How to make every day a productive day ~ Part 4

4. Distinguish between urgent and important

Urgent means it requires immediate attention, they are things which were difficult to ignore, often visible, they insist on action. We tend to react to urgent matters just because they are there. On the other hand, important activities are those that contribute to goals or results and are proactive. Please scroll down ……….














Not Urgent





Crises, Pressing Problems




Forward Planning

Marketing Activities

Reviewing New Opportunities

Personal development

Not important




Interruptions, phone calls,







Trivia, junk mail, socialising, complaining about things you can’t influence



Some activities (quadrant I) are both urgent and important and require our immediate attention; these are the fire-fighting activities, which often lead to stress. Items that are urgent, but not important (quadrant III) are often only completed due to other people’s demands or expectations, for example interruptions. Too much time on this type of activity will lead to lack of progress or achievement of results.  The non-urgent and non-important activities we spend time on are frequently an opportunity to relieve the stress caused by too many urgent activities! 

Our goal should be to spend as much time as possible on the non-urgent important activities (quadrant II). You can’t ignore the urgent and important activities in quadrant I, but your goal should be to complete these tasks before they become urgent.  Doing less of the activities associated with quadrants III and IV will help you achieve this.

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