What should be the priority? Important or Urgent?

29.03Productivity and Priority Matrix of Our Minds

From what I have observed, most of us, make the same mistake on how we choose what to spend our time on. And after all, time is the most valuable resource one can have and  by choosing wrong priority we absolutely waste it.

As we live our lives, many urgent issues arise along. Because it is urgent, we have less time to do it, so it become the priority of any given moment in time.  Whatever is urgent should be the priority.  But is it? Is it true that everything that is urgent is important at all?

While it is true that the tasks which are both, Urgent And Important should have more priority than the tasks which are Neither Urgent Nor Important.

But, what about the tasks which are Urgent But Not Important in comparison to the tasks that are Not Urgent But Important. Which of the two should have my priority?

But when we choose Urgent over Important, we do so in an automatic mode. Urgent hypnotises you into believing that it is everything that is urgent is Important as well.  But the fact is that it is not.  And you are tricked in doing things that are just urgent but have no importance at all.  At the same time, on the other hand, Important tricks you into believing that whatever is important is also Urgent as well.  But neither are true, and the truth is that Urgent and Important have absolutely no similar quality other then be fact that they are choices of the dimension of priority.

So then what am I saying?

Should I go for the Urgent or should I choose the Important.  Which priority order is more correct?

  1. Urgent and Important
  2. Urgent but Not Important
  3. Not Urgent but Important
  4. Neither Urgent Nor Important


  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important but Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Neither Important Nor Urgent

I choose to look at it this way:

What is more important in life, what is important or what is urgent?

And this is the kind of question that answers itself.

It is clear that whatever is important is important, just because something is urgent does not mean it is important.

So if your are like me, and your life’s priority is what is important, then you should realise that most probably your say so, that in daily life you go for Urgent. You just can not help it. Whatever is urgent, no matter what takes away your attention from what is important.

Good  range of examples for the Urgent over Important hypnoses are:

  • Recall what happens, when there is an incoming call or even message on your phone.  And you are on an important meeting.  Now recall how that almost instant mind-body response takes over your attention.  Even if for a split of a second and most probably fort next couple of minutes you wonder somewhere where that call has taken you.  You did not even answer, you did not even need to read the message, just seeing who the caller is or even seeing that the caller is identified, makes you wonder.  And you are lost from what is important.
  • Or the way we chose the task which will result in less outcome but should be done now over the task that would result in better outcome but can be done later.  You discover that for that particular task later might never come. And I say never.

What I am trying to say is that even if we can consciously understand that we should do what is important not what is urgent, when it comes to reality something inside us chooses the urgent, it as if takes over us. Urgent as if hypnotises us, it controls our instincts. But how does that happen? Because we are in charge of ourselves, we are not zombies, how can Urgent mess up our mind so? We know that Important is more Important.

And so does Urgent know that Important is and should be higher priority.  So instead of trying to convince us otherwise, Urgent tricks us into believing not that Urgent should be more important, but that Urgent is always Important.

But now that we know that, now that we see the picture and how it works, we are free from this burden. Now every time you have to choose something, you can always be mindful of this thought, and something that is ‘just urgent’, will never ever steal your energy if you want.  Even if you choose to do it, you are at least aware of it.

This is how priorities should be:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important but Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Neither Important Nor Urgent

This is not nothing new.

Dwight D. Eisenhower: “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

D. Eisenhower is right, absolutely right.  But then there is what is called Eisenhower Method and Priority Matrix Methodology, that teaches us that you should first do what is important and then what is urgent.

I disagree.

I think all that you need to do is to be aware of how priorities work, but don’t become slave to it.  Just because priorities are in that order, that does not automatically mean that what has more priority should be done first.


And to fully understand why, read my other posts and subscribe if you care.

You may also like...