I totally forgot about the Eisenhower box!
We learned about them in high school, and I want to say in college, because of his spiel: “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” I remember making several of these in the past because I’m a huge list/chart/pros and cons/visual everything person.
Fast forward to now and I’m doing research for Lemonade Bookstand and I think, what if more parents actually went back to using these? Especially special needs parents? They are necessary. Below is what I had come up for my folders for LBS.
Time Management Cheat Sheet
You can’t create more time. There’s no such thing. The secret is deciding what is more deserving of your time. There is a simple time management tool that all parents, but particularly special needs parents, can benefit from. It’s called the Eisenhower Box.
You break up your things to do into categories:
Urgent and Not Urgent
Important and Not Important
Part of creating this time management schedule is to include the things you need to do for yourself as well, not just your family. So things that may go in the URGENT and IMPORTANT square could be:
- Schedule chiropractor appointment for pain (that you’ve been putting off)
- Finishing filing disability paperwork
- Schedule hearing exam for child
- Pay electric bill
Your IMPORTANT but maybe NOT URGENT list could be:
- Get a better meal plan for family, cut out processed foods
- Have alone time or time with a friend (yes this is important)
- Clean out old toys
The URGENT but NOT IMPORTANT list is the hard one. That’s the one where the things need to get done but really you’re not the one who is doing them. These are things that you are either delegating or hiring or having your child do alone.
- Grocery shopping (delegate to spouse)
- Doctor appointment (delegate to spouse)
- Dress/change/plan outfit for child (really assess if that needs to still be happening or if they can do it themselves)
NOT URGENT and NOT IMPORTANT you can probably already guess will get deleted from your life if not now, very shortly after you start putting things more clearly into perspective. Once you really take the time to put the things you want to do (new hobbies, new health initiatives, new activities) on top of what you already have to do, on top of what you’re able to delegate, on top of what you can’t, this square will just assure to you what you can let go of to free up some time.
- Social media (you don’t need it as much as you think you do. Or delete the app and just check it on the weekends or at night to stay in touch with family)
- Toxic friends/Fair weather friends