Focusing on the Urgent can keep you from reaching your fullest potential.
Once you have determined your goals for success, you must stay focused on the actions necessary to achieve it. However, the competing forces of The Urgent and The Important are vying for your time and energy.
The Urgent pulls you, as a leader, into the operation: to book one more load; to make the collection call; or, to find the next customer. The Urgent is tactical and task oriented.
The Important allows you to plan the resource deployment for proper execution: to evaluate the new technology options; to hire, train and set proper behavioral expectations; to strategize about the best alternatives to overcome the obstacles before you. The important is strategic and big picture oriented.
The Urgent is the aggregation of the activities that brought you to your current state. There is comfort in performing the tasks that are easily recognizable and can be checked off the list in the name of ‘accomplishment’. The Urgent requires skills and thinking that we already have. The Urgent doesn’t ask more of us, only our time and energy.
The Important requires steps into an unfamiliar area. It has high rewards, but it has uncertainty – that is, by its very nature, uncomfortable. The Important requires a different set of skills that stretch what we know into new areas. The Important asks more of us than we currently are aware that we possess.
The Urgent brings us the same or incrementally better results.
The Important accelerates us and allows for maximization of results.
Focusing your attention, time and energy on The Important over The Urgent allows you and your organization to be positioned for stronger growth and become more adaptive to the obstacles that invariably will be placed in your pathway to success.