tasks to each quadrant.
This template also includes a 'Done' archive. On every task, you'll notice a checkbox which reads 'Done'. After completing any task, you can simply hit that checkbox to move the task to the archive--that way you can clear up space on the board to keep plotting new tasks.
If you want to get even more out of this template, you can also use it as a tasks database. By adding other relevant tags and properties to each task, you can easily find and filter tasks by those properties.
For example, you could add a 'Due Date' property to each task, so that you can see at a glance which tasks are due soon.
You can also add a 'Project' tag to each task, so that you can see all the tasks related to a particular project in one place.
How do you make an Eisenhower Matrix in Notion?
If you wanted to create your own Eisenhower Matrix in Notion, you can follow these steps:
1. Create a new page in your workspace
2. Add a kanban board to the page
3. Label the kanban board columns 'Urgent' and 'Less urgent'
4. Then, create a new property on any blank task called 'Importance' and give the values 'Important' and 'Less important'
5. Next, hit the 'edit view' of your board and select the 'subgroup' layout option -> then select 'importance' as the property you want to sub-group by.
6. Start adding tasks to each column accordingly
And that's it! You now have your very own Eisenhower Matrix inside of Notion.
If you're looking for pre-built solution, then you can always just get started with our free Eisenhower Matrix template linked above.
Using the eisenhower matrix for time management
One of the most important things to remember when using the Eisenhower Matrix is that it's a tool for time management, not necessarily a 'to-do list'.
In other words, it's not about completing every single task on your list. It's about prioritizing the tasks that will have the biggest impact on your goal, and then making sure that you have the time to complete them.
Here are a few tips on how to use the matrix for time management:
- Start by identifying your goal. What is it that you're trying to achieve?
- Break down your goal into smaller tasks. What steps do you need to take in order to achieve your goal?
- Prioritize your tasks using the Eisenhower Matrix. Which tasks are urgent and important? Which tasks can you delegate or eliminate?
- Make sure you have the time to complete your tasks. Block out time in your calendar for the most important tasks, and make sure you have a realistic timeline for completing them.
- Delegate or eliminate any tasks that are not essential to achieving your goal. This will help you focus on the most important tasks, and make better use of your time.
- Don't be afraid to change your priorities. As new information arises, or as your goal changes, you may need to adjust your priorities accordingly. The Eisenhower Matrix is a flexible tool that can be used to adapt to changing circumstances.
By following these tips, you can make sure that you're using your time in the most effective way possible.
Eisenhower Matrix Notion template
Our free Eisenhower Matrix template is the perfect way to get started with this time management technique. Simply duplicate the template into your own workspace, and then start adding your own tasks and projects, today.
And, if you're looking for a more comprehensive Notion system to manage tasks, projects and campaigns--all pre-linked and synced using related databases--be sure to check out our free Project Management Template, here.