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LAtest Wellness News
December 1, 2023
Robert Simms

What is the Eisenhower Matrix? And How to Use It.

ADHD, affectionately known as the “always dialed to high drive” condition, can sometimes make you feel like you’re a circus performer, juggling flaming swords while unicycling – on a tightrope. It’s an exciting cocktail of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can turn the seemingly simple task of organizing into a mountain climb, sans equipment

Imagine a tool that can transform this towering mountain of tasks into an easier navigable landscape. This is where the Eisenhower Matrix steps in, our strategic lifesaver named after Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower was not just the 34th U.S. President, but also a man known for his effective management skills.

The Eisenhower Matrix is like a seasoned tour guide in the bustling city of tasks. It sorts tasks into four distinct categories: the urgent and important, the important but not-so-urgent, the urgent but not-so-important, and the tasks that are neither urgent nor important. Sounds like it can be confusing, but hang in there.

Despite its deceptive simplicity, the Eisenhower Matrix is a powerful tool. When utilized effectively, it can empower those with ADHD to master their productivity, turning task management from a daunting mystery into a solvable puzzle.

So, get ready as we delve into the Eisenhower Matrix and uncover how it can be a game-changer for individuals living with ADHD. We’ll explore five strategies, all from the reassuring perspective of a therapist who has seen the Matrix work both personally and professionally. Are you ready to embark on this journey? Let’s get started.

Understanding the Eisenhower Matrix

Now, let’s dive headfirst into the wonderful world of the Eisenhower Matrix. No, it’s not a sci-fi movie sequel, it’s a way to classify your tasks. At first glance, it might resemble a quaint game of four-square, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It’s about to become your most trusted ally in the battlefield of task management.

The reason the Eisenhower matrix is so helpful for people with ADHD, is that it’s sometimes like all the tasks appear to be on fire, all demanding immediate attention. It’s like being in a room full of toddlers all screaming for a juice box. It’s easy to misjudge what’s urgent or important, but that’s where the beauty of the Matrix lies. It allows you to categorize tasks in a clear, visual way, which can be a game changer for those living with ADHD. The Matrix sorts tasks into four categories.

Firstly, we have those pesky ‘Urgent and Important’ tasks. This is the quadrant that might induce a mild panic or the occasional sweaty palm. It’s the surprise client meeting, the project deadline that snuck up on you, or, dare I say, the forgotten anniversary. These tasks are the ones screaming “do me now!” and they simply cannot be ignored.

The second category is ‘Important but Not Urgent’ tasks. These are the slow burners, the tasks that don’t demand immediate attention but are crucial for long-term goals. Like planning your career trajectory or updating your will to include your pet goldfish. They’re significant but not exactly banging down your door for completion.

Next, we have ‘Urgent but Not Important’ tasks. Sounds confusing, right? They are like those pesky mosquitos buzzing in your ear. Answering a non-critical email or dealing with minor interruptions, they seem urgent, but they don’t significantly contribute to your long-term goals. It’s like being asked to save a seat for someone in a crowded room – sure, it’s urgent, but the fate of the world doesn’t depend on it.

Lastly, the ‘Neither Urgent nor Important’ tasks. These are the time vampires, tasks that suck time but give little in return, like mindlessly scrolling social media or binge-watching that reality TV show you’re only half interested in. And let’s be real, these tasks can be comforting, but won’t be winning you any productivity awards.

From a therapist’s perspective, the Eisenhower Matrix isn’t just a nifty tool, it’s a strategy that can help untangle the ball of yarn that is task management for those with ADHD. But remember, this is not about achieving perfection; it’s about progress, one sorted task at a time.

The 5 Best Ways to Use the Eisenhower Matrix with ADHD

Now that we’re familiar with the Matrix, let’s get down to business. Here are the top five strategies to unlock the full potential of this mighty tool for individuals living with ADHD.

A. Tailoring the Matrix to Accommodate ADHD Characteristics

In the land of ADHD, impulsivity and distractibility are the reigning monarchs. So, how do we ensure our beloved Matrix doesn’t end up as another forgotten novelty, collecting dust in the corner of our minds?

