Managing the Important and the Urgent

achievement potential priority management scheduling time self improvement Apr 02, 2024
Jody Holland Training & Speaking | Leadership
Managing the Important and the Urgent

We often prioritize the things that are urgent in business over the things that are important. That sounds effective in theory, but when we put off the things that are important, we are neglecting to work on tasks that produce long-term positive results.

We become the most successful when we focus on the tasks that make the biggest impact on the business. The key is to work on tasks that are important and urgent first, then important tasks, followed by urgent tasks, and then let go of the rest of it. That sounds simple, but it can be a difficult adjustment at first. We are so used to doing busy work, we tend to get the easy tasks out of the way first, and we deal with a plethora of distractions throughout the day. One way that we can address these issues is to keep a schedule with blocked times for working on various projects. 

When someone approaches you with that dreaded question, “Do you have a minute?” make sure that you set boundaries for just how much time you are able to give them. Try to keep the conversation under 10 minutes, and if they need more time than that, put something on the schedule so that the two of you can reconvene. This keeps the conversation productive and respects the time of both individuals.

The more we eliminate the things in our day that are not important and not urgent, the better our lives become. You will be amazed by how much stress is reduced by working on the most impactful tasks first. By getting those out of the way, it also frees up your time to work on new tasks as they arise. You won’t have to scramble to meet deadlines or sacrifice the quality of your work again. This does take purposeful effort, and you must commit yourself to following through.

At the beginning of each day, map out the three most important things that need to be done, and then work on those things first. Watch as your workday transforms into a steady, more manageable routine. This will take you one step closer to realizing your full potential. Don’t put priority management practices off. Take back control of your work week by focusing on the most important tasks first. The next time that you have a big project, map out the time that you will need to complete it and then block it on your schedule.  This will prevent you from becoming so overwhelmed. When you manage your priorities, you manage your stress and you get more done.


-Meghan Slaughter

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