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Urgent vs. Important

Urgent vs. Important

We often get so caught up doing what is urgent that we have no time for the important tasks that require our attention everyday. Use this Time Management tool when prioritizing your daily activities.

1. IMPORTANT & URGENT (DO RIGHT AWAY) – These tasks should be cleared away as soon as possible, as they are often not relevant to the actual work that is most important to us.

  • Pressing issues
  • Emergencies/crises
  • Deadlines
  • Scheduling appointments and meetings

2. IMPORTANT BUT NOT URGENT (PLAN TO DO ASAP) – These activities allow us to reach our goals and objectives. They should be scheduled and worked on every day.

  • Working on specific projects or goal tasks
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Personal development
  • Crisis prevention

3. URGENT BUT NOT IMPORTANT (DELEGATE) – These activities take up a large portion of our time if we let them.

  • Daily unscheduled tasks
  • Interruptions
  • Maintenance work
  • Regular correspondence

4. NOT URGENT & NOT IMPORTANT (DUMP or POSTPONE) – These are often the tasks that we shouldn’t be doing at all, but we often use them as an excuse to escape mundane tasks.

  • Time wasting – idle chatting, long breaks
  • Irrelevant distractions – internet surfing, Facebook, texting
  • Trivial work – busy work, pushing paper, other procrastination tasks
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