Firstly, make it ADHD-friendly. Visual cues are essential. Perhaps you could color-code each quadrant or use sticky notes for tasks that can be physically moved around. It’s like playing Tetris with your to-do list!

Next, remember that the Matrix is more of a guide than a drill sergeant. You may overestimate urgency or underestimate importance due to ADHD symptoms, and that’s okay. If you label everything as urgent and important, you’re not failing. You’re just a passionate person with a zest for life! It’s about understanding your tendencies and gently readjusting as you learn. 

B. Integrating the Matrix with Technology

In this era of marvelous technology, why not make it work for you? There are numerous ADHD-friendly apps and digital tools to help implement the Matrix. Picture notifications popping up reminding you to sort your tasks, almost like a friendly nudge from your phone saying, “Hey buddy, let’s get things sorted!”

Setting reminders can be helpful, especially when your brain is busy hosting the Grand Prix of thoughts. Use technology to your advantage, but remember, it’s there to assist you, not to add to the chaos.

C. Using the Matrix for Time Management

Ah, time management, a concept as elusive to some with ADHD as a unicorn in a field of horses. The Matrix can act as your personal guide, helping you determine the time needed for tasks. No, it won’t warp time, but it can give you a rough estimate on where your hours are going.

Be aware, however, that ‘ADHD time’ can sometimes feel like navigating a labyrinth blindfolded. Just remember, it’s a learning curve and even small victories are worth celebrating.

D. Training the Brain to Use the Matrix

Like a gym for your mind, the Matrix can help improve your executive functioning over time. Cognitive behavioral techniques can support this process. Think of it as the coach cheering you on, even when you drop the proverbial barbell.

As you consistently use the Matrix, your brain starts recognizing patterns, helping you better understand what is truly urgent or important. And who knows? You might just end up smashing your tasks in no time.

E. Combining the Matrix with Self-Care

Finally, remember the Matrix isn’t just for work or seemingly important tasks. It’s essential to incorporate self-care into it as well. This can be a spa day or a simple meditation break. Yes, you are allowed to put ‘take a nap’ in the important category, I promise!

Using the Matrix can help reduce stress, leaving more room for joy, peace, and overall well-being. Because at the end of the day, managing tasks isn’t just about getting things done, it’s also about taking care of you.

So, there you have it, five ways to get the most out of the Eisenhower Matrix while navigating life with ADHD. Give them a whirl, you might just find a strategy (or five) that makes the journey a little easier.


The Eisenhower Matrix, with its humble four squares, is more than just a tool – it’s a strategic companion in the ADHD journey. It helps us make sense of our tasks, guides us in managing our time, and above all, it teaches us the importance of balance. Urgent or not, important or trivial, every task has its place and time.

But remember, my fellow Matrix navigators, this tool is not about achieving perfection. It’s about progress, growth, and finding a way to thrive amidst the chaos. It’s about turning your ADHD from a challenge into an ally, one task at a time.

So, embrace the Eisenhower Matrix, experiment with it, and make it your own. Use it to prioritize not just tasks, but also your well-being. Because, let’s face it, what’s more important than you?

As we part ways, remember this – in the Matrix of life, you’re the chosen one. Now, go forth and conquer your tasks!

Next time, we’ll explore more strategies for managing life with ADHD. But until then, keep sorting, keep managing, and keep smiling! After all, the Matrix isn’t just about tasks. It’s about you, your journey, and the amazing person you’re becoming.

About Us

Our practice focuses on 4 distinct areas: navigating the journey of adult-diagnosed ADHD, fostering healthier communication between couples, unraveling the complexities of people-pleasing to establish firm boundaries, and addressing Indigenous issues alongside the intricate challenges of complex PTSD. What sets our clinic apart from others is that all of our practitioner’s have lived experience in the area of service that they are providing.

We understand what you are experiencing BECAUSE we have experienced it ourselves, and are still living/dealing with it. This practice was started and has grown on the idea of authenticity, transparency and connection. These values are the bedrock of our practice and the guiding principles in our interactions with you. We invite you to join us on this journey of growth and self-discovery, as we collectively strive towards realizing the fullest potential of our lives. Let's all work together towards building our best life.

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