By November 12, 2012 Read More →

The Urgent Vs the Important

The Urgent Vs the Important

When you are actively working towards developing a thriving business of your own, it can be so easy to get stumped by the constant obstacles; and you can spend ages doing the urgent tasks rather than the important ones. The urgent tasks are the things that constantly seem to scream at you, saying ‘I need to be done now!’ The important tasks are things that really need to be done, but just don’t seem urgent enough right now. Most people opt for the urgent because they feel that it’s something that can be quickly overcome, and then they can get on with the important tasks. Important tasks are left because they can seem too overwhelming to deal with straight away.

Here’s the real challenge; if you keep doing the urgent, and keep putting off the important, the important soon becomes urgent and then you really have a big challenge on your hands.

To begin dealing with this challenge, you must first make sure you know the difference between something that is urgent and something that is important. You do this by skilfully managing your time and setting the right priorities. If done correctly, you can easily differentiate between what is important and what is urgent.

Good time management and prioritising is essential in order to successfully make the transition from employee to entrepreneur. We speak to so many successful business owners and time and time again, they speak of the crucial balancing act between time management, prioritising and knowing the difference between the urgent and the important.

The first thing that will help you to prioritise is having a good daily to do list. To do lists should always be realistic; there is no point in writing down everything you would love to get done but couldn’t possibly achieve in a day. A good list makes time for eating, getting ready, travelling to meetings etc… Keep it simple; cross more off than remain each day and you are moving in the right direction.

When dealing with the urgent and the important, it is worth remembering that many of the urgent things are not always as urgent as they seem; they can be very time consuming and in some cases, not so profitable for your business; always check to see if any of these things can be delegated. Before you prioritise an urgent task over an important task, take some time out to think of the consequences (long-term if need be) of not getting either done. Can the so called urgent task wait? Is it really that urgent? What would be the consequences of allowing the important task to become urgent?

Many entrepreneurs who appear in Choices Magazine speak of being able to deal with the important and urgent at the same time; that is the ability to handle the chaos that constantly comes along in life (the urgent) while consistently getting the important tasks done step by step. You will find that by consistently getting the important tasks done, you ensure that your business keeps growing; while those who are constantly sidetracked by the urgent tasks spend time running in circles, never actually getting anything done.

Here are a few quick tips to help you on your way:

1. Develop a daily action plan or to do list focusing on the important things. Make sure you have checked your priorities and decided on their importance; make it realistic.

2. Plan for the worst, but expect the best. Let’s face it; disasters will inevitably happen. Why allow them to catch you unaware and knock you off track. Develop a personal risk assessment; in each task you undertake ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen here? Really go for it and let your imagination run wild; then decide what you will do if the worst came to the worst. This way you are always ready for the obstacles that will inevitably come.

This does not mean that you walk around waiting for the sky to fall on you; you simply plan for the worst and be prepared; while expecting the best to happen and it inevitably will.

3. Take massive action to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur: Come on; really go for it, no half measures and no excuses! Don’t expect it to be easy, expect it to be worth it. Welcome to the real world of business.

4. Overcome whatever challenges life throws at you. It’s much easier if you implement step two properly.

5. Take even more action than you did before. Did we tell you that you needed to take massive action? Sometimes to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur it will take everything you have and then some…

6. Go back to step one and repeat the process and while you are at it take the time to learn from those who are making it happen right now………

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