There are a lot of time management and GTD systems out there.
I’ve tried most of them with varying degrees of success and failure.
One that has stuck pretty well is the Eisenhower matrix that I currently use to manage my business – Makers Academy.
The idea behind the system is that instead of using one giant To-Do list to keep track of what needs to get done, you prioritize them based on priority and urgency.
Running a startup means that no matter how on top of things one is, stuff will always fall off the table. There simply isn’t enough time to do everything, so prioritization becomes key.
The problem with prioritization is that it can quickly become blurred with urgency. No matter how important we know it is to have that big picture strategy meeting, it takes discipline to do it with the constant hustle and noise from partners, customers, meetings, bills and cash flow distractions that are more urgent.
The Eisenhower matrix breaks up tasks into four categories:
- Important & Urgent
- Important & Not Urgent
- Not Important & Urgent
- Not Important & Not Urgent
Tasks should be placed in one of those four buckets and completed in the order the categories are shown.
By doing this, we combat the natural tendency to let unimportant and urgent tasks overrrule important and not urgent tasks.
I don’t think there is a system out there that works for everybody, but this system has worked fairly well for me.