How to become the president, launch the Internet, start NASA whilst enjoying your time golfing or oil painting? 4 Time Management Principles of Dwight D. Eisenhower

The President, the General and the Supreme Commander of NATO.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Dwight Eisenhower died at the age of 79 and during his life he has done more that you could imagine.

He was the 34th President of the United States, a five-star general in the United States Army , the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, Army Chief of Staff, the president of Columbia University, and the first Supreme Commander of NATO.

He managed to launch programs that developed the Interstate Highway System in the United States, launch the Internet, authorize NASA and the Atomic Energy Act – the agreement of the peaceful use of alternative energy sources.

Still, he didn’t forget to enjoy his time golfing and oil painting.

How did he do it? How did he manage to keep being productive for hours, weeks, months, and even decades?

The answer:

He used a time management system. A system which now, unashamedly, is called the Eisenhower Matrix.

What is time management?

It’s not squeezing in as many tasks as possible, for sure.

It’s about simplifying your work and relieving the pressure, so that at the end of the day you take a well-deserved rest and enjoy your time with people you care about.

I know that there are times that I avoid answering the difficult question: “Do I actually have to do this?” to remain busy rather than face the effort to eliminate a task that I am comfortable with. And the research has shown that nowadays it is a common problem. It’s not the best use of our time, though.

The day has enough hours for everything you’d like to do.

It’s just about rearranging and re-imagining your time.


Eisenhower Matrix

As Tim Ferriss says, “Being busy is a form of laziness — lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”

The Eisenhower Matrix is used by scholars, entrepreneurs, students and, in general, people who want to master their time management, task management and productivity skills.

Want to find out how it works?

Separate your activities between (un)important and (un)urgent ones.

How do you distinguish urgent from insignificant?

Urgent activities need prompt action, and are very often associated with achieving someone else’s goals. They are usually the ones we focus on, because their consequences are immediate.

These could include: responding to emails, phone calls, texts, new stories.

What about important or meaningless actions?

Follow the words of Brett McKay, “Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals.”

Now think about that.

What is your long-term mission?

Is it getting to know a new language? Getting a promotion? Establishing your own company?

Focus on that and prioritize the activities that bring you closer to your goal.


Do, Decide, Delegate, Delete

There are 4 easy steps.

Let’s slice and dice each one of them.

Do the tasks that are urgent and important immediately. Things like writing an article.

Decide to reschedule the tasks that are important, but not urgent. This can include exercising, calling with your family and friends, and researching articles.

Delegate tasks that are urgent, but not important. These are tasks that prevent you from achieving your goals. Do you remember the last moment you were totally immersed in your assignment and your colleague asked you for a favour? Respect your time. And values.

Delete tasks that are neither urgent nor important. Avoid activities like checking social media, watching television or sorting through junk mail.

What is in your boxes?

Need any help with managing that?

Apply the 80/20 rule.


The 80/20 Rule

This method was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noticed that 80% of income in Italy was gained by 20% of the Italian population.

The outcome is that most of the results come from a small number of causes.

But how should you distinguish 20 percent from 30 or 40 percent?

Well, what if I told you that you don’t have to.

Pareto explains that this is very rough estimation of the percentage. The ratio of 80/20 may be easily converted into a 99/1 rule.

The most crucial thing to understand is the fact that there are certain activities in your life (those 20 percent) that account for the majority of your output and happiness (the 80 percent).

What do I understand by output and happiness?

The output brings you closer to your goals, and helps you accomplish your long-term mission.

In my case it’s writing.

I create content for my company. I write Facebook posts, design maps and brochures, and describe the travelling destinations we go to.

As a hobby I contribute to the content of Why Not 3. I follow the ways of Neil Patel. Where writing an article includes establishing the Core Concept, creating the Ideas, building an Outline, Writing, Editing and, in the end, adding the Bells & Whistles[1]. It’s a great learning process and, with the course of every article, I get to get closer to my long-term mission.

