written by
lucinda koza

How the Eisenhower Matrix can help Family Caregivers Organize, Delegate & Reduce Stress

Educational Material 2 min read , January 17, 2021
The Eisenhower Matrix

If you are a family caregiver, you know how overwhelming your to-do list can be. Even worse, an overwhelming to-do list can cause paralysis, where you end up doing nothing at all, because you’ve no idea where to begin. Many of us contend with this every single day.

Apparently, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, developed what has been dubbed the Eisenhower Matrix as a way to manage his to-do list, which included winning a war and running a country.

It is so effective that it is used in product development, business management, and, probably still, government systems.

Being a family caregiver involves as much stress and responsibility as fighting a war, so I find this quite appropriate.

As explained by Lucidchart.com, here is how the 4 quadrants work:

Quadrant 1: Important and urgent

Important: Important tasks align with your values and help you achieve your goals. They are often focused on the long term and may not have immediate results. This makes it easy to neglect them in the short term for more urgent activities.

Urgent: Urgent tasks are time sensitive and demand immediate attention. Sometimes we put off important tasks long enough that they then become urgent—causing stress and anxiety as we rush to finish them on time.

DO QUADRANT 1 FIRST.

Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent

DECIDE WHEN TO DO THESE ITEMS. They are important, but have no deadline, so often get neglected. Create a deadline for these.

Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important

These are items that can potentially be delegated to a co-worker or friend. In the case in which you cannot delegate (like making a doctor’s appointment for your loved one) -- don’t spend too much time on it. It must be done, but doesn’t deserve your stress.

DELEGATE WHEN YOU CAN; COMPLETE BUT DON’T STRESS OVER.

Quadrant 4: Not important, not urgent

These are lowest priority.

DELETE, OR DO THEM LATER.

It’s all about conserving your precious energy and precious focus. We only have so much water in our reservoir to give in one day, and this is a way to conserve it.

Be rigorous with yourself. Try to ‘trim the fat.’ Color-code. Use a new matrix for each day. There are endless ways to make this work for you.

Watch me, in fast motion, create an Eisenhower matrix for myself, for your viewing pleasure:

In this video, I make tons of weird messy mistakes, but I end up being able to figure out what is the most important (& urgent) thing to do, and force myself to trim the fat (which feels quite refreshing).

Let me know if you guys have any questions at all, and I will be happy to make tons more of these.

Sign up at https://i-ally.com now :)

family caregivers