First what is important, then what is urgent

By November 25, 2015blog
first what is important

I was in this really bad project. Everything was going wrong. The whole team was stressed. One of my senior managers was helping to get this disastrous project back on track. In the heat of the moment he suddenly said:

Wait! First what is important. We’ll do the urgent stuff afterwards.

At the time I found this really funny. And a bit weird as well. When you are in a stressy situation, everything is urgent AND important at the same time.

Only afterwards I discovered that there is actually something very powerful in this expression. When you try to tilt the triangle in your projects, the idea is that you give priority to the important stuff, instead of what seems to be urgent. Important as in “If we anticipate on what might become big issues later on in the project, they won’t become big issues and they will stay contained.”

The consequence is that by anticipating, and pulling potential issues into the initial phase of your project, you minimize the number of urgencies at the end of a project that cause stress and fuzz.

This post is part of the Tilting the Triangle-series.

photo by Till Krech

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