The path of writing an article helps me to master my writing skills and implement this knowledge into the Polish Globetrotters blog, where I share the message of travelling on a student budget.

The activities that I don’t enjoy take much more time and energy from me. The logistic part of the trips are not enjoyable because it takes me ages to arrange the formalities and prepare all documents. Compared to the benefits I get, the inefficiency isn’t worth it.

The 80/20 can be definitely applied to most aspects of your working and business life.

You should focus on happiness and satisfaction. In the end, those are your primary concerns[2].


How to achieve your long-term mission?

Plan your goal

Take your time and think what you want to achieve in the next 5 years. Ask yourself:

– What do you want to accomplish until the end of the year?

– What do you have to finish by Friday evening?


Now write it down in a SMART way.

SMART Goal Setting is very often attributed to Peter Drucker’s[3] Management by Objectives concept.

SMART stands for:

Specific (simple, sensible, significant)

Measurable (meaningful, motivating)

Achievable (agreed, attainable)

Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)

Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)


Take your time to set your long-term SMART objectives.


In my case those include:

By the end of the year I will have worked as a Zumba instructor.

By the end of the year I will have achieved C1 proficiency in German.

By the end of the year I will have get a 1000 Likes on the Polish Globetrotter Fanpage and 1500 on Why not 3 one.


Now transfer those long-term objectives into short-term ones.

How can you do it? Setting them in a SMART way.

Let’s focus on the language.

By the end of this year I want to master my German skills. What do I have to do to accomplish that? I take baby-steps.

Don’t throw yourself in the deep end. You will get frustrated, demotivated and burned out.

Divide it into quarters.

Let’s begin there.

First Quarter: In the next 3 months I will have understood German songs.

Second Quarter: In the next 6 months I will have read the news in German.

Third Quarter: In the next 9 months I will have been able to lead a normal conversation.

Final Quarter: In the next 12 months I will have been able to lead a business conversation.

How do we achieve the short-terms? By setting tasks.

Task: Listen and translate the albums of Mark Forster and Max Giesinger.

Task: Read one article a day.

Task: Attend the Language Café and move to Germany.

Task: Attend business meetings.

Commit to it. Be resolute. Be professional. Be passionate about it and follow through.

And imagine how the accomplishment of your objectives will look, sound and feel like.



According to the Entrepreneur there are only three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations and actions. Bear in mind that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities contribute to 80 percent of your results[4].

Schedule appointments with yourself; create time boxes for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. And keep to these appointments.


Get an early start.

Take the first 10 minutes of your day to plan it.


Set the timing.

Don’t laze around thinking that you are doomed to this project until it’s done.


Don’t drive yourself into crazy perfectionism.

Think instead that you are going to focus and work on this for the next 2 hours.


Have a visibly placed clock before you. This keeps you aware of the passing time.

The time limitation will push you to be more efficient. Even if it means that you would have to go back and improve it later.


Remember your deadlines.

Mark them, so that you know when you need to finish your tasks.


Get to know which method works the best for you.

Do you like working under time pressure? Or do you prefer giving yourself time before the deadline?

For example, my best friend has a tendency to send her applications an hour before the final deadline. She always gets it in.

Find out your way and take advantage of it.


Use Google Calendar.

Let me show you how mine looks like?


My Daily Tasks

Use colors if you like. I do.

Green boxes are the ones connected to my development. Language, writing skills and overall knowledge.

Blue is the color of my company. Then, the tasks are ordered by my manager and my role is to complete the most important task first. When I finish the most crucial ones, I can move on to other things.

Red-ish symbolizes my “me-time”. This is the time I take a rest, have a chat with my colleagues, dance the stress away, play some ukulele and have a conversation with my best friend.


Turn your key tasks into habits.

I acquired a manner of waking up early and starting my day with a batch of German words.

It became my positive daily routine that is the natural and enjoyable part of my day[5].


Leave downtime between your tasks

After ticking of this task box, wait for a second.

Breath, take a look what you’ve done and appreciate it.

