As we near the end of 2021, some employees have started going back to work in an office setting, while many others prefer to continue working remotely. To bring a balance to this, numerous organizations have started to embrace the hybrid work model. One of the main challenges in a hybrid work environment is getting work completed on time, since all team members working from different locations can negatively affect team productivity.
In the last few years, the business world has seen increased adoption of various time productivity techniques. Some of these techniques are best suited when you work individually, and some are best for teamwork. For example, the Pomodoro technique is effective when you work alone, whereas the Eisenhower Matrix, named after the former US President, is more effective for teamwork .
Dwight D. Eisenhower was known for his time management principles. In 1954, he gave a speech to the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches in which he said, “The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, used this statement to construct a work productivity tool, now known as the Eisenhower Matrix. This tool helps you to eliminate the unwanted activities that consume unnecessary time.
So, how does the Eisenhower Matrix work, and how can it be used to improve your company’s hybrid work model?
The strategy is the same for planning your monthly, weekly, and daily work. At the beginning of each work period, you should hold a meeting to plan out the tasks for that particular week. To conduct team meetings, especially in a remote or hybrid work environment, try using business collaboration tools designed with hybrid and remote collaboration in mind, like Zoho Cliq.
After meeting with your team and coming up with a list of tasks for that work period, divide those tasks into four quadrants based on their Urgency and Importance.
Quadrant 1: Do immediately
Tasks that are both important and urgent should be grouped into this quadrant, as they need to be prioritized and completed immediately. These generally include work that needs to be delivered to customers or that’s part of a product release. When planning tasks for the week, make sure to complete these important and urgent tasks within the first two days of the week, without further delay.
Features in Cliq that help you complete work in Quadrant 1:
1) Statuses: These keep you up to date on your colleague’s status (Active, Busy, or Away from the computer).
2) DND: Setting your Cliq to Do Not Disturb helps you stay focused by letting coworkers know you do not want anyone to disturb you.
3) Call: Voice/video call your colleagues to discuss, clarify, and finish tasks at a faster pace.
4) Screen-share option: Share your screen with colleagues to discuss tasks with more context and clarity.
5) Whiteboard: Collaborate visually with your team members using the whiteboard option.
Quadrant 2: Schedule or do it later
Work that’s not urgent but needs to be completed within the week should be grouped into this quadrant. Once the tasks under Quadrant 1 are done, you can start on these work items. So, at the beginning of the week, you can set reminders to complete these items at a later point of time in the week and use schedulers to automate some manual tasks.
Features in Cliq that help you complete work in Quadrant :
1) Reminders: Set reminders in Cliq and let the Taz Bot notify you at the specified time, so you never miss any tasks.
2) Slash commands: Use the /remind command to send reminders.
3) Scheduler Bot: Schedulers in Cliq help automate all your routine tasks.
Quadrant 3: Delegate to others
The work items in this quadrant are a little complicated. They are not as important as the tasks in Quadrant 1, but they do need to be completed immediately. These are items that can and should be delegated to other team members. For example, if you have tasks allocated in Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 3, you can delegate the tasks in Quadrant 3 to other team members and concentrate on the tasks listed in Quadrant 1. While delegating these tasks, ensure to direct them to the right person to make sure they are completed successfully.
Features in Cliq that help you complete work in Quadrant 3:
1) Delegate using @mention: Assign work to your colleague by tagging them in a chat.
2) Meetings: Use audio and video meeting features to collaborate with your teammates.
Block 4: Don’t do
A recent study by business coaching firm Maui Mastermind reveals that employees waste 21.8 hours every week by doing unnecessary work. The tasks in your Quadrant 4 are neither important nor urgent, so they should not be allowed to waste your team’s energy and time. Most people tend to spend a significant portion of their time on these tasks, which can mean they fail to complete tasks in Quadrants 1, 2, and 3. These items usually include unproductive and superfluous tasks, and identifying the work items that belong to this block is vital for eliminating the unimportant ones and prioritizing the critical ones.
Become a productive team
“ If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
Following the Eisenhower Matrix with your team can help prioritize critical tasks and eliminate unnecessary work items to become a stronger, more productive team.It also helps your team to collaborate better and complete work on time, which in turn helps improve mental health and wellbeing within your team. If you are a Cliq user, try using Cliq to help work through your tasks in these four quadrants and share your feedback with us!