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Isn’t it high time to focus on important than just urgent?

We all have heard about the Eisenhower Matrix; if not then let me just elaborate. Well, it is a time management matrix that simplified the activities or day to day work in four categories urgent, not urgent, important and not important. According to his matrix, the priority should be given to urgent work first then not urgent/ important and set a deadline upto which it should be done, unimportant/urgent quadrant can be given to someone else and the least favourable quadrant not urgent/not important can simply be dropped. If you are not aware of this matrix then it’s time to check out e-books or management books that can be bought online using discount codes. Since, years Eisenhower Matrix was one of the popular method to manage time, delegate work and set priorities.

Now, with the change of time, many people are questioning isn’t it time to focus on important stuff as well just like urgent ones? Who defines urgency? It depends on the person who is segregating what is urgent and what is important depending upon factors like level of difficulty, deadlines, immediate feedback and so on. Isn’t it more of an emotional response to a situation? An urgent situation is somewhat like a false alarm or fake urgency that may motivate people to act steadfast but it might not be the best possible action. For ex: Slogging day and night to complete an assignment within half the time allotted. Nobody asked you to finish it in half the time but just the fact that a student/employee would like to be in the good books of the evaluator and feel superior from his peers creates it as urgency.

According to the Consumer Research Journal, a study was conducted in which all the urgent factors were terminated that differentiated urgent from important. It was found that people still chose the so-called urgent tasks and it clearly shows the tendency to respond to emotional stimuli leading to not so good choices as the decision was made in an impractical manner. Just the fact that we are used to acting, in fact, reacting to any discomfort or even trivial losses, we make even the insignificant things like being in the good books of the boss or being a perfectionist tag importance that it does not deserve. This leads to pressure, stress and of course bad choices.

So isn’t it time to think before acting and think about the bigger picture first? It is often said that it is important to contemplate then isn’t it high time to contemplate before setting priorities? With a free and unprejudiced mind, when the targets are set and priorities straighten out only then productivity can increase and one can actually multi-task without taking a toll on his health. So it is important to give important to important tasks at times. After all, when the important tasks are done on time it will result in reducing the number of tasks that will be in the urgent quadrant.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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