Allow yourself for a mini break to recharge and refocus.

That’s the best way to tackle the undertaking that is at either end of the spectrum – either too difficult or too easy. Use short breaks to reward yourself and keep going. It could be some drinks, some food, a conversation, playing with your dog, or a brisk walk.


Take advantage of your waiting time

Draft an article in a subway, train or a bus.

Make calls during your drive to work.

Catch up with news waiting at the boarding gate before the flight.

Read a book on the treadmill.

Listen to German, Spanish or French songs while you bike and practice your language skills.

Watch a TEDx speech whilst brushing your teeth.

Study for your economics exam in a waiting room.

We tend to complain about time we waste at the doctors, during transportation or in governmental institutions. Don’t. Once again, take advantage of it.



Forget about multitasking.

The most recent neuroscience research proves that we are not as awesome at multitasking as we thought we were.

Our brain doesn’t perform the tasks simultaneously. It rather switches the stop/start button between them.

Rather than saving time, it costs us energy[6].

Focus on one key task at a time.


Block out distractions.

Put your phone away, out of your sight and on flight mode. Try not to answer calls or e-mails.

You don’t have to immediately devote your attention to people, unless it’s unquestionably important in your business.

Set a time to respond to them.

Close off your time wasters. Stop checking your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or email. Pin them off from your bookmarks.

If you use them for generating your business, schedule the updates. You don’t have to have your attention continuously dragged by them.


Identify anything that drains your time and energy. These could include technology, workflow, systems or people.

And take them, one by one. Try to fix, change, or address them to get more time[7].


Value your time, and people around you will do the same.

Learn to say “no”.

You don’t have to take part in every project, help your colleague in every second task or go to clubs every Thursday.

At one point you need to reject some of the offers and decline the opportunities.

Focus on the commitments you know you will find time for and you truly care about.


Create a system.

Store your document in one place. Name and mark them.

Use an organizer. Manage your projects, to-do lists, information and other miscellaneous items.

Unsubscribe from the email lists you don’t care about.

Batch related tasks together. First write your 3 essays, and then make 2 videos. Don’t juggle different tasks. Allow your mind to focus on the current zone instead.


Let the time management apps help you out.

Use an egg Timer to count down the time[8].

Set your goals, check your productivity reports and weekly summary emails, and block the sites to maximise your productivity with RescueTime.

Track your time management with the help of Toggl or Yast.

Consider Hootsuite or Buffer to manage your social media accounts.

Save engaging articles with Feedly, Pocket, or Evernote and read them later on.

Store your passwords on LastPass, where you can secure and keep tabs of all your confidential information.

Work with templates for all assignments created in the same way. Use them for your presentations, spreadsheets, emails or articles.

The system will manage your time and boost your productivity[9].


Remember that enjoyment is the goal. Work could be play.

“People who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love.”

Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State


Don’t get caught by your agenda so much that you forget to truly enjoy what you do.

Spend more time appreciating what you’re working on.

This could sound like a pipe dream. I used to think that work is about earning money. And that’s it. You go to your job, you do what you have to do, you earn money and then, afterhours you might enjoy your time on spending it.

At this point I’ve performed various jobs. I used to pick fruits, I worked in the kitchen, as a waitress, as a hostess of Sushi Burritos… Once, during my travels, completely broke, I even found a cleaning position offer, which saved my travelling budget.

The goal used to be simple: To earn money. That’s it.

Well, not exactly.

When I moved to a new city I struggled finding a job. In one restaurant I was kicked out after an hour, because I messed up an order.

My goal changed. People changed me. Their stories, their passion, and their outlooks.

I joined Venture Café – the place where every Thursday a bunch of cool people meet: entrepreneurs, students, investors, start-ups… That’s the spot where I had some of the most engaging conversations in my life.

My closest people are the greatest inspiration to me. Talks with my boyfriend, best friend or my parents keep me going and make me strive for more.

Right now I work at a company that organizes student-budget trips.

What do I do there?

