Motivation and emotion/Book/2020/Eisenhower matrix and time management

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Eisenhower matrix and time management:
What is the Eisenhower matrix and how can it be used to improve time management?

Overview[edit | edit source]

Time management is becoming an ever increasing necessity for successful performance. the Eisenhower matrix is an effective recourse that can be used to improve time management (Bast, 2016). By integrating time management with motivation theory we can better understand how it is used to work toward and achieve our goals. proper utilization of time management techniques such as the Eisenhower matrix can be used by anyone to improve productivity and avoid procrastination.

What is the Eisenhower matrix?[edit | edit source]

The Eisenhower matrix is a time management tool used to organize tasks based on their urgency and importance. It can be used effectively to improve time management and productivity (Makouet, et al, 2019). It was originally devised by the 34th president of the united states, Dwight Eisenhower. He is known for making the statement that he has "two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent." Urgent problems are problems with fast approaching deadlines and require immediate attention in order to be completed. Important tasks are those that contribute to our goals, and therefore must ideally be completed on time and in full. The Eisenhower matrix prioritizes tasks into 4 groups based on these two characteristics (see figure 1) (Bast, 2016; Kirillov, et al 2015; Makouet, et al, 2019).

Figure 1. Representation of the Eisenhower matrix.
  1. Urgent and important: these tasks are given the highest priority and should be completed as soon as possible. Examples include upcoming school assessments, emergencies such as fire, or unexpected car repairs. It’s usually best to avoid having tasks reach this stage if possible. This can be done by planning ahead, [grammar?] the Eisenhower matrix can be used to help with this.
  2. Important but Not Urgent: these tasks should be scheduled to be done when you have time to do so, to ideally have them done, or mostly done, before they become urgent. It can be helpful to schedule these times in calendars, monthly planners, or diaries to keep track of them (Bast, 2016). Examples of these types of tasks could be later stage assessment items, maintenance work, personal paperwork, or even more creative aspirations such as writing a book, or creating music. These tasks often take a long time and potentially multiple sessions to complete. However, this is not always the case and if one of these tasks can be completed soon without getting in the way of urgent tasks, then it should.
  3. Urgent, but not important: these tasks often come from other people. A task belonging to this category could be responding to messages you have received or requests from other people. It’s best to avoid letting these tasks interfere with important ones, and therefore should be delegated or rescheduled if possible. If this cant be done than it may be necessary to evaluate if your time should be spent on this task. It may be best to address the source of the task, stating that you either don’t have time for, or do not want to be involved in the task, and that these tasks should ether be scheduled or less frequent in the future.
  4. Not urgent and not important: Tasks such as procrastination or destructive behavior. These tasks should be ignored or eliminated.      

Time management and motivation theory[edit | edit source]

Within a psychological context, time management is understood as planning and ordering time in order to complete tasks effectively. However, in 1973 Lakein suggested another definition more in line with motivation theory. He stated that time management was the process of assessing one's goals and prioritizing tasks in order to achieve those goals effectively (Lakein 1973, as cited in Claessens, et al, 2007). There are many theories within the field of motivation that can be applied to time management. A few of them have been outlined below.

Attribution theory[edit | edit source]

This theory states that people will be motivated in a certain area based on previously attributed success and failure and predicts future behavior based on these past outcomes (Anderman, E. M. 2020). Time management becomes important when discussing this theory, as good time management is associated with lower anxiety and high achievement within many fields such as study and business (Aeon, & Aguinis, 2017; Ahmadi, et al, 2017; Mulatu, 2020). Not only this, but good time management has also been shown to relate directly to greater job satisfaction (Pertti, & Zafarullah, 2017). Therefore, time management can be a useful tool in promoting and maintaining motivation.

Achievement goal theory[edit | edit source]

According this this theory motivation is based around perusing mastery over a given area. Much like attribution theory, achievement goal theory states that motivation to pursue these goals is based on past success and failure (Anderman, E. M. 2020). Time management can be crucial in achieving these goals effectively.

Self-determination theory[edit | edit source]

This theory is immensely relevant to Time management. Self-determination theory is focused on the promotion of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the motivation to do a task without the need of outside incentives such as money. This is because the tasks is motivating in itself. Three attributes have been outlined under self-determination theory that promote intrinsic motivation. These being one's perceived competence, relatedness, and autonomy over a task (Anderman, E. M. 2020). The discussion of autonomy is very important when it comes to time management, as most work spaces and forms of education allow for very little choice over time scheduling. workers within many work spaces are often relegated with tasks that need to be completed in timeframes set by other entities such as bosses, this means that workers are unable to properly plan out their own task scheduling as a result and this can hurt their productivity if they are unable to properly plan for these contingencies (Brodsky, et al, 2018)[Rewrite to improve clarity]. this is also the case in education as assignments are set with hard deadlines. however, it's been shown that students perform better when they have significant control over their own time scheduling (Adams & Blair, 2019).

