Use an Eisenhower Box to Turbo-Charge Your Results

There are multiple stages in marketing and monetizing your know-how and each of those have multiple steps and actions to perform. It can quickly become overwhelming and you fall into the trap of confusing busyness with effectiveness. Of all the tasks facing you, which should you concentrate on to give you the greatest return for your efforts?

Identify and perform tasks with the greatest return on your effort

You will be surprised at what you can achieve in a week, a month, a year if you are disciplined as to what tasks you take on.

  1. Use an “Eisenhower Box”. The box, pictured below, breaks various tasks into Important/Urgent quadrants. The goal is to spend as much time as possible in the Important row and as little time as possible in the Not Important row. It sounds obvious but in reality most of us spend waste time in the Not Important row. This is inefficient and leads to burn-out and disillusionment.



  1. Do Important and Urgent tasks. These are the tasks you should do now. When trying to market and monetize your know-how, these tasks include:
    Define exactly what you are offering;
    Identify your target audience;
    – Build a website/landing page;
    – Creating content;
    Social media/content marketing – getting your work out into the world.
  2. Make time for Important but Non-Urgent tasks. These tasks are crucial for your success over the medium-long term. You want to maximise your time in this quadrant. Tasks include:
    – Building your email list;
    Writing a book/creating a course, i.e. establishing authority/credibility;
    – Building relationships with influencers;
    Building your audience;
    Creating a product to offer your audience, i.e. a book, video, podcast, course etc.;
    – Learning new skills/strategies, e.g. facebook advertising, growing a YouTube channel, practising video presentation etc.
  3. Delegate/Outsource Urgent but Unimportant tasks. These tasks include:
    – SEO;
    – Distributing your content across social media channels in accordance with your content schedule;
    – Answering routine emails;
    – Order fulfilment;
    – Bookings.
  4. Drop Non-Urgent and Unimportant tasks. These are time-wasters which you need to eliminate. Activities include TV, internet surfing, gossip, excessive facebook/YouTube use, busywork.

Takeaway points

  1. Before you undertake any task, determine which quadrant it falls under and decide whether to do it, delegate it or ditch it.
  2. Spend as much time as you can in the Important quadrants and as little time as possible in the Unimportant quadrants. The most important quadrant for your success is “Important and Non-urgent” – maximise your time in here; “Important and Urgent” is a close second.
  3. Learn to trust others to help you with important tasks. You need to give others the chance to perform important duties. You may need to train the other person but it’s time well-spent. (In effect you are multiplying your time spent in the Important quadrants producing meaningful output – even though you are not personally doing the work.) The rule to bear in mind is: trust others but verify.

Action steps

  1. Take an audit of what you currently do. Which are the important tasks which you should focus on? Which are the unimportant ones which you can delegate or eliminate? Each day look at your “to do” list and make sure it only features important tasks.
  2. Visit Upwork and search for freelancers who can help you with some of your Important tasks (e.g. building a website, designing your brand, sales copy etc) and your Important but Non-Urgent tasks (e.g. sharing your content on your social media accounts). Persevere. We have found plenty of good freelancers (and a few duds). Be willing to train your chosen freelancer if necessary.
  3.  Identify an Important and Non-Urgent task to work on. These tasks are vital to your success and you must make time for them. Don’t let the Urgent rule the Important.

Photo credit: Ali Nassiri via / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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