Urgent vs Important

I have been thinking about finding more effective ways of getting things done. All over the web. There are articles on the GTD principle that make suggestions about being more organized and more productive. We all have our own systems and measures on how we communicate and how we get things done and I thought now would be a good time to share one of my best practices and challenge you to apply this to your lives.

If you know me well then you will know that I communicate mostly by email. If you’re not big on email then it’s obvious that we don’t communicate as much as we could. I have 5 email addresses and am on my way to reducing this to 2 (in the spirit of simplify…a future blog post) I try to use 1 email as business email of sorts and the other one for more general and fun things. Let’s face it. I’m obsessed win email and I find myself checking my email all the time on my phone. Email addiction is one of the things that Ive been working on for my New Year’s E:volution. By the time I get to my computer there are no emails left . I have finally organized the emails in categories and decided that once an email is read it must be filed.

Everything falls into the categories by measures of urgency and importance. The four main boxes are urgent and important, urgent but not important, important and not urgent, not urgent and not important. By filing everything away, my inbox is always empty. I know that urgent tasks are Time Sensitive and must be dealt with now, important task can be dealt with later and so on.

In all of our lives there are tasks and people that are either urgent, important or some variation of the two or none of the above.

Getting a better job, staying in touch with family and friends, filling out forms and applications attending events, you name it, everything fits into some sort of box.

What are the things that are important to you?

Are they urgent? Must they be done now? Later ? Are they scheduled?

If they are indeed important than we must plan time for them!

What are the things that are not so important and we can and should do without?

Is there something / someone that is not adding value to our lives? Does this need to filed in file 13 or deleted?

(make sure I am in your urgent box, or at least important!)

Become organised now by figuring out what is urgent and what is important, and know the difference.

Space Invader

I stand

Noisy metal bullet

Not quite standing clear

Using novels as graves

Shutting out chaos

Circumnavigating sadness

Mechanical voices announce

Stops I have previously had

Here I stand

Waiting in the cold

Ill-prepared

Anticipating your warm

More iron walls constrict

Fathom by fathom

Before giving birth to me

My head breaks open

Mimicking my heart

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7 thoughts on “Urgent vs Important

  1. We sometimes place 2 much emphasis on unimportant things. Dont worry kevin,u r always important 2 me!!

  2. I saw this on a website and I thought it would complement your ideas.

    Urgent

    Urgent tasks are deadline based. This is usually independent of you and is often driven by others. The sooner the task needs completion the more urgent it is. This has no relation to importance. It is a simple matter to rank any jobs that you have in terms of their deadlines.

    Important

    The importance of a job drives how much ‘time’ you want to spend on it. Notice that this is independent of ‘urgency’ and is what you want to do not what you actually spend on it. For any time management task the quality of your output will often relate to the time you spend on it.

  3. How well you have captured the “Space Invader” concept!
    It reminds me of how easily we allow negative”invaders” to take space (rent-free) in our heads. They confuse us as to what is urgent vs. important. These invaders rob us of the energy that could enable us to be creative, compassionate individuals. Thank you for prompting me to reflect on my priorities and, hopefully, put them in the proper order.
    Peace and harmony to you!

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