Master Task-organisation with The Eisenhower’s Principle

We live in a society where everybody is supposedly always “busy.” Way too many people complain about the enormous amount of tasks they have to finish and how stressful the whole process of finishing these tasks is. Even worse, the way people do stuff throws them into this never-ending cycle of constant stress and anxiety. The culture of finishing tasks in the last minute has been ingrained in most people’s minds when they were young students. This is caused by many factors such as the education systems we go through or the way we are brought up and essentially “programmed” by the people that we surround ourselves with. In this article, I aim to provide you with a very useful method to escape this cycle of anxiety and to create the peace of mind you might be looking for.

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Eisenhower’s Principle

This principle is focused on helping you use your time not only efficiently, but also effectively. It is aimed to help you identify the areas you need to put your focus on, as well as the areas you can take less seriously at the moment. Going through this analysis of your tasks will help you escape the cycle I spoke about in the introduction. It will help you finish your tasks at the correct time and it will save you all the unnecessary worries and stress you have to deal with now.

Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle

Prioritise Your Activities

As you can see in the graph above, you need to prioritise your tasks first. Eisenhower uses the importance and urgency of the task as the measurements of priority. Different combinations of these two factors give you different levels of priority. You can see that the tasks you need to prioritise are the tasks that are both important and urgent, while the tasks that are neither important nor urgent should be allocated the least of your focus at the moment.

Where in The Matrix Should You Aim to Stay?

The most desirable quadrant to occupy in the matrix is the non-urgent, important one. Why? Because you are working on important things, but you don’t have to rush them. You don’t need to stress about getting them done on time. Most people live in the urgent, important quadrant. That is the reason why they stress so much about everything they do. It is as simple as that. If you do things in the last moment, you will be stressed and anxious about the results. However, if you work through things progressively with time, you will most likely not even realise that you’ve been working hard. How come most people live in the urgent, important quadrant? Procrastination.

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Procrastination

I wish I could take my eyes out and put them into your head. Procrastination is something you can never come back to when you find out what it really does to you. When you find your why, you will see procrastination as a simple waste of time. It will become so obvious that you will never even consider it as an option. However, most people still have a big issue with procrastination. What does that lead to? It leads to staying in the “cycle” of the urgent, important quadrant. You finish things last minute, you get stressed while doing it and the results you produce are not even close to the results you could’ve had if you would’ve stayed in the non-urgent, important quadrant and did everything progressively.

Application

Take the two diagrams, draw them out and use them to analyse your current tasks. This is the chance for you to start “fresh.” This is the chance for you to escape the cycle of anxiety, make good use of it.

 

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3 Steps to Turn The Impossible into Reality

There are billions of people on Earth. Each of us is unique, each of us has his or her own dreams and goals, each of us has a certain direction in life – be it conscious or subconscious. The more conscious you are of where you are heading and where you want to go, the better for you, as you can take certain steps to ensure that you will definitely arrive in your desired destination. There are many that believe that their dreams and goals are unrealistic. Let me share something I’ve learned on my journey. Your mind is something extraordinary. If you tell yourself you can make it, you’re right. If you tell yourself you can’t, you’re right. You are the master of your mind and you are the one who needs to decide whether you actually want to make your dreams come true or whether you want to stay in your comfort zone and spend your time living an average unfulfilling life – your choice. In today’s article, we’ll be talking about the specific and arguably most important steps you should take in order to ensure that you’re heading in the correct direction and that nothing will stop you.

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Step #1 Find Your Why

When someone asks me, what’s the most important thing I need to do to make sure I succeed in life? These are my questions I always ask that person – Why do you want to succeed? Why are you doing what you’re doing? What is your purpose? How do you want to live your life? As Friedrich Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” And this is an absolute truth. Do you want to start your business to help the people around you, but you need more money? As long as you have a strong why, you’ll be willing to do pretty much anything (legal and moral) to make it happen. The how is variable, but the why needs to be strong and consistent. Your why is you motivation. We are all searching for some kind of motivation around, when the greatest kind of motivation we can find is inside ourselves. The external motivation from YouTube videos, Instagram posts and things like that gets us hyped and all, but it only lasts for a few hours, or days at most. What really keeps you going, what really keeps you alive when you struggle is your internal motivation – your why. Another great thing your why does for you is that it makes your decisions black and white. You either make the decision that takes you closer to your goals or further away from them. It is that simple.

