Do you know the difference between "important" and Urgent?"

Last Update: May 18, 2021

For years I have heard people quote “is this an urgent activity or an Important one.” So a long time ago I decided to check it out. Because when asked they didn’t really know what they were talking about and some said “Urgent” is priority one while others said “Important” was the highest priority.

It was accredited to Dwight D Eisenhower but in fact it was a quote from Dr J Roscoe Miller, he said “ I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important and the important are never urgent.”

Important is an activity that helps step us towards achieving our goals.

Urgent is an activity that generally helps achieve someone else's goal.

We spend a lot of time on the Urgent because they need immediate attention and also the consequences of not dealing with them also happen pretty quickly.

In the time management world this is now known as the “Eisenhower Principle.”

We should look at our activities and work out which are Important and which are Urgent. It is natural for us to focus on the Urgent - read Unimportant in as far as us achieving what we need to do in our careers and in our personal growth.

In the old days this was called a To-Do List but I think I prefer an Action Plan as a title.

Look at your plan for the day, week or month and rate your activities on this basis;

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important but not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

The list is in the priority that you should tackle tasks.

A saying comes to mind but I don’t know where it originates so my apologies for not giving credit to that person.

“Discipline will set you free” - It’s not so strange when you think about it.

Anyhow, I hope this may help in some way.

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
countrylife Premium
I would go with important.
Wishing you well and a terrific day.