One of the biggest things that has helped me to figure out how to prioritize the tasks in front of me and get things done this year was coming to the understanding that urgency is not the same thing as importance.
Maybe you received an email from someone requesting that something be done ASAP. Maybe you have an unpaid bill that is due in the next few days, or was due a few days ago. Should you work on that wedding video for the next few hours, or should your time go towards that side project that you’ve been putting off, or building a lifelong skill?
Just because something seems urgent, doesn’t make it important. Urgency usually comes last in my book.
What is important?
Think about the one thing that you can do right now that will make your life better a month from now.
What is going to make you happy to finish up right now? What is stopping you from working on what you want instead of what you feel like you have to?
- Importance is setting yourself up for a better future.
- Importance is creating something that has meaning long-term.
- Importance is taking a step towards the goals you have set for yourself.
- Importance is doing the 20% that you can do that will make 80% of the difference.
- Importance sometimes means ignoring that email you just received or the ringing of your phone.
- Importance means putting off watching that must-see youtube video until lunch or break.
Urgency usually makes its way up to become our top priority, even though it isn’t always important. Don’t confuse the two.