Urgent & Important: Do Both

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While you are working on an important work, out of the blue an urgent situation arrives that demands your immediate attention. Urgent or Immediate is a dilemma we all face in our everyday lives, triaging them is what we need skill. Let’s look holistically at the two situations below to create an order of precedence to complete them.

Situation 1: You were working on some important long-term strategy that requires you to define the right processes, people, technologies, tools, and products. While doing that you are getting urgent requests from your clients, teams – internal and external. You must address those requests first. However, to grow business in a robust manner you must not ignore the important initiatives. Prioritize urgent and important work, but do both.

Situation 2: You committed yourself for a 30 min daily workout routine. It is highly important for you to keep up with good health. You were highly motivated. You successfully accomplished the routine on day 1. On day 2, an urgent situation interrupts your workout, which is not quite a routine yet. You had no choice but to address that urgent issue. You could not finish your workout. Sad. The same thing happened on day 3. And now, everyday something urgent comes up. Ultimately, you have made a habit to ignore the important thing. Not good. You need to prioritize but do both.

We do not have control over urgent situations. We have to deal with them. But what we have control over is ‘important things’. Some adjustments and prioritization are needed. But Ignoring important things must not be our choice.

Below are some more examples that will help understand better what activity falls under urgent and important categories and what to do with them:

Urgent:

  1. Crises
  2. Project deadlines
  3. Crying child

Address them immediately!

Important:

  1. Self-care- exercise, meditation and so on
  2. Family and friends
  3. Long-term projects
  4. Financial planning
  5. Recreation and fun

Make sure you address them after addressing urgent issues.

Not Urgent and Not Important

  1. Most TV shows
  2. Social networking
  3. Time Wasters
  4. Daydreaming

It’s your life. You know what to do with it.

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