Urgent vs. Important


In my first post, I discussed the different views of your daily tasks that can exist, and how they can be used. Two really useful views for tasks would be to sort them by either importance or urgency. The original FranklinQuest system had the prioritized daily task list, which was really a combination of the two. It's really a very subjective thing, since a person may prioritize something very important but not very urgent A1, while another person might prioritize that C1. We can take the 7 Habits approach by separating importance and urgency and ranking as important those tasks that lead to your highest goals, and as urgent those tasks that need to be done soon (or its not worth doing them at all). Then we can make views that highlