July 29, 2013

Important Vs Urgent

This year I deliberately shifted my focus to what is important in my life – and first  thing I did was visit the doctor for a check-up  and surgically remove the additional fat that was bothering me on my left shoulder, after which I was feeling so much better and confident about myself. 

The next thing was to complete my assignments, in order to be academically sound, and I felt a big stone rolled away from my head.   Then I fixed up an appointment with the dentist, and I am in the process of getting the fillings done. Now I made a study plan for myself, in order to prepare for my exams.

At the home, I succeeded in planning the menu for a week, stock up all that I require, and also cut the vegetables and store in a container for ready use, by which a lot of time can be saved and it also reduces a lot of tension & stress.

I have also learnt to make a fixed budget for the regular monthly expenditure, paying myself first, in order to ensure that I am financially sound. I scheduled some time for my daughter so that she has no issues from school about assignments & overall progress in studies.

I work out clear plans between me and my husband to get the household chores done together, to ensure that both of us are reaching office on time, and are able to work in peace & harmony.

I am grateful to Stephen covey’s book 7 habits of highly effective people for the choice I was able to make between the important Vs Urgent.

According to Stephen covey, great time management mean being effective as well as efficient. Managing time effectively and achieving the things that you want to achieve, means spending your time on things that are important and not just urgent.  It is important for us to understand the difference between Important and Urgent.

Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of our goals, whether they are professional or personal. Whereas Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals.

Urgent activities are the ones we often concentrate; as the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate. According to Stephen covey, there are two different types of activities:  the urgent and the important matrix, which is a very useful tool to think about our priorities in life, using this we will be able overcome the natural tendency to focus on urgent activities, so that we have enough time to focus on what is really important. I like this matrix proposed by covey:

Urgent & Important
There are two types of urgent and important activities; ones that we could not foresee and others that we have left to the last minute.  We can avoid the last minute by planning ahead and avoiding procrastination. Emergency and crisis cannot be foreseen, the best thing to do is to leave time in our schedule to handle the unexpected and unplanned issues.

Urgent and Not Important
These are activities that prevent us from completing our work, such as interruptions from others in place of work; it’s ok to say NO politely or to encourage the person to solve the problem themselves. Its saying yes to the person and no to the task, one of the way to prevent this is to schedule our time for the important activities, and also respond to them when we are free.

Not Urgent, but Important
 These are activities that matters most to us in our personal life – it could goal to remain healthy, pursue ongoing learning to be academically sound, career goals, time with the family, striking a work life balance, in order to avoid stress.  This will help us have enough time to deal with unforeseen problems.

Not Urgent and Not Important
 These are unimportant activities, more of a distraction and must be avoided if possible. We can even ignore or cancel these activities.  These are expectations from others around us who want us to contribute to their own goals, it is better to assert oneself and say no politely.

Be Happy !

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