Prioritize Your Tasks Using General Eisenhower’s Matrix with Trello


Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

Some things in your working life are urgent. Some are important. Some are both urgent and important. And some are neither. The trouble is, it’s easy to get caught up with the busy-ness of each work day and not ‘zoom out’ to see the bigger picture, even if you’re using a task management tool like Trello.

That’s why General Eisenhower came up with a now-famous matrix to prioritize his actions, noting that those that are important — but not urgent — tend to get overlooked.

This approach can be replicated in Trello using lists. But, before we do so, let’s rename those four quadrants so they’re more clear.

A helpful way to rename these quadrants is as follows:

  1. Urgent / Important = Do (do it now)
  2. Not Urgent / Important = Decide (schedule it)
  3. Urgent / Not Important = Delegate (give it to someone else)
  4. Not Urgent / Not Important = Delete (get rid of it)

Now that we’ve got some friendlier names for our lists, let’s get them into Trello.

To do this, tap on Add a list… on the top-left of your screen and create your first list with the title Inbox. You’ll use this to add incoming items — either from conversations, your email inbox, or elsewhere.

Now, add four more lists: Do, Decide, Delegate, and Delete. Your Trello board should look something like this:

Next, let’s get some action items in there by adding some cards to your Inbox.

Tap on Add a card… and add as much or as little detail as you want. For example:

Now, add some more cards until your Inbox list contains a few more action items to process:

All that’s left to do now is to drag-and-drop these cards into the column you feel is best!

The Eisenhower Matrix and Trello are like peanut and jelly once you’ve set it all up correctly. Give it a try!

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