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Urgent or Important?

Urgent or Important?
January 22, 2018 Dan Raimondi

I’ve heard these two concepts described before in regard to planning out your day and deciding where time will be optimally spent (Brett McKay wrote a good article about this here, with a visual matrix to see what each quadrant contains). My focus today is on the important stuff in life, but not (necessarily) urgent. To many, strength and health are important, but most don’t invest much time or energy in it because there is no sense of urgency. These tasks (the important but not urgent kind) are critically important because they’re what contribute to your long-term health and functionality. Consider what might happen if you wait for the urgency to arise, whether it be old age, frailty, a broken hip, or declining quality of life. You realize at that point that strength is important and urgent. And if you start training, you will improve, though not quite to the same degree you would have if you had started years earlier.

The purpose of looking at daily tasks through this lens is to realign your priorities: many people don’t think they have time to do a 30-40 minute workout, but when adding up all of their time spent on social media it becomes clear they’re spending too much time in the “not urgent and not important” category. Your health is important, and if left unchecked for too long, it’ll become urgent. Don’t wait. Start now.

Update: September, 2018. I think retirement is a great analogy for this. Many people don’t save until they’re much older, as retirement looms closer and becomes more “urgent.” When you’re in your 20’s and 30’s. retirement seems far away. It doesn’t look as important to save now because there’s fun to be had. Big mistake. Just like a physical 401k, it’s not urgent, but it’s very important.