There’s a very high likelihood that you’ve heard the counsel to spend your time on the things that are important but not urgent. Easy to advise, hard to do, right? It’s all too easy to end up spending your day reacting to things that are both urgent and important or, worse, not that important to you but urgent to someone else. And, after hours and days of that, burnout can easily occur and you end up wasting your time and attention on stuff that is neither urgent or important just to get some relief.
The time management framework based on urgency and importance was first introduced back in 1989 by the late Stephen R. Covey in his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People . While the principles behind the Seven Habits are timeless, the world has changed a lot since 1989. A do more with less operating environment fueled by 24/7 connectivity makes focusing on the important but not urgent more challenging than ever.
Kory Kogon and her co-authors of The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity are picking up where Covey left off by offering a book full of practical advice for effective time management in the 21st century. I recently had a conversation with Kory in which she explains the five choices she thinks you need to make to manage your time effectively. She covers that in the brief recording that accompanies this post along with some quick win ideas that you can apply right away to start putting more emphasis on the important and less on the urgent.