The prominent person who apparently used this idea well before Steven
Covey's popularization of it was General and President Dwight David
Several pages quote Eisenhower as saying, "What is important is seldom
urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." The following page
indicates that he learned this idea from his mentor, Fox Connor.
"Macyl A. Burke - President and CEO, The AdGap Group" (March 1997)
Foundation for Enterprise Development
Various pages call the urgency/importance matrix the "Eisenhower
matrix", "Eisenhower principle", "Eisenhower grid", etc. For example,
here is a comment that associates the "Eisenhower matrix" with the
work of Steven Covey:
"FAQ: SuperMemo 2000 Archive" [under "Stefan Schenderlein, Germany,
Dec 21, 1999"]
Here are several descriptions of the "Eisenhower matrix", or of how
Eisenhower used urgency and importance in his decision-making. (He is
famous for delegating, and apparently urgency and importance -- or
lack thereof --were key criteria in his decisions to delegate.)
"Time Management Tips" (from "Straight Answers To People Problems, by
Richard Richard D. Irwin
Survive the Search!
"18.104.22.168 Time management"
"Appendix 5b: Eisenhower Model", in "MAPA-PROJECT: A Practical Guide
Integrated Project Planning and Evaluation", By Ulrich Schiefer and
Open Society Institute: Institute for Educational Policy
"Semaine 2 : une question de méthode," by William Coop and Nathalie
"Personal Resource Management - SPL3 Lecture - Olivier de Weck -
Guest: Mary Camerlengo" (September 12, 2002) [page 5]
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Unified Engineering
I hope that this information is helpful.
I used various combinations of the following search terms, alone or in