I travel, write, talk with partners. I totally follow my passion and every day brings more excitement.

Once again, find out what you enjoy the most, start doing it, master and enjoy it.

Also take time to rest.

Find your getaway.

Implement the Silent Day into your calendar.

Take breaks during your weekend, and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Stay present in the moment. Don’t think about your concerns at work or your tasks for tomorrow. Enjoy, right here right now.

Action and inaction should both play key roles in our lives. Discovering time in your life for silence and non-motion reduces anxiety and shows you that there is no need to constantly rush. It also makes it easier to find your work pleasurable[10].



Time management is about simplifying your work and relieving your pressure, so that at the end of the day you’re able to take a well-deserved rest and enjoy your time with people you care about.

Follow the Eisenhower Matrix to do things that contribute to your mission, decide when to spend time on important but not urgent activities, delegate the ones that prevent you from achieving your goal and delete the time-wasters.

Plan your goals and schedule tasks that are aligned towards it, focus on them and remember to enjoy your well-managed time and the outcomes.


Do you have other time management hacks?

Let me know!


Thank you,

Weronika Naklicka,

Premium Blogger of Why not 3



[1] Neil Patel. Neil Patel. n.d.

[2] Yaro Starak. Entrepreneurs Journey. n.d.

[3] Drucker, Peter. Mind Tools. n.d.

[4] Entrepreneur. n.d.

[5] Jordan Bates. Refine the Mind. 2012.

[6] Nancy K. Napier. Psychology Today. 2014.

[7] Frances Booth. Forbes. n.d.

[8] Leon Ho. Lifehack. 2017.

[9] Larry Kim. Inc. 2015.

[10] Dr.Rajan Pandey. „The Book of Life: A Journey of Self-Discovery.” Notion Press, 2016.

Why would you not travel? The beginners guide to finding your work life balance.

Most of the people find travelling relaxing; it’s their getaway from the stress of normal life or just willingness to explore something new, something they haven’t experienced before. We do it, because we like it, that’s clear. However, why does it happen? Why is getting out of one’s comfort zone bring so much joy and energy?

Hey everyone, I’m Weronika and I’m the new Premium Blogger of Why Not 3! The topic of travelling is amazing to me. Originally from Poland, moved to the Netherlands for studies, currently working for pm2am – a Student Travel Company in Germany. Let’s be honest. Travelling is my passion, I’m totally hyped about this topic and I enjoy it to the fullest. But why?

I found the answer in a research paper carried out with the help of over two hundred students from different German universities.


It’s scientifically proven that the great getaway travel actually influences and changes our personality. Julia Zimmermann and Franz Neyer from Jena University in Germany established this fact in the fascinating paper “Do We Become a Different Person When Hitting the Road? Personality Development of Sojourners’” issued in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology[1]. Their aim was to research the impact of international experience on personality and examine the connection between life events and personality development.


They did so by carrying out an experiment on the university students. There were three groups of both short-term and long-term travellers along with control students who stayed at their current place of residence. The assessment based on Big Five Personality Traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism (which is also referred as Emotional Stability).



Let’s start with the explanation of personality itself. According to Cambridge Dictionary personality is the type of person you are, shown by the way you behave, feel, and think.

The Cambridge definition is quite simple and understandable. Seems self-evident.


The Ancient Times of Personality

It took much more time than expected to reach this explanation, though. The history of the personality research already dates back to ancient Greece and can be divided into several parts.


Hippocrates came up with two poles on which temperament could differ: moist vs. dry and hot vs. cold. The combinations within – hot&moist, hot&dry, cold&moist, cold&dry – were called humours that had impact on both personality peculiarities and health issues.


Later on, Aristotle (basing on Plato’s findings) explained personality by dividing its types into iconic (or artistic), pistic (common sense), noetic (intuitive) and dianoetic (logic).


