15. Urgent Versus Important


My favorite time management framework is a two-by-two with urgency and importance as the two dimensions.


Tasks that are non-urgent and not important should be removed from your task list. Be honest with yourself. Time is finite.


You should think twice before doing anything urgent but not important. We waste a great deal of time doing things that feel good because they are easy and we can cross them off our list. Just because you crossed it off your list doesn’t make it productive.

Tasks that are urgent and important inevitably deserve your immediate attention. These are the unforeseen fires that need to be put out as soon as possible. It happens. That’s life.


Tasks that are non-urgent and important is where you need to increase your time spend. If the tasks are important they deserve your attention now, before it’s too late. This is where setting aside time for deep thinking is much needed.


Freeing up time to focus on the non-urgent and important also has the potential to *prevent* the urgent and important. It’s a double-win.


Don’t just create a task list. Cultivate your task list through the urgent-important framework.

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