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Step #2 Make A Plan of Action

As Dwight D. Eisenhower put it: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” This is especially right in terms of success creation. You need to make a plan of action – you can’t just do random stuff without considering what effects that action has on your progress. You need to look into how you can reach your goals and you need to come up with a game-plan. Goal setting and goal achievement is a matter of long-term consistency and persistence as well as personal growth. In short, you will not be the same person when you arrive in your destination as you were before you started your journey. However, do bear in mind that as Dwight D. Eisenhower said, your plan will most likely be “useless”. Now, it’s important to define the kind of “useless” we’re talking about. You will encounter many kinds of obstacles you might have never even thought about – you have not planned to overcome them. But you will have no choice, you’ll need to figure out how to overcome these roadblocks on the way. That is how things are on the way to success. Good news is – you already have a strong why so this won’t take you down as if it would have if you were just doing something without a strong internal purpose. You need to be willing to make some changes in your how, you need to be willing to make some changes in your game-plan, but you should never ever step off your path to your dreams.

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Step #3 Start NOW

The difference between the people who have reached their dreams and that who haven’t is one word – action. You need to start! You don’t know how to make it work? Just do something that you believe will take you closer to your goals. Many successful people first started and figured out the rest on the way. It doesn’t matter how much you know, how much knowledge you might have – if you don’t take action, nothing happens. It is as simple as that. Start now, make that first model of the app you want to create, start that IG page you want to grow, talk to that first investor about your business idea, just do something! Your idea remains only an idea if you don’t take action. Be unique, step up and do something. That something will eventually develop into that awesome decision you have made back then without which you wouldn’t be where you are now. Don’t let that something become that something you wish you would’ve done.

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Taking Responsibility For Your Life

Responsibility is a term very often regarded as something negative. You need to take the responsibility for your actions, you are responsible for what you’ve done, who’s going to take responsibility if this goes wrong? All of these have a negative conotation. However, taking responsibility is something every person who wants to reach a significant success in whatever area needs to do. In specific terms, you have to take responsibility for your life first in order to be able to take it to the next level. This is the topic we’ll be looking at in today’s article. Let’s make this happen!

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Is Responsibility Really That Bad?

As I mentioned above, responsibility is something people usually perceive negatively, usually as a result of some mistake. But is it really that bad? Let’s look at what it really means to take responsibility for your life. When you do that, you automatically take responsibility for whatever happens in your life. What does this mean though? How can I take responsibility for something I haven’t done? It’s important to understand the concept behind taking responsibility for your life. Let’s say something really bad happened. Say your unicorn caught a cold (let’s talk about unicorns to make the misfortune a bit less real and a bit more comical). Your unicorn caught a cold and you need to take the responsibility for it. Why? You’re not the one who made the unicorn sick and you haven’t done anything that would lead to you unicorn’s sickness. That is all true, but you still need to understand that you could have invested your years of university into studying about unicorns and the diseases that attack them and about how to prevent these diseases. Now, you might be thinking that I went a bit nuts!

Why Do I Need to Take Responsibility for Everything?

I might have gone slightly crazy when I decided to use the example of a unicorn, but the point stands. You need to take responsibility. Why? The reason is very simple. You need to take responsibility in order to remind yourself that you’re in control. You’re in full control of your life. You can affect anything that happens to you, the way you perceive it and how you react. Let me repeat it, you are in control. What does this mean? This means that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve, you can grow as much as you want to grow, you control anything that happens in your life and you control any outome of that situation. You are in control, absolute control.