The Curious Case of Phineas Gage

But it was Phineas Gage who was the person that (totally accidentally) proved the connection between personality and physical brain. This railway construction worker suffered a horrible accident when premature detonation of explosive powder impaired his brain. There were only two visible injuries. One where the iron rod went into his cheek and the other was the blindness in the left eye. Nevertheless, the personality of Gage changed dramatically. His friends recorded that he was not able to keep appointments anymore, showed little compassion or respect to others and, consequently, lost the social inhibitions. This was an interesting discovery for psychology.


The Id, Ego and Superego of Freud

Then comes Sigmund Freud – the father of psychoanalysis -– where in one of his theories he divided the human mind into three parts: the id, the ego and the superego.

The id is the instinctual and primitive part of the mind that aims for survival at all costs. The superego performs as a moral conscience representing humans’ higher qualities. The ego is the connector between the desires of the id and moral framework of superego.


The theory of Freud supports the fact that the behaviour of people, their thoughts, motivations and attitudes are, in some cases, unconscious.


Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow reverted to the theory of Freud proving that some of the personality drivers are led by the unconscious mind. He organized the set of needs each human has into hierarchy, known as Maslow’s pyramid.


The Big Five Theory

What we base on in this article is the Big Five Theory built off on the previous personality findings.

There are five primary factors of personality:


  1. Extraversion
  2. Openness to Experience
  3. Neuroticism (which is also referred as Emotional Stability)
  4. Agreeableness
  5. Conscientiousness


Let’s slice and dice these traits and the outcome of the research.



People with the traits connected to extraversion: sociability, energy and social confidence seek out for interaction with people. Except for being known as “the life of the party” they are more likely to act rather than overthink.


There is no surprise that people higher in extraversion choose to spend their weekend getaway on travelling and interacting with people. However, what is amazing in travelling is the fact that the introverts tend to bring themselves out of their peaceful and cozy shell, challenge to communicate and get to know other cultures, beliefs and ideas. With realizing that “Hey, this guy from India is pretty damn cool” engaging into conversation the next time seems not only less scary but also more exciting.


Openness to Experience

Sometimes called imagination or intellect, openness to experience is the measurement of one’s experience and mental life. It entails the willingness to try out new things, think outside the box and it’s connected to your imagination, creativity and preference for variety.


While travelling a person has no other choice but to get oneself out there, interact with people and look for connection. Even during your weekend getaway you will find yourself in a situation that you have to ask for help, for direction or simply would like to have a chat with another person. Go for it, get out of your comfort zone and feel the joy life has to offer.



Neuroticism entails the emotional stability, general temper and, straightforwardly, the measurement of being comfortable in one’s own skin. In contrast to the previous traits not the high, but low level of neuroticism means that you’re good. The ones who score on the low end of neuroticism are prone to feel more confident, adventurous and less self-doubt.


The neuroticism trait explains how the individual deals with both subtle and dramatic life changes. Even the weekend getaway can expose you to new experiences and put you in unfamiliar situations.



This trait explains the way people treat others. The ones with high level of agreeableness are usually well liked, very much sensitive to the needs of others as well as sympathetic to the problems of strangers.


Let’s look at agreeableness from the perspective of the traveler. You are on your great getaway travel, in completely different geographic location, surrounded by the culture and language you are most probably not used to. You simply cannot be a douchebag. You depend on the mercy of local person, so be nice!



People with this tendency to behave in socially acceptable ways usually work according to the rules, plan effectively and organize themselves efficiently. Most of them are ambitious, persistent and self-disciplined.


The essence of consciousness while being on your great getaway travel is to find a balance between a loose plan and to-do queue. In the end you don’t want to arrive at the airport to catch you flight to St. Petersburg without valid documents nor exhaust yourself with racing from every major and minor landmark the city has to offer.


The Influence of Travelling

After the academic year the tested group of students returned to their homeland. When they underwent the survey and answered the questions, the results were obvious.


The students who spent their semester abroad experienced the rise in their levels of Extraversion and Conscientiousness. Since they were on their own in a totally different place, they had no other choice but to engage themselves in a conversation with other people. As well as, being responsible for finding their own accommodation, filling in documents or planning their budget. It was their responsibility, so they had to become more organized and attentive.


