An Eisenhower Matrix for Educators

Navigating Your Day with Ease and Impact 

What is an Eisenhower Matrix? 

The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management strategy that advises sorting tasks into four different categories based on urgency and importance. It is a simple quadrant with four key labels: urgent, not urgent, important and not important. It is regularly used as a tool in change management but adapts really well to school environments meaning it is a useful tool for educators and can be used as a metacognitive skill building tool for students! 

 This strategy stemmed from a quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower: 

‍“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” 

In the simplest terms, the Eisenhower Matrix is an approach for effective decision making. Its brilliance lies in learning to differentiate which tasks are important and which are urgent. The Matrix allows you and your students to make long-term strategic plans. You develop the skill to concentrate on the broader objectives rather than getting caught up in seemingly urgent tasks that don’t contribute to your purpose and overall success.  

Consider using an Eisenhower Matrix if you… 

  1. Find yourself running around putting out fires all day (figuratively speaking). Your days are filled with managing one classroom crisis after another, leaving little room for calm and planned teaching. 
  2. Are busy but don’t feel like your work has a high impact. You’re always grading, planning, or in meetings, yet feel your efforts aren’t making the deep impact on student learning you aim for.
  3. Have long-term goals but no time or energy to make progress on them. You have visions for your students’ futures and innovative teaching methods but can’t seem to find the time or energy to bring these ideas to life.
  4. Have a hard time delegating and/or saying no. You find it difficult to delegate tasks to teaching assistants or colleagues, or if you often take on more than you can handle because you can’t say no.

Example Matrix for Educators

  Urgent Not Urgent
Important Important & Urgent (Let’s Tackle These!)

Lesson Plans Ready to Roll: Got a big day tomorrow? Let’s get those lesson plans polished and exciting! You’re creating magic in the classroom.

Support Squad: A student needs you? You’re their superhero! Quick, thoughtful support can turn their day around.

Self-Care SOS: Feeling a bit under the weather or overwhelmed? It’s okay to pause and take care of YOU. Your well-being is top priority.

Urgent Parent Chats: A parent needs a quick word? Your prompt, caring response can make all the difference in building strong, supportive bridges.


 Important & Not Urgent (Your Power Moves!)

Grow and Glow: Dive into that professional development book or course you’ve been eyeing. Your future self will thank you!

Strategic Support: Crafting those special strategies for each student’s growth? That’s where your teaching magic truly shines.

Me Time: Regularly scheduled ‘me time’ is your secret weapon. Yoga, reading, or whatever refills your cup – make it sacred.

Creative Curriculum Crafting: Dreaming up those innovative lessons and units? That’s where you set the stage for awe-inspiring learning moments.


Not Important Not Important & Urgent (Teamwork Time!)

Meeting Maestro: Not all meetings need your magic touch. Can a colleague take the lead this time? Share the stage and support each other.

Parent Updates: Routine updates can be a breeze with a little automation or a helping hand from the admin team. Keep the communication flowing, effortlessly.


Not Important & Not Urgent (Let It Go!)

Simplify: Spot a task that’s more fluff than function? Give yourself permission to let it go. Less clutter, more clarity.

Breathe Easy: Caught up in the small stuff? Take a deep breath and refocus on what truly sparks joy in your teaching journey.

Use the space below the Eisenhower Matrix as Your Space: Dreams, Ideas, and Inspirations 

This is your canvas! Jot down those sparks of inspiration, personal reminders, or anything else that lights up your teacher’s heart. 

Remember, this matrix isn’t just about sorting tasks; it’s about making space for what truly matters in your teaching world. Use it to bring a sense of calm, clarity, and joy to your daily journey. You’re doing amazing work, and every step you take is making a difference.

Download a copy of the Eisenhower Matrix Set for Educators 

Using an Eisenhower Matrix THP

ThinkPlus tools are designed to support you and your students achieve learning and teaching goals for continuous growth and improvement. Let us know what you think of this tool and how you have used it with your colleagues and/or students. We value your feedback as we too strive for continuous improvement of our resources. Send your thoughts to