Productivity Tip: Urgent tasks usually aren’t

It’s common to have so much urgent work that you can’t actually get any of the not-so-urgent tasks done, you are so busy with the urgent staff that you don’t do anything important.

This is a common pitfall, but one that isn’t as serious as it looks, the truth is that almost nothing is really urgent (unless you work in a hospital, fire department or a police force).

Something is truly urgent only if there is some real tangible advantage in completing it quickly, in a business environment something should be urgent only if doing it now rather than later makes you or your company more money or prevent you from losing money.

Before doing something because it’s “urgent” think about it for a minute, what will happen if I do this in a few hours, tomorrow or next week? Will someone get hurt? Will I lose money? Will anyone even care?

Most of the time the cost of delaying some so called urgent work will be negligible and the benefit is that you can get some “real work” done, take control of your life and start moving forward instead of being overwhelmed by so mush urgent work.

Most likely you will find that a task become urgent because it originated from someone that is noisier or more demanding than average, because of some sort of peer pressure or, sometimes, because you incorrectly assumed it’s important – and not because it’s really urgent.

And if you still have too much work to do then it’s time to learn to delegate.

posted @ Thursday, January 08, 2009 2:06 PM

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