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How to Differentiate between Urgent and Important

By Junaid Tahir Do you really understand the difference between urgent and important? It really matters if you do. In our day ...

By Junaid Tahir
Do you really understand the difference between urgent and important? It really matters if you do.

In our day to day life we have so many tasks in our to-do list. Some are smaller, some are bigger, some are highly important and others are least important. We keep working on these throughout our lives. Sometimes we prioritize and sometimes we don't. However I would emphasize that if we prioritize the tasks, our day to day lives can improve dramatically.

As lot of people confuse between urgent and important so here is the basic elaboration of Urgent and Important: 
"Important" is something which cannot and should not be ignored at any cost. "Urgent" means that a quick action is required to be done as soon as possible. Sometimes Urgent things are not very Important. For example, turning a running tap off to avoid wastage of water (and save the bills). However there are times when Urgent things are most Important as well, for example, a crying baby in the kitchen due to fire stove. Another example of Urgent is 'executing a task directly coming from the Department director' . This article is written by Junaid (mjunaidtahir at gmail dot com). Feel free to give feedback.

Talking about official scenarios, I have observed professionals not prioritizing things properly, consequently, putting their time and energies in less important and less urgent things. As I always like analytical approach in nearly all fields of life so I would like to emphasize again in this article to analyze the situation and rank the things based on urgency or importance. Once importance and urgencies of tasks are defined it is very easy to scrutinize and make action strategies. A piece of advice while analyzing any given jobs would be to consider the impact on stake holders (managers/departments/customers/field staff/family members etc) if any task is delayed. 

Finally I would recommend not to make this practice too complicated. Just think quickly, consult a couple of colleagues/family members if required and plan things swiftly. At the end of the day, we want ease in your lives and not extra stress. Once you have developed good analytical skills, your life will be much more easy; trust me J

Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at for any kind of suggestions and comments.