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Part 5 seperating the URGENT from the IMPORTANT July 13, 2010

Posted by truenorthtrainingsolutions in Uncategorized.

5)      Divide the URGENT from the IMPORTANT. Here’s how we break down the differences between the two:

Items that are URGENT and IMPORTANT must be done NOW.  Typically these are things that come up “suddenly” often they may be emergencies, but regardless they have a very strict time limit attached to them, meaning that they must be done NOW! For example, you get laid off and there are two bills due, the cable bill and the power due. You only have enough cash to pay one. Common sense would dictate that the Power bill is the one to pay, not only is it URGENT and IMPORTANT, but if you don’t have power you can’t watch cable ANYWAY! Unfortunately not everyone sees it that way. A more daily occurrence however may be that the computer system that does your payroll for your employer has just crashed, its Wednesday, the payroll is due to be paid Friday. This is URGENT and IMPORTANT. If you can’t cut the checks on Friday you will have a LOT of angry employees and may NOT be able to get any more work done if folks are worrying about their paychecks. This is definitely an unplanned event that has a very short time frame on it.

Items that fall into this category are things that can NOT be delayed without GRAVE consequences. If you own a restaurant and your Poultry supplier gets shut down because of ‘Mad Hen Disease’ that might fall into this category. Oh you can put off selling chicken for a  day or two, but come the weekend, your customers will want a full menu or they may go elsewhere!

Items that are IMPORTANT but not URGENT have long term impact on your goals. These are those things that appear on your radar with someone else’s calendar being stressed. An example of this could be that very first time your brakes start squealing as you drive. You know that they have to be repaired, they are a life saving part of driving in traffic, but really, how many people turn into the first car repair they see when the brakes start making noise? None is the correct answer; almost everyone sets a date in their mind (future tense) when they will start thinking about working on a date when they might want to get them fixed. In your life somewhere is someone who cares about you telling “get the brakes fixed”, but that’s their time line, not yours. You will get them fixed, you know that, but it will probably be after some other unforeseen item comes to pass.

Another example would be that report that you have to submit on your new work project, you know that the drop dead due date is 9 weeks away; you also know that your boss wants to review the report BEFORE it gets submitted. You COULD start on it immediately, but you know that you won’t so instead you set yourself an appointment on your Calendar to begin writing it so that it is finished by the 2nd, that way there is a week for the boss to read it and suggest any changes. You KNOW that you will do it, you even have an idea of WHEN you will do it, but its NOT important enough to do right now.

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