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On important, and urgent things

You know the drill. Something needs to be done as soon as possible, it's important. Is it, really?

We are taught that important things usually are urgent, but only few urgent things are important.

Importance pushes things forward, it changes the status-quo. Hiring new people, finishing the project, getting back to your customers—these things are important.

Finishing a menial task before lunch is not important. It's only urgent, because somebody is impatient, or doesn't know better, or just doesn't respect your effort.

Next time something needs to be done as soon as possible, ask yourself: is it so urgent, because it's important, or just somebody else wants to apply pressure?

Pressure is the anti-thesis of importance, it clouds our judgement, and washes out the alignment: when everything is important, nothing is.