Where We Get The Eisenhower Matrix Wrong.

Carl Pullein
4 min readMay 25, 2022

If you are familiar with the Eisenhower Matrix, you will know that quadrant 2 (important and not urgent) is the quadrant we should be spending more time. Yet, circumstances and daily priorities prevent us from doing so.

For those of you not familiar with the Eisenhower Matrix, below is an illustration of how it works.

Essentially we need to be reducing the amount of time we spend in quadrants three and four and maximising our time in quadrants one and two.

Now, if you sit down on a weekend, look at the matrix and plan out the week, it’s very easy for us to adhere to the principles. But unfortunately, when Monday morning comes around and we enter our workspace, almost immediately, we are swamped by quadrant three tasks. They are loud, noisy and don’t stop. Before we know it, it’s 4:30 pm, and it’s time to begin wrapping up for the day.

If you froze your day at that moment and looked at what you had done, you’d be alarmed at how much time you had spent in quadrants one and three. Nothing having been accomplished from the all-important quadrant two.

How can you prevent this from happening?

The thing about quadrant two tasks is they are not urgent. They don’t scream at you to be done, and if you skipped one for a day or two, your world would not come crashing down. So when quadrant one and three tasks start rolling in, we feel obligated to deal with these first simply because they are noisy and theoretically urgent.

Jim Rohn often spoke about this when he discussed the secrets to success. he hit the nail on the head with this:

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practised every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.”

The only way you will consistently do your quadrant two tasks is by scheduling them in your calendar.

Carl Pullein

I help people learn to manage their lives and time better so they can experience joy and build a life they are truly proud of. www.carlpullein.com