According to Wikipedia, the ABCD analysis is:

Activities are ranked by these general criteria:

  • A – Tasks that are perceived as being urgent and important,
  • B – Tasks that are important but not urgent,
  • C – Tasks that are unimportant but urgent,
  • D - Tasks that are unimportant and not urgent.

How is this different to the Eisenhower method? I think it's just a different name? Yet they are listed differently in the page.


1 Answer 1


ABCDE is simply a prioritization method with 5 categories of declining importance. It happens to borrow the terms delegate and eliminate for the last two categories, but I haven't seen an explanation that adequately addresses why D should be delegated.

In Eisenhower, you are specifically categorizing into do, decide, delegate, and delete based on the relationship between importance and urgency.

Though they have some relationship to each other, ABCDE is a prioritization model and Eisenhower is a categorization and action model.

  • hmm, but isn't that ABCDE is also categorization and action model, and Eisenhower is also prioritization model?
    – Ooker
    Mar 23, 2019 at 16:23
  • I haven't ever read anything that suggests criteria for ABCDE, just that you subjectively rank them then use that ranking to guide your decisions on where to spend your time. Eisenhower is also somewhat subjective, but the rules mean that a low urgency task should never be in the DO quadrant. It also tells you how to act on each quadrant. ABCDE has light calls to action on the bottom two, but they are really weak and I'd argue a bit pointless since items that far down get eliminated by attrition.
    – Daniel
    Mar 23, 2019 at 16:34

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