Utilization of the Eisenhower matrix[edit | edit source]

Effective time management Is very important in achieving goals. the Eisenhower matrix is one way in which you could improve your own time management. This matrix should allow you to prioritize your tasks more effectively. Procrastination is a very big problem that negatively impacts a lot of peoples performance (Hussain, et al, 2017). the Eisenhower matrix can be used to help avoid procrastination, as it will help you to understand which tasks are important and which ones should be ignored. By organizing important tasks and scheduling times for those tasks to be completed you can avoid having them becoming urgent.

The Eisenhower matrix is just one of many time management strategies that can be used to improve time management. An example of another strategy is the POSEC method; which stands for Prioritizing, Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing. (Čiarnienė, & Vienažindienė, 2014). A second example is the self-management technique which involves planning your tasks before setting long term goals and taking advantage of the optimal time to complete these tasks (Kirillov, et al 2015). However, the Eisenhower matrix has been shown to be an effective time management strategy to improve performance (Makouet, et al, 2019) and can be applied to many fields such as education or the workforce.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

The Eisenhower matrix can be a very effective tool in improving time management thereby improving performance (Bast, 2016; Makouet, et al, 2019). Utilizing a good understanding of underlying motivation theory helps to reach a greater understanding of this effect. People are more likely to stay motivated in a field when they are able to attribute success and the potential for high competence in that area. Autonomy is also a crucial part in this motivation (Anderman, E. M. 2020). Time management is intrinsically related to these concepts, as it involves the the planning and structuring of time to help achieve ones[grammar?] goals. Time management can be very effective promoting motivation through reducing anxiety over work as well as increasing perceived control and therefore leads to greater tasks performance (Aeon, & Aguinis, 2017; Ahmadi, et al, 2017; Mulatu, 2020). However, its[grammar?] important to examine ways in which motivation theory can be used to improve time management, such as in institutional forces such as school and work. Despite this, the Eisenhower matrix can be one of many effective time management strategies you could use to improve your own time management and tasks performance.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Adams, R. V., & Blair, E. (2019). Impact of time management behaviors on undergraduate engineering students’ performance. SAGE Open, 9(1), 1-11.

Aeon, B., & Aguinis, H. (2017). It’s about time: New perspectives and insights on time management. Academy of management perspectives, 31(4), 309-330.

Ahmadi, F., Ghiasvand, A. M., Hosseini, M., Naderi, M., & Tafreshi, M. Z., (2017). Relationship between time management skills and anxiety and academic motivation of nursing students in Tehran. Electronic physician, 9(1), 3678–3684.

Anderman, E. M. (2020). Achievement motivation theory: Balancing precision and utility. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 61, 1-7.

Bast, F. (2016). Crux of time management for students. Resonance, 21(1), 71-88. 10.1007/s12045-016-0296-6

Brodsky, A., DeVoe, S. E., Parke, M. R., Tangirala, S., & Weinhardt, J. M. (2018). When daily planning improves employee performance: The importance of planning type, engagement, and interruptions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(3), 300.

Čiarnienė, R., & Vienažindienė, M. (2014). The conceptual model of time management. Mediterranean journal of social sciences, 1, 42-48. 10.5901/ichss-2014-vol-01

Claessens, B. J., Roe, R. A., Rutte, C. G., & Van Eerde, W. (2007). A review of the time management literature. Personnel review, 36(2), 255-276. DOI 10.1108/00483480710726136

Hussain, M., Wolters, C. A., Won, S. (2017). Examining the relations of time management and procrastination within a model of self-regulated learning. Metacognition Learning, 12(3), 381-399. 10.1007/s11409-017-9174-1

Kirillov, A. V., Makushkin, S. A., Tanatova, D. K., & Vinichenko, M. V. (2015). Theory and practice of time-management in education. Asian Social Science, 11(19), 193-204.

Makouet, I., Mfondoum, A., Mfondoum, M., Tchindjang, M., & Valery, J. (2019). Eisenhower matrix * Saaty AHP = Strong actions prioritization? Theoretical literature and lessons drawn from empirical evidences. Iaetsd Journal For Advanced Research In Applied Sciences 6(2), 13-27.

Mulatu, K. K. (2020). Watching Television Films and Time management skill of students as predictors of achievement Motivation of primary school students: the case of Woldia Town. Journal of the Social Sciences, 48(3), 2226-2243.

Pertti, V., & Zafarullah, S., (2017). Effect of time management on the job satisfaction and motivation of teacher educators: A narrative analysis. International Journal of Higher Education 6(2), 212-224.

External links[edit | edit source]