Accessing the IMPORTANT but NOT URGENT
The Critical Quadrant of Time Management

by Chuck Davis, MCN Associate

When it comes to productivity, growth and fulfilling your company or personal vision; this quadrant of the Time Management implementation is most neglected and misunderstood.

While we all will attend to the Important and Urgent issues of business and life and, we all to often will attend to the “Fires” of Urgent but not Important (usually important to someone else and the monkey is put on your back) but because they are not urgent we do nothing about Important issues that are critical to our future.

For example, we all know how important it is to start early, in your teens and twenties, to save for our retirement years. However, how many do so? Usually as with myself, we don’t do it till in our 40s. The difference in what we will have for retirement is tremendous, usually the difference between having million(s) or having in the low 100 thousands. You can live comfortably off the interest of a million or two. However, that is not the case for the more typical nest egg.

Another example, we know it is important to spend quality time with our family, children etc. while they are young. How many due to the pressures of the Urgent and either important or not important actually do so? If our life is so full of Urgent and Important items to attend to that we absolutely say we can not carve out regular time for the Important but not Urgent; then we need to reevaluate our priorities, our delegation ability, our vocation. The One Minute Manager philosophy of management when properly applied can free up more than enough time to regularly schedule time for addressing the Important but not Urgent issues of work and life.

So, how do you get your time management back on track. One way is mentioned above, use Situational Leadership with One Minute Management to restructure your workplace, home life or any other area of a balanced life that needs adjustment. Another way is to become very intentional in your time scheduling to set aside specific times where you will not be disturbed to work on the Important but not Urgent “List”. Review and update this list at lease monthly. Understand what your Core Values are and assure all you are undertaking is in line with them.

Using these simple, but profound, techniques you should in no time find your life and work to be more balanced, under control and moving steadily toward your goals, vision and purpose.