What is the Eisenhower Matrix?
The Eisenhower Matrix is a method for prioritizing tasks. It is sometimes also referred to as the Urgent / Important Matrix. The main benefit of the matrix is the introduction of the distinction of urgent vs important, helping the user to avoid pursuing things that seem high priority because they have a near-term deadline.
The method has three steps. The first is to take the tasks that you consider doing, and for each of them determining both how urgent they are (meaning requiring immediate action) and how important they are (meaning what impact whether/how well they are done will have). The second step is to plot the tasks on a matrix, with urgent and important on the X and Y axes. The third step is to take different action on the tasks based on what quadrant they end up on in the resulting 2x2 matrix: Eliminate non-urgent & non-important tasks, Delegate urgent but unimportant tasks, Plan non-urgent but important tasks, and Do urgent and important tasks.
The Eisenhower Matrix takes its name from former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and is a useful method for coaching more junior product managers in the Leadership part of the product management process.