Important and urgent are not the same. Urgency is about when you do it, importance is about how long you spend on it. Importance is not about whether you do something - you still have to do unimportant things. Urgency changes over time, importance doesn't. Urgency is a fact, while importance is a matter of opinion.
- What does priority mean?…If something's a priority, how should you…treat it differently from something…that's not a priority?…Well, originally, priority meant how urgent it was.…It's based on the word prior, which means…doing something before something else,…which is basically a measure of urgency,…but recently priority has come to mean…how important something is.…My children are my number one priority.…No they aren't.…They aren't urgent.…You don't have to rush out of here right now and see them.…
However important they are, they are probably not urgent.…The word priority has become a rather messy mixture…of urgent and important, to the point where…it's almost useless.…In fact, next time someone says this job is a priority,…you should ask them: do you mean it's urgent,…or do you mean it's important?…Of course, they'll probably say both,…and the answer to that is to ask,…"So, do you want it straight away as a rush job,…"or do you want me to plan it in for later…"and do it properly?"…If you let them confuse importance and urgency,…
The first—saying no—is simple in theory, but hard in practice. Chris explains how to reclaim the power of "no" to make room for true priority items. The second step, negotiation, allows you to spend less time on unimportant tasks. The third way is to delegate sometimes, and the fourth is improving systems and processes so that repetitive tasks are quickly and easily managed. Last but not least, Chris explains how to overcome perfectionism and nitpicking. He explains how to apply the five methods to all time-stealers, including meetings, interruptions, and more.
In the initial chapters, he'll help you clarify your life and work goals, prioritize to-dos using Eisenhower's matrix of tasks, and answers questions like "Does working longer hours actually get more done?" The worksheets included with the exercise files will help you apply the lessons to your own work and life, and hone your time management skills—one step at a time.
- Making the most of every day
- Separating important from urgent items
- Using Eisenhower's matrix of tasks
- Finding more time for important things
- Saying no
- Negotiating tasks
- Delegating to save time
- Improving your systems
- Letting go of perfectionism