reviewing is important

whiteboard drawing of urgent and important

This is a chart that we all know. Right? The one that reminds us to thing about the difference between important and urgent?

Urgent says, “you have to do me now” Important says, “Doing me matters.”

Sometimes things are important and urgent. If you don’t stop the water which is pouring out of the broken pipe into your basement, you will have many problems.

Sometimes things are important but not urgent. You have to show love to your loved ones. But usually, they are not jumping up and down demanding it.

Sometimes things are urgent but not important. When a sales call says, “but you have to decide today,” there is urgency but if you ask for more time, the world will not end. (Addictions are often urgent but not important.)

Sometimes things are neither urgent nor important. I would offer examples, but we can fill those in ourselves.

Why do I bring this up? Because I was talking with a friend today who had forgotten it (or had never heard it). It gave us a great way to decide which of the four urgent things on his list were actually important as well.

Again, I know you know this. And so I’m sorry to remind you. But it’s possible that you, like me, forgot.

In the middle of the urgency.

4 responses to “reviewing is important

  1. Jon-

    I appreciate your blog and 300 words and am grateful that Chris Brogan pointed me to you.

    This framework is one I’ve communicated many times to my staff over the years, and you’re right – as basic as it is, it is frequently forgotten or overlooked. Thanks for the reminder.

    Just one small point – I believe you intended part of the above to read “You have to show love to your loved ones. But usually, they are not jumping up and down demanding it.”

    God bless.

  2. thanks, James. And thanks for letting me know about the missing word. When our loved ones are jumping up and down demanding it, we have waited too long.

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how God reminds me in the middle of a muddle to step back and consider “the important” as apposed to “the urgent”! Your gentle smack to the side of my head 🙂 was perfectly timed as I find myself wrestling with a fairly large project that was overlooked, therefore unassigned, and left in the balance of whether to proceed with it or not. How important is it? Will it really make a difference? Will it provide help beyond the one key day it is needed?

    Thanks, Friend, for your unknowing help! I’ll let you know how it turns out.