Lesson 3

Urgency versus Importance

In out daily lives we often confuse urgency and importance. Failing to distinguish these two characteristics can cause us stress and confusion. Let's see if we can untangle these two different concepts.

Urgency is the desire to do something immediately or at least soon. If something is urgent, we feel we must react at once. Things that are urgent have a deadline attached to them and the deadline is imminent.

Importance is the recognition that something will have a major effect on our lives or work. Something can be important, however, without being urgent. It is important that we begin saving for our children's college education, even though they may be years away from departing for college.

If the things that were urgent were always important, the distinctions between these two concepts would not be so ... important. Problems occur when things that are important are overshadowed by things that are merely urgent.

Obviously something that is both important and urgent should be dealt with immediately. But what about something that is urgent but not important or something that is important but not urgent?

This Lesson will help you handle Those situations.