If you're like me, on a constant hunt for productivity tools, then you already know about the Eisenhower Matrix. President Dwight Eisenhower (1953 - 1961) was an extremely productive man. This may have been due to his military background from West Point to Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force.
The Eisenhower Matrix, is a tool that evaluates tasks according to importance and urgency. It works as follows:
So how does this help with your spring cleaning? Take a look at the example chart above. Let's take this in reverse and start with the fourth box, not important and not urgent, according to Eisenhower's method, these are the tasks you delete. In our case, the tasks in this box all those rare spring cleaning tasks we want to get done but know it will never happen. Just scratch them off your list and forget about it- at least for this year.
Now the third box is another great one, not important but urgent. In terms of Spring Cleaning or just everyday house cleaning, this will entail those daily cleaning tasks that must get done, otherwise the sink will be filled with dirty dishes or the house will stink of trash that's been sitting there since last week. These are tasks you can delegate.
While going through this reading/writing challenge, I wondered about applying this same strategy to cleaning. Why not have a house cleaning challenge. To be more specific - a closet cleaning challenge or a top cleaning projects challenge, or weekend cleaning challenge.
The second box for important but not urgent are those cleaning tasks that are your weekly, or monthly tasks. These you can put on your house cleaning schedule and get them done on their dates and times.
The first box, important and urgent, contain the major task or tasks that you definitely want to get done this spring. I usually keep this list at one item. This year it's my closet, again. What will yours be?
Hopefully the Eisenhower Matrix will help you avoid that feeling of frustration and guilt and failure that comes with not finishing the spring cleaning plans that you make. Being able to focus on just what's in box one has been a helpful solution for me.