How does your to-do list look today?

Organised and under control? Or so long and chaotic that you’re scared to even peek at it?

If yours is the second type of list, here’s a timeless time-management technique to help you organise your daily translation and localisation tasks better.

Named after the US president widely credited with inventing it, the Eisenhower Matrix is a method for sorting tasks by urgency and importance – making it easier for you to decide what to do first.

The ‘matrix’ is simply a four-square grid, like this:

Eisenhower Grid

The idea is that instead of dealing with tasks reactively, and adding them to an endless list, you carefully assess their urgency and importance and assign them to a relevant box.

1. Urgent/Important
Tasks or situations that you must tackle right away.


● translation projects due today
● client queries, requests or complaints
● same-day meetings and appointments
● crises and emergencies

2. Important/Not urgent
Tasks that you can schedule for later.


● translation projects with longer deadlines
● business blogging and social media
● admin tasks that you’re unable to delegate
● tasks that contribute to your long-term goals

3. Urgent/Not important
Tasks that you should delegate or automate, if possible.


● admin (invoicing, bookkeeping, tax returns)
● technical tasks
● low-priority email (requests, frequently asked questions)

4. Not urgent/Not important
Time-wasters and distractions. Eliminate!


● checking personal email
● checking personal social media accounts
● other sources of procrastination

What’s great about this method is that it encourages you to zap anything that drains your time and energy, and helps you to channel your efforts to the tasks that really matter (generally found in box 2).

It’s easy to create and print your own grid, or to sketch one out with good ol’ pen and paper. If, however, you prefer to go paperless, you can also manage your to-do list online with the free Eisenhower app*.

*STP is not affiliated with the Eisenhower app, or its makers, in any way. If you do decide to use it, you do so entirely at your own risk.

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