4 Quadrants of Time Management Matrix

The tendency of doing things varies from person to person. Therefore, this means that everyone does things according to their perception. As a result, the pace of doing things and results vary accordingly.

It is human nature that we prefer doing things that are urgent regardless of foreseeing their fruitfulness. The priority and order of doing tasks are sometimes overlooked. It does have its consequences eventually, and that’s why it is super important to be aware of the 4 quadrants of the time management matrix. Don’t worry, this is not a complex concept. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to work efficiently in the long run.

First, we have to understand that there are two main parts of this discussion — i.e. the urgency of the substance and of course the correlation between time management and its impact on your work. After analyzing the crux for these two elements, we can apply the concept in our lives and set things straight as far as work is concerned.

Take a look at some of the important aspects of the time management matrix.


Certain things happen unexpectedly; such as, but not limited to accidents, critical scenarios, and other extremely unpleasant incidences. These things are imperative and can happen to anyone at any given time in life.

On the second hand, if you’re running out of time on a project that has the possibility of impacting your position at the company, this scenario can be classified as a Critical scenario. These scenarios are under your control because your work and actions determine the outcome.

Critical tasks are always on high priority as they impact you immediately. Since you know or have the inkling about the possible outcomes, you can be in the position to shift the odds in your favor.


This quadrant is about maintaining focus on time managing and planning. A lot of issues are time-dependent; they are not imperative or critical in that sense. You can say, these issues are deadline-oriented — and that deadline may be stretched months apart. Therefore, the project manager, in question, does not feel “threatened” or under pressure to get things done.

Eventually, procrastination leads to failed targets. According to this quadrant, you have to remain vigilant. You can afford to be a little carefree, but don’t let that get to your head more often.


According to experts, this time management quadrant is all about being aware of the vital influence of one thing’s relation to another. For example, you are at work, and you get an important call from home. This call does have a possibility of stretching for maybe an hour or two; you could have spent the time working on that very important project.

The phone call is acute, but it is less imperative. Therefore, its duration can be shortened without affecting any personal and professional commitment altogether. Just because something is very urgent does not mean at all that it is of vital benefit.


Just as it is evident from the heading above, this quadrant is all about low priority stuff. It is not important, urgent or imperative in any sense. While it is true that you need to do unimportant things daily. These things could be household chores or running a few errands, you can push them to the end of the tasks’ queue.

This time management quadrant focuses on managing your priority from low to high scale. Since these low priority tasks are important in their way, and cannot be skipped, you only need to practice adjusting them into a more relaxed time slot of the day.


These four quadrants were designed by Dwight Eisenhower; a man of wisdom and a decorated officer in the U.S. Military. “The future belongs to those who know where they belong”, is the kind of phrase that pretty much outlines the gray matter for you from a long term perspective. Get more details on Eisenhower Matrix here.

If you are looking to be productive and get things done, know that there is no magic pill for that. Pull yourself together and start organizing your life. Take small baby steps and move on from there, instead of downloading a couple of productivity apps and then getting fed up of the newly founded resolution on a whim.

Originally published at https://www.ntaskmanager.com on March 12, 2020.



nTask is an all-in-one online project management software trusted by smart teams to organize work. Sign up today — it’s free.

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nTask is an all-in-one online project management software trusted by smart teams to organize work. Sign up today — it’s free.