Beyond the Eisenhower matrix
This past week, I kept thinking about this Twitter thread from @shreyas. There’s loads of good stuff here, but today I want to focus especially on one tweet, where he talks about the LNO framework:
Sounds worth a try, right? Shreyas points out that not all tasks are created equal. They require different approaches. He sorts tasks into three piles:
Leverage: These are tasks that really move you and your work forward—things that have the potential to boost your impact by a factor of 10.
Neutral: The tasks in this category need to be done well, but they’re not worth endless perfectionist polishing.
Overhead: These are things that simply have to happen. Not so much because they move you ahead, but because they’re essential for some other reason. Bookkeeping is a good example.
A few things that strike me:
I like that this framework goes beyond the Eisenhower matrix. The Eisenhower matrix essentially helps you make time for what’s important but not urgent; the rest takes care of itself. But if you end up with lots of things in that category, it’s still tough to sort out and prioritize. The LNO framework can give you fresh insight.
The distinction between Leverage jobs and Neutral ones helps you conserve effort. For Leverage tasks, it pays to go all out. For Neutral jobs, it doesn’t. Good enough is good enough. Later in the thread, Shreyas gives us a smart way to link these three classifications to the time we invest.
For urgent things that are not important, Eisenhower prescribes you delegate those tasks or stop doing them entirely. The Overhead category is helpful because there’s always work of this kind that has to happen, but it’s never important enough to schedule. With the Eisenhower approach, you can end up postponing overhead jobs endlessly, until they do become urgent (and problematic).
I’m going to look at my to-dos and calendar items through an LNO lens for the next few weeks and see what impact it has. Maybe you’ll find it beneficial to try out for a while, too. Curious to hear what it brings to your work.
Have a good week,
produced by the language girl