Have you heard of the Urgent/Important Matrix?
If you’ve gone through any kind of business classes, you probably have. In general, we tend to focus on tasks that are urgent, but when there’s something that can help our business grow and warrants our attention, but lacks urgency, it’s easy to let it go by the wayside. It’s sometimes difficult to set aside the urgent, to work on the non-urgent, important parts of your business.
So, how can you pull yourself out of the “urgent” in order to work on the “important”? I’m of the opinion that accountability is THE number one factor in getting results. Whether you have a business colleague you’ll be working with or someone that you have entrusted to hold you accountable, there is some outside influence to help create urgency by not letting you off the hook once you’ve committed to completing something by a certain date.
For example, for our marketing strategy goals, I’ve partnered up with my colleague, Geoff Chinnock, and we have dates on the calendar that create the urgency that would be difficult to experience otherwise. If I wasn’t partnering up, I’d request an accountability partner – for example, this morning I got an email from my colleague Toni Scott asking where my blog post was. And viola…it is now here. Had I not had someone holding me accountable, who knows how long it would be before I’d set aside my “urgent” tasks to take the time to do something that we’ve decided is important for the long term health of our firm? Toni created the urgency I needed to get it done.
What tasks are sitting on your “important” but “undone” list? I challenge you today to stop, evaluate and put into place a tool that will create a sense of urgency to move your important tasks to your “done” list!