July 21

Episode 042 – Procurement Productivity – The Eisenhower Matrix


Today we continue our mini series on productivity tools you could use in procurement.

  • yesterday we covered the pomodoro technique, which helps to slice tasks and provides focus
  • todays episode is about the Eisenhower matrix
  • this tool is a 2x2 matrix
    • on the x axis we have the importance: unimportant first and important more to the right
    • on the y axis we have the urgency: not urgent bottom and urgent top
  • this gives us 4 fields of action:
    • bottom left - unimportant and not urgent → this field is called eliminate
    • bottom right - important and not urgent → this is called decide
    • top left - unimportant but urgent → this is called delegate and finally
    • top right - important and urgent → this is called do
  • so what needs to be done in each of these fields?
  • the easiest one is maybe eliminate (unimportant and not urgent)
    • this is where you find tasks that kill your productivity
    • they do nothing for you and drain your energy
    • be brave and eliminate these tasks
    • some examples could be: constantly checking your mails, mindless social media surfing or pseudo activities that only serve procrastination
  • the next quadrant is the decide quadrant, tasks that are important but not urgent
    • what you usually do with these tasks is to schedule time for them and then do them
    • examples are: replying to an important mail from your boss, reading an important business book etc.
    • one word of warning thought: make sure, that you do not skip the scheduled date.
    • Otherwise these topics quickly can become urgent
  • the third quadrant is delegate where we find tasks that not important, but urgent:
    • this sounds somehow strange, right? Shouldn't all urgent tasks also be important?
    • in theory maybe, but in reality, urgency is often times executed upon you
    • you may want to delegate this to someone else
    • typical tasks are meetings, where you can provide no value add, you should skip those
  • the last quadrant is Do and these are the important and urgent tasks:
    • I would recommend to set a substantial amount of time during your day for these A-list tasks
    • something like 2hrs every day have worked very well for me.
    • these are of course the things that really provide value to your own bottom line.
      • such as important negotiations, sourcing kickoff with an important stakeholder etc.
  • this concludes our two part episode on being more productive in procurement
  • if you have not seen yesterdays episode, make sure to watch it, as I have adapted the pomodoro technique to our procurement daily life.


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