In project management, it's easy to confuse urgent with important. When something is urgent, it's usually assumed it must be important. No true. The fact that a specific report is needed in five minutes for the board meeting does not necessarily need it's important. Maybe the meeting can go on without the report.
Since the word urgent makes everyone run a little faster, its vulnerability to abuse – as we discussed already – requires more scrutiny.
When dealing with an emergency, one should answer the following questions:
- Can the project work around it?
- Can the project be completed without it?
If the task can be late and not affect other tasks immediately, then it is not urgent, even though it could be important. Also, is the project can live without that task being completed at all, it's not even important. However, if the task both stops the project dead in its tracks and is required for completion, then it's both urgent and important.
Better get right to it, then 🙂