Important vs. Urgent

How do you determine what’s important?

ImportantSo much has been written about how we need to be sure we select what’s important over what’s urgent. What seems to be missing is a way to determine what’s important. Urgent tends to shout at us, while important can be much quieter. That doesn’t seem like a good criteria though.

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.
-Dwight Eisenhower

Related article, How to be More Productive and Eliminate Time Wasting Activities by Using the “Eisenhower Box”

Some of us get caught up in the evaluations: important, urgent, efficient, effective. This silly diagram, that I hate, because it so identifies me, summarizes the time was well! Thanks (a little) to my friend Keith Lowe for sending this to me.
Time Cost of Indecision






Two major thoughts on choosing what’s important:

  1. My loose paraphrase of a Roy Disney quote: “Decisions are easy when your values are clear.” My belief, which is yet to be proven, is that when you are extremely clear on values, all else will become easier. With a clear Moral Compass, and absolute adherence to it, all else will fall into place
  2. Rory Vaden’s book, Procrastinate on Purpose, adds the concept of time and Significance to how we determine what’s important. A highly recommended read.

Choosing what’s important, over the urgent, is still a challenge for me. I’m still looking for the book on “the easy way to know what’s important.” Anybody ready to write it? A short book would be preferred!