Those who decided to study for the whole academic year improved the score of their Openness to Experience and got to be more curious about the world.

Both groups of students were associated with a decrease in Neuroticism and increase in Agreeableness and Extraversion.


Last but not least, one of the most important influences on the personality change was them gaining new international relationship support.


The Other Side of Great Getaway

Except for gaining new friends, new experiences, new stories, travelling has a few other positive side effects as well.


Travels put one’s life into perspective. After one year spent in a different environment one is no longer anxious or uneasy about the situations that deviate from the daily routine. Life is what it is, and your reaction determines your course and mood. Instead of getting derailed, keep your head up, embrace the obstacles and find a solution that will benefit you in the long run.


Furthermore, travelling enhances your senses. Learning to adjust yourself to the culture you are surrounded by encourages your mind to learn faster, which is an indication of stimulation, and also creativity. Galinsky is a professor at Columbia Business School who carried out numerous studies on the connection between travelling and creativity. According to his research “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility, depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms”. What it means is that living in another culture affects the psychological processes, which in turn enhances people’s creativity.


Last but not least, the weekend getaway is a perfect adrenalin rush that makes your life exciting. Think about the moment your plane is boarding and you’re setting foot in a new place or grabbing the map of a beautiful city ready to explore its marvels. Those are the moments that make sure you receive the right dose of energy and come back with a completely fresh mind.


The Correlation between Personality and Perfect Destination

Another interesting point is the choice of the getaway destination which tends to be closely connected to the type of personality you represent.


There is a difference between the perfect location for extraverts and introverts. While the first ones tend to go for open and flat regions, the latter prefer to live in mountainous locations.


According to the research of Shige Oishi, University of Virginia psychologist[2], some of the places ”have geography that is more accommodating for some people than for others”.


What is interesting is the fact that it also works the other way around. According to PNAS paper[3] certain personalities are more likely to flourish under certain conditions.


And the researchers didn’t mean different countries or even the cities. The survey was carried out with the help of 56,000 individuals living in London.

The Personalities in London

In the first stage of the study the focus was on psychological characters, residential information and demographic factors.


Further on, this data was used to establish the ratings of life satisfaction and The Big Five Personality Traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism in specific neighborhoods of London. Ring any bells?


The outcome showed that different traits were connected to different districts.

High Openness to Experience and low Conscientiousness were associated with Central London, while southwest boroughs were characterized by high levels of Extraversion and Emotional Stability.


In some cases the personality traits were linked to particular urban characteristics. Higher life satisfaction was found in neighborhoods with high income, while neighborhoods with low income and employment rates had higher Openness to Experience.



Of course, when deciding on the place to settle down, one has to take other factors into consideration as well. It is important to be aware of the economic factors such as cost of living or the personal ones like proximity to family and friends and range of possibilities to fill your leisure hours.


But if you’ve always dreamt about living in a cottage house surrounded by the mountain range and wildlife, why would you limit yourself to this concrete jungle filled with smog and blaring traffic jams?




Travelling has become a part of our life.


Not many of us, however, realize how much impact it has on our lives. It is not only about discovering places, cuisine and culture, but also about discovering yourself and influencing your personality.


The travelers tend to be much more open to experience, agreeable and extravert. They draw their creativity from the environment and easily adjust themselves to new situations.


That’s why I wholeheartedly encourage you to get out of your comfort zone, try out something new, something exciting that may change the way you think and help you find a balance in your life.


Then, while settling down, it might be useful to bear in mind your personality and its perfect destination fit.



Premium Blogger

Why not 3? Work Life Balance for Entrepreneurs


[1] Zimmerman, J. i Neyer, F. (2013). Pub Med. Do we become a different person when hitting the road? Personality development of sojourners.

[2] Oishi, S. (2015). Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Retrieved from Introverts Like Mountains.

[3] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2015).