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Important vs. Urgent

 In Uncategorized

Important vs. Urgent. How do you decide? According to, Important means of great significance or consequence, while urgent means compelling or requiring immediate action. Both demand your attention.

Here are some examples of each:

Urgent Items

  • Meeting a crucial deadline for a key opportunity
  • Dealing with a critical HR issue
  • Responding to false online claims
Important Items

  • Developing your strategic plan
  • Identifying your quarterly goals
  • Developing (or updating) the incentive plan for your commercial team

One may argue, and rightfully so, that some items are both urgent and important. I have found a useful tool that helps me decide where to focus. It is a simple four-block quadrant attributed to President Eisenhower and made popular by Steven Covey.

If I map my competing priorities on this chart, I can quickly see where I need to focus. Obviously the Urgent & Important items should get my attention first.

Sometimes we let the urgent win over the important. We convince ourselves that because we are meeting urgent demands, we are focusing on the right things. I submit that sometimes the Important but Not Urgent gets the short-end of our time and focus. These can be things like:

  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Getting an annual physical
  • Stepping back to take stock of where you are against your personal and professional goals
  • Taking time to analyze your current business strategy to see if it is working

Too often we busy ourselves with things that we consider urgent when they may not be at all. We create an inflated sense of urgency to make ourselves feel better about being busy. In the long run, the important items, those items of great significance or consequence, will have a much more lasting impact – positively or negatively – depending on whether we invest in them or ignore them.

I challenge you to stop and take a real assessment of your time. Do you spend it on the urgent or the important or both?

Addressing your online content, your sales process or your CRM may not be urgent, but it is most certainly important. Sarah Schwab, Content Creation Coach, is well poised to create or help improve your content. Our experts at TopLine Results can provide you with the advice and assistance you need to address your sales process and CRM ( or 1-800-880-1960).

It’s time to prioritize your important needs, so take the first step!


Guest Author:

Melanie R. Varin, Chief Operating Officer
TopLine Results Corporation
Melanie provides TopLine Results clients with strategic and commercial business process consulting from start to finish (assessment to implementation). One of Melanie’s strengths is her ability to quickly gain insights from complex situations. She takes great delight in helping solve problems and has led three business turn-around situations both inside and outside the USA. Melanie has over 30 years of business expertise in management roles, as well as an International MBA and a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Melanie is passionate about bringing her expertise to the clients of TopLine Results and hopes to help them become stronger engines for growth with streamlined processes that positively impact their top and bottom lines.

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