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So How Do I Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility and thus taking full control of your life is not something you can start doing just like that. You first need to understand a very important thing. You want to take responsibility not to make yourself feel bad about something (like an average negative human machine would), but to remind yourself that you’re in control. You need to start looking for lessons and solutions in your hardships. You need to begin looking at things differently – then the things you look at will change. You won’t see a failed maths test, you’ll see an opportunity to get feedback and to learn and never make that mistake again. In short, you’ll see an opportunity to grow. You need to learn to understand that responsibility is not something bad or negative. It is a reminder, a reminder of your direction, a reminder of your vision and a reminder of the fact that there are hardships you need to overcome and grow through.

Success and The Size of Your Issues

Another very important thing you’ll learn to understand is that most of your issues are not even worth spending time and focus on. When you order a steak and get a chicken leg, is that really something that should take you calm away? Is it something you need to care about, or can you pick yourself up and get the hell on with it? Successful people never waste time on small issues and dramas. They focus on the greater problems that will take them somewhere. The size of your issues defines the size of your success. The harder it gets, the more you grow. However, the harder it gets doesn’t mean it gets harder for you. It might not feel harder, because you might be used to dealing with harder issues. When you grow, your issues grow. This means that the issues you perceive change. You learn to see the more important problems you have instead of the little drama you used to care about. This all is learnable. But first, you need to take responsibility for your life.

When you change the way you see things, the things you see change.

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The Instant Gratifiaton Trap and Why You Need to Escape It

In the modern society, especially among the youngsters, it is a very common value that enjoying your life as much as you can now, being happy now and “living your life to the fullest” now is something that everyone should do. There is nothing wrong with these values, however the ways we understand these phrases are significantly corrupt. To enjoy your life, to live it to the fullest and to be happy is many times connected to the actions that lie inside our comfort zones, or simply to the things that make us feel better. How come? Doesn’t living your life to the fullest mean growing as a person and reaching for your goals and dreams – working towards them every day? That is what it is meant to mean. But if you ask an average person why they go out drinking 2-3 times a week, spend money on alcohol and spend time, the most valuable commodity we all have, in clubs and then in bed trying to get rid of the hangover instead of reading books, exercising and growing every day, the answer will be – “This is what makes me happy, I want to live my life to the fullest.” My next question would be, what about you in the next 5-10 years? How do you want to live your life in the future and what are you doing for it? Most people are not able to answer. So what’s wrong about this and why am I bringing this up? What went wrong is, most people in our society live on something called “instant gratification,” which is essentially focusing on their short-term happiness and completely forgetting about the longer run.

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Instant Gratification

This concept is something that is so engraved in the traditional way of thinking that it is almost a taboo talking about this. How come? This is because all the brands such as Mc’Donalds, KFC, Marlboro, Hennessy etc. are all based on this fundamental preference of many people. Let’s take the example of Marlboro. Marlboro is one of the most famous cigarette brands valued at 26.6B$ . Actually, we can take this a step further. The whole tobacco industry is based on instant gratification. What does that mean? It means that all their products are based on how they make you feel at the moment you use them.  They make people feel good at that specific moment, but they make them feel terrible in the long run. So how come people still use these products even though they know they will feel awfully bad later on, maybe even die as a result of using these products? The answer is – instant gratification.

This is how most people think, this is how most people’s brains are programmed. They want to feel good now and forget about the future and the brands like the ones I mentioned realise this fact and use it to their advantage. This is the reason we’re dealing with a huge amount of lung cancer patients that wouldn’t have to be so desperate if they would’ve understood the concept of instant gratification and how dangerous it really is.

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Delayed Gratification

So what should we do about this? How do I escape the trap of instant gratification? To start with, as with everything we teach, you first need a strong reason, a strong why you want to escape this trap. Be it your health, be it your dreams and goals, you need to figure out something that can motivate you internally, because external motivation can only take you so far. But what really matters is why you want to do this. Once you have figured out a strong why you should be able to see why trading long-term happiness for instant happiness kills your dreams in the long run. It is immensely important to understand that what you really want is usually something that takes lots of work and more importantly lots of personal growth.

