Working efficiently and keeping track of projects – made easy! Eisenhower Matrix and Project Portfolio Matrix are key to project and time management

01/31/2017  |  Business Hacks, Entrepreneurship, Startups

If you are working at a startup or in an innovation team you most likely know this feeling: you have so many projects and to-dos on your list that you don’t even know where to start. In the fast-paced startup environment, new ideas and tasks come up daily and challenge you in every way. But as a thriving entrepreneur you never lose your motivation and drive to tackle them all! Eventually, you will master the art of multitasking and surpass yourself to reach your goals. And we have got the tools to support you on this journey! Read on to find out how to master time management with the Eisenhower Matrix and stay on top of things with help of the Project Portfolio Matrix.

Eisenhower Matrix: master your time management!

“The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important.” It’s said that the former American president Dwight D. Eisenhower used to say this. He was known as the master of time management and that’s what you will become too with the Eisenhower Matrix! With this method, you will learn to distinguish important from urgent. No matter what kind of task comes up, first sort it in the matrix, grading it by how important the topic is and how urgently you must accomplish it. Here is an example of what the matrix will look like:

Now that you have this overview, you can start thinking about what task when to do. With the Eisenhower Matrix you are able to survey both your tasks and the time factor – which enables you to finish your tasks in the right time! Our tip: don’t always just focus on the tasks in the “urgent and important” field. Instead, if you find some time, also take care of those that are important, but not (yet) urgent. This might save your life later on. 😉

Project Portfolio Matrix: keep an overview!

In a startup, a small number of people work together on a great vision – most likely fulfilling several jobs at the same time. Thus, you probably have a lot of diverse projects on your list that also run at the same time. How can you keep an overview? One way to stay on top of things is the Project Portfolio Matrix. With this method, you classify your projects regarding the factors costs (money, working hours, energy, etc.) and time (if you’re on time to accomplish it). This will help you put your priorities straight and manage the resources you invest into a project. Your Project Portfolio Matrix might look like this:

Our tip: You can also adapt the Project Portfolio Matrix with dimensions meeting your needs! For example, when you want to prioritize different projects, you can name the axes “how much the project helps me reach my overarching goal” and “how much I can learn from this project”. Then sort the projects regarding to how goal-promoting and instructive they are. Now you can see which project to reject because they don’t serve you at all. Projects that don’t benefit your vision, you should try to adapt. Is there something that corresponds to your vision, but you won’t learn anything from it? Maybe someone else in your team will benefit from taking over this task. You see, the Project Portfolio Matrix is a versatile tool and always helpful for efficient project management.

Are you interested in more tips for productivity at work? Feel free to have a look at these articles “Boost innovative thinking in your company: how your brain comes up with new ideas – and how you can train it!”, “Your working environment can boost productivity and creativity! Lessons from Google and Facebook”, and many more on our CODE_n blog. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in digital business.