Do you want to become a productivity powerhouse?
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MARCH 2017
Presidential Productivity
Spring bloomed on March 20 this year, and with that came the time to prepare for the busy summer months when days are long and to-do lists are longer. But how do you ensure that you actually complete the things on your list? Think like a president, that’s how.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, was a personal productivity powerhouse. He got more done in his 78 years than most could in three lifetimes. Pre-president, he was a five-star general in the U.S. Army, planned and executed invasions of North Africa, France, and Germany, and served as President of Columbia University. During his tenure as leader of the free world, he launched some of our most important government programs — The Interstate Highway System, the internet (DARPA), and NASA, to name a few. And he still made time for golfing and oil painting.

It’s easy to question how he got all of this done without consuming all of his fuel and exploding like a giant star, but after studying his approach, his success makes perfect sense. He had a clever way to organize his tasks, now called the Eisenhower Method, into a matrix that might be called a Punnett square of productivity. With it, he was able to determine which tasks to act on, plan, assign and eliminate.
Set Your Priorities
You may be thinking, “so what?” What does the time management system of a dead president have to do with an owner of a small business or a leader of a small team? If you apply Eisenhower’s method to how you run your business or team, you, too, can become a productivity powerhouse. Here's how it works.
  • First, consider Urgent and Important matters. These tasks come in fast and need to go out fast, so act quickly, but if you spend too much time dealing with them, you’ll crash and burn.
  • Urgent and Not Important? Assign these time-sucking activities to other parts of your team and save your own time for more pressing matters.
  • Not Important and Not Urgent? Eliminate these tasks completely. There’s no point in chasing activities that won’t benefit you or your company either now or later.

Think Long and Hard
Be sure to carve out time—regular, planned, recurring time—to dedicate yourself to Important and Not Urgent activities. You may be tempted to keep putting these off because there’s no instant return on investment, but these are the activities, such as strategic planning and continuous improvement, that will drive your business forward. Plan a time to complete these tasks and stick to it. Your business will thank you in the long run.
Read More
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