Delayed gratification is the understanding of the fact that you need to do the hard work now in order to live the life you want to live later. This doesn’t mean that your next 5 years will be full of suffering. It means that your next 5 years should be years of growth and self-development. You can still hang out with your friends, if that is something that you feel like will personally develop you and push you towards your goals. But if you want to become the superstar football player and you want to train tomorrow in the morning, if you friends ask you to go out tonight you can guess what the best answer is (hint – sorry, I’ve got some goals to hunt). The concept of delayed gratification allows you to understand that each decision you make now needs to be made for the greater benefit in the long run. This is something we spoke about in one of our recent posts. If you want to learn how to make successful decisions, definitely do give it a read.

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

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The Magic of Successful Decisions

Watching the ultimate heroes of the recent world in terms of success. such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Grand Cardone or Richard Branson, we tend to think that they are extraordinary, that they are gifted in some way. Now that is correct and incorrect. It is incorrect to assume that they have some sort of ultimate gift, that they were born this way. They had to go through more hardships than most people in the world. That is why they are where they are right now. It is wrong to assume that they have some fixed characteristic we can’t develop. We talk about this kind of mindset more in-depth in our post about The Mindset for Success. On the flip side, we are correct in the sense that they are extraordinary. More specifically, the way they have learned to think, the thought processes they have developed are their ultimate weapon. In this post, we will look at some of these thought processes. We’ll answer the question, how should I make decisions? How do successful people think through their problems?

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The Why

The #1 reason people who you look up to so much succeed is that they have asked themselves the most important question. Why do I want to succeed? You need to identify the reason why you want to succeed. The most successful people on this planet are successful because they have found a solid reason the want to succeed. Let’s think about the next scenario as an example. Imagine 3 birds sitting on a cable. One of them decides to fly away. How many birds are there now? The answer is 3! The bird decided to fly away, he didn’t take action. Now imagine these 3 birds on a cable again. Suddenly, someone shoots one of them. How many birds are there now? The answer is – none! Why? Because the reason has changed. Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” You need to figure out the destination where you’re heading before you look for your way!!

 

Making Complicated Decisions

We tend to think that making the decisions on our way to success must be something very complicated. Successful people must be super smart right? It’s super complicated to succeed right? Is it actually? If you look at one skill that is in the core of progress that leads to your personal growth, it is seeing the effects of every little decision that you make in the long-term. This might look very complicated at first, but if you think about it in simple terms, it also becomes very straight-forward. The only question you need to focus on is – Where does this decision take me? Is it a step towards my goal or is it a step away from it? Let’s take an example. It’s Friday evening 7pm and you still need to finish your daily reading in order to sustain your habit practice you’ve started a few days ago. However, at the same time your friends called you to go out and have some fun with them. What should you do? This absolutely depends on your goals. You set your goal to create that habit of daily reading. This means that you need to read every day without a break. If you go out with your friends, you can start again. If your goal is long-term personal growth through the habit of reading, then this is the decision you need to make. On the other hand, if your goal was to make more friends or socialize and have fun, the other choice would be correct. How come? This kind of thinking is very important, yet fairly simple. You need to look at the choices you have and evaluate, which choice brings you closer to your goal and which choice takes you further away from it. Then, it logically follows that you take the choice that brings you closer to your goals, whatever it is.

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Application

Applying this kind of thinking is nothing complex, but it matters tremendously and most people do not understand that. It is so simple, yet nobody truly applies this method. The good news is that it is applicable on every little thing you can think of. Should I take a shower today? Since I want to become a successful entrepreneur, that requires me to hold my hygiene and health in check. Thus I shall take a shower. I want to save some money on bills, should I take a shower today? Maybe, I should only wash my face and save some water bills today and take a shower tomorrow (a very naughty but a simple instance). Make use of this method in your life and start making the decisions that will bring you closer to your long-term goals. Yes, long-term goals. Focus on the long-term. Short-term gratification is a trap most people fall into, but I’ll leave that for another post.

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