Executive Coaching Productivity Tip – Urgency vs. Importance

Here’s another executive coaching question from a reader…

Q: When do you conclude that a task is urgent and not important or important and not urgent?

A: Here are some ideas to help you determine whether a task is important or not…

1) What are the benefits? What are some of the benefits that you’ll receive from completing this task. The more important the benefits, the more important the task.

2) What would happen if you didn’t do this task? Ask yourself what would be the consequences of delaying or ignoring this task. Important tasks tend to have serious consequences. So, if there are no consequences for ignoring this task, it may not be that important.

3) Remember what you are ultimately trying to accomplish – How does this task fit in with your current projects, goals, and objectives?

4) What’s the payoff for completing the task? An important task tends to have a good payoff or return-on-investment for the time and effort you will put in to complete it.

5) Can you link it to your mission, vision, or goals? Any task that contributes to your long-term goals in some way is bound to be important.

Remember what  Kelly Catlin Walker said, “Never let the urgent crowd out the important.”

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