When faced with setting priorities, determine what is urgent and what is important. There is a difference. Something that’s urgent requires immediate attention and is often dictated by external forces or someone other than yourself. Tasks considered urgent are often put right in front of you, whether it’s a phone call or someone stopping by to present you with an issue. Before jumping in to handle “urgent” tasks, ask yourself how important they are in the long term. You may find the task doesn’t even need to get done.
Tasks to consider important are those that are bigger and more complex. They may have a serious long-term consequence to your overall plan. They can often be put off for the short term but they must get done. Organize your day so that you handle tasks that are truly urgent and important. That is what you want to spend your time on.
As you prioritize your tasks think through what the future impact is if you complete it or if you don’t complete it. This will give you insight as to the real importance of the task. Taking the time to do this analysis on each task will help you prioritize accurately for the best results.