Urgent or Important — Which?

October 7th, 2013 / No Comments »

By Jim Sniechowski, PhD – Removing Personal Holdbacks – Releasing Powerful Leadership

Knowing the difference between what is urgent and what is important can make or break your day, can make or break your career, can produce a lifestyle, at work and at home, that is effective, productive, and rewarding—or not. The difference between “urgent” and “important” can serve as the cornerstone for the way you live and work.

In this post I want to look into the difference in emotional impact produced when you focus on the distinction between what is urgent and what is important.


A situation that is considered urgent has special characteristics:

● the problem involved requires immediate action or attention, very often there is little time to do anything but react;

● the problem is pressing and insistent and limits the field of options;

● inherent in urgency is a sense of danger. Like a forest fire, something must be done to bring the situation under control otherwise the consequences can be severe; and

● most often, because the urgency is a surprise, a response is improvised and directed by the circumstances.

An urgent situation, at its core, is one of dominance and draws on whatever materials are at hand to contain it…….