The important tasks are tasks that will bring bigger value for your company or significant improvements in operations. Regarding the level of importance, you will have priorities for your daily tasks.
For example, you will have most important tasks that will have bigger priority than medium important tasks or tasks with low importance. So, the level of importance will define the level of urgency for the specific tasks.
Most important tasks are tasks that you will need or must do today, and not only that, they will be the first on your to-do list. Probably you will have more important tasks that you cannot do them all in one day. In such a case, you will need to select several of them. The best solution is from one to three most important tasks that you will need to do everyday until you finish them all.
Even you have possibilities to do more of the most important tasks daily, don’t put more than three of them on the list. In such a way, you are leaving enough time for other things that are not most important but you will need to do them daily. Also, putting more of these tasks on your daily to-do list will create pressure around you to do them all at once. So, you will start losing your focus, and the quality of the results from doing these tasks will shrink.
It doesn’t mean that you will come to the end with most important tasks. Simply, your list with most important tasks will expand with new important tasks. So, as you are doing one by one from the list, they will continue to rise on the list with most important tasks ,additionally.
The urgent tasks ask for your immediate response or action to do something right in the moment. They can’t be postponed because you need to do them now. These tasks, by contrast from most important tasks where importance make them urgent or unurgent, can be important, but important for someone else, not for you.
For example, if you receive email from someone that mark it as an urgent email, the urgency is for the sender, not for you. But, if the urgency is something that will treat the survival of your business, than these tasks will become also urgent for you.
So, mixing importance with urgency will define priorities for your entrepreneurial work. High level importance with high level urgency will mean high level priority.
(I + U) / 2 = P (where I is importance, U is urgency, and P is priority).
Let’s take that we are measuring importance from one to ten where one is importance with the highest level. Related to urgency, one is the most urgent task and ten is unurgent task. If we have a task with importance of one and urgency of 1, than we will have priority number one. So, they are tasks that will be the first one of your to-do list.
You need to make a distinction that everything important is not also urgent. And on the other side, everything that is urgent is not also important. Having this in mind will help you to make better priorities for your entrepreneurial work that need to be done. So, you can have these types of tasks:
- Important and urgent,
- Un-important, but urgent,
- Important, but un-urgent and
- Unimportant and unurgent.
The last types of tasks are not tasks for you. So, they can be simply removed from your list. The first types of tasks marked as important and urgent are tasks that will have some specific level of priority for you. Unimportant, but not urgent tasks, also cannot be part of your most important tasks. So, they can simply be deleted or postponed for “when you have enough time to work on them.” The biggest question is what you need to do with the tasks that are classified as important, but unurgent.
They are important tasks, but also they not need to be done today as a first thing. So, you will probably postpone them for tomorrow, next week, next month…
What I have discovered in my experience, is that as time goes on, the importance of the tasks will shrink. For example, if today, the importance is one, tomorrow can be two. Next week will be four, after one month will be six, after several months eight, and so on. This is a real problem when it comes to this type of tasks. Shrinking importance is not something objective, but it is entrepreneurial subjective thinking. How much long tasks survive on your to-do list, their importance will decrease. The importance will decrease until you decide that they are not important to delete them. But, what if it is really important that will increase the value for your business if it is done in the next several weeks? Then, you lose a chance to capitalize on them.
So, the biggest question is how to ensure that you will accomplish important but unurgent tasks? Accomplish these tasks when you accomplish all your most important tasks with high level of priority for today. As I have mentioned earlier, you will not put all the most important tasks to be done today. So, you will have enough time on the daily basis to accomplish these accidentally important but unurgent tasks.