Gyms and Fitness Clubs

How to Put the Important Things First: 2. Is It urgent or important?


It is essential that you identify those activities in your life that are urgent and those that are important. Urgent means that it has to be dealt with now. These things insist that we take action. An example would be the phone ringing. Most people would not just let it ring-they would answer it. Pressing problems at work would be another example. Urgent matters demand our time; however, they are often not important.

Important matters, on the other hand, generally consist of things that have value to us. They have to do with results. These are the activities that should have a high priority in our lives; they build into our goals and values. Important matters are activities such as planning, relationship building and dare I say...exercise?

In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about these two types of activities in what he calls the time management matrix. Covey places them in quadrants. Quadrant I are urgent and important activities. Quadrant II consists of things that are important but not urgent. Quadrant III are activities that are urgent but not important. Quadrant IV are the activities that are not important and not urgent. Covey goes on to say that the activities in quadrant II are most valuable to us. It deals with the things that are not urgent, but important. Things like building relationships, long-range planning, preventative maintenance, and even Stephen Covey places exercise in this category. He says the quadrant II activities are things we know we need to do, but rarely get to because we get sidetracked with things that are urgent and not important.

Take time to make a list of your day-to-day activities and separate the urgent from the important ones. Give time to the activities that are important but not urgent. They are the ones that make a positive impact in your life. Robert J. McKain once said, reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first." Do you?