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Mr. Kanin

Dear Mr. Covey!

While discussing Eisenhower Matrix approach with my colleagues I suddenly discovered different perception of word «urgent» in the matrix. Thus my colleagues put commuting to work to box A (urgent and important) but I consider it as a B (not urgent and important) because it is regular planned procedure.
Could you please clarify this issue?

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Kanin

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Thanks for clarifying the difference between Important and Urgent
by: Anonymous

Dear Denis!
Thank you very much for your answer.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Kanin

Difference between Urgent and Important
by: Denis

Mr. Kanin,

Firstly let me indicate to you that I am not Mr. Franklin Covey nor does my answer reflects, in any manner his perspective nor does any articles figuring on The answer only reflect my own interpretation of what I believe the differences are.

In the example you provided "Commuting to work" the question is if it should be put into box A (Urgent and Important) or box B (Important but not Urgent)?

I think that the answer to your dilemma lies in the purpose of "classifying" our tasks into one of the four quadrants, which in themselves are indicatives of where we should focus our energies to ensure the completion of our objective(s).

That being said, I would debate if "commuting to work" should really be a "task" or if it should be implicit that we need to go to work in the morning, like we must also wake-up! But, lets assume we agreed that we should categorize this as a task, then I would use the following logic:

If your commute to work requires that you be at the office for a specific time, let say to attend a meeting with your boss, then I would put it Important and Urgent (Box A). In other words, the reason you decide that your commute to work is important? Is it time bound? If so then it must be important. In addition, these categorization are to be reviewed periodically, thus if the task need to be done prior to the next review then it would definitely fit within the Important and Urgent category.

On the other hand if you need to commute to work next month and you review your list every week, then perhaps, I would put it into the important but not urgent (box B) until I reach the time which the task falls into.

In conclusion, I mark tasks as important and urgent if I need to work on them today...otherwise they are important but not urgent. If I do complete all of my tasks in "Box A" then I will work on items that are important but not urgent....and restart the process the next day.

From a process point of view, the task prioritization of tasks using Franklin Covey method is an input to your time management. It isn't the end to proper personal time management.

P.S. I re-categorize my task on a daily basis and don't include items task are recurrent in nature, these are programmed within my calendar. As for the task that are important and urgent they are scheduled within my calendar (around the recurrent ones).

Hope this helps.


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