Friday, September 19, 2014

Productivity Tactics: Applying the Eisenhower Method on your Desktop

As you may already be aware, the Eisenhower box is a productivity tool/method that breaks tasks into four categories:

UrgentNot Urgent
ImportantURGENT & IMPORTANTIMPORTANT, but
NOT URGENT
Not ImportantURGENT, but
NOT IMPORTANT
NEITHER IMPORTANT NOR URGENT

Which is all well and good, so why not apply it to a computer desktop and use it at work? My first thought was to do a literal variation of the four boxes, but it wasn't aesthetically pleasing. So, I looked online until I found an awesome background that would work on either a 1280x1024 screen or a widescreen.
Source: http://www.peak15.org/misc/spectrum.jpg
Granted, you have to have a widescreen monitor to make full use of all six panels, but if you have a standard monitor the four orange through blue panels are still there. Bonus: the photos are more attractive than a solid color yet not really distracting.

Here's how I set it up:
RED: Today's tasks, files, and shortcuts. Only a few.
ORANGE: Urgent & Important files and shortcuts. Hot projects and high priority tasks might make their way into this panel.
YELLOW: Urgent, but Not Important (to me). This is where I keep links to files and tasks that matter to my co-workers or office deadlines.
GREEN: Important, but Not Urgent. This is where I keep my links to most active project folders.
BLUE: Not Important or Urgent. These are links to most references and frequently used shortcuts.
PURPLE: All the computer system shortcuts (Chrome, Excel, Outlook, etc) and all of those shortcuts on my government desktop that I can't delete without admin rights.

If you look closely, you'll see this also has an area below the panels that looks like a reflection, I use this space for non-work related stuff that I need to remember to do, with the same prioritization system.

Obviously, everyone has a (or at least should have) a method to be productive and it's a matter of discovering your own personal preference. This works for me, so I hope it adds another option to the internet that might be of use to you!
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