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The Eisenhower Cube for Time Management

By October 11, 2021No Comments

At Industrial Athletics, we talk most often about nutrition and fitness. So, we wanted to change our focus a little onto how to improve your life and productivity outside of the gym.  This sort of topic falls under the Culture Pillar of our Three Pillars of Success at IA (Fitness, Culture, Community), and is generally the kinds of things we discuss on the Stronger Revolution Podcast. 

The Eisenhower Cube

In his famous book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Dr. Stephen R. Covey makes popular a time management system known as the Eisenhower Cube.  It has been called a number of different things, but the concept is all the same.  Our thirty-fourth president , Dwight D. Eisenhower, believed that we should break up our daily tasks and assign priority to them based on their urgency and importance.  This concept is illustrated above.  

According to Eisenhower, we become too focused on the tasks in the upper left box, those that are urgent and important.  This creates an environment of reactivity, causing us to focus on putting out fires all day.  We only focus on what is immediately in front of us and has an immediately impact in our life.

Focus On The Right Things

However, Eisenhower believed, and Dr. Covey argued in his book, that we should be spending the bulk of our time in the upper right square, the area that is important, but not urgent.  Here, you are focused on your priorities, taking preventative measures for the future, seizing opportunities, and developing personal relationships.  These activities will not demand your attention.  However, they will become urgent some day, and when they do, it is too late.  

If this time management system intrigues you, give it a try.  Take a piece of paper and break it into four quadrants.  List all of your activities for today in the appropriate quadrant.  Start to prioritize the items in quadrant 2, then complete quadrant 1, delegate quadrant 3, and ignore quadrant 4.  

Want to learn more about the 7 Habits? Check in out: