Urgent vs. Important

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There is a marked difference between what is urgent and what is important.

An urgent task may not be very important in the long run, but it demands immediate attention. An important task is something that moves you toward your goal.

If the roof is leaking and water is dripping on your favorite reading chair, the urgent task is to move the chair. The important task is to fix the leak.

Here is another example to deal with the difference. If you are working on a project and a creative idea pops into you head that has nothing to do with the task at hand, write it down to attend to it later. If you leave the important task at hand to attend to a creative idea that seems urgent to attend to, your chances of prompting stress will increase.

Today’s technological and information age is constantly occupying and competing for our attention. To reduce your stress, be mindful of that which is urgent, that which is important, and that which can wait.

Tip: Ask yourself: What is urgent, what is important, and what can wait?