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Urgent Vs Important

Updated on May 19, 2016

Urgent Vs Important

“What is important is seldom (rarely) urgent and what is urgent is seldom (rarely) important.” – Eisenhower

Today, I am dragging my feet to work on my son’s passport and visa. This is gonna come and bite me when I’ll realize that we can not travel internationally. I’ll rush, spend money and expedite those. Moral of the story, I am not treating his passport and visa as ‘Important’ and will deal with it when it becomes ‘Urgent’.

Not being proactive forces us to be reactive. A growing organization where supply is not keeping up with demand, you see this more often. There is no time for us to even consider being proactive. The daily to do list is so big that we hardly get to sit back and think about tomorrow. But is it sustainable? Isn’t it short term thinking? What if we start fixing things while working on to do list so those won’t appear in tomorrow’s list again? One at a time. Out of 10 things we work that day, we do one that is proactive i.e important, tomorrow we do 2 important things out of 10 and so on. This is necessary. If we don’t focus on important issues, we will end up working on urgent issues on regular basis.

Today, when I joined a growing organization where I am supposed to introduce a new function, I greatly appreciate the need for us to focus on important issues. Me and my team trying to create the processes, fill gaps, provide long term solutions but we all are so busy in our day to day activities that thinking about new function is a challenge. We have black belts in our organization whose sole responsibility is to create processes or improve processes. But we don’t have time to spend with them. While some are genuine urgent issues, some could be result of not stitching in time.

The mad rush can be avoided by actively dealing with important issues at work or in real life. Life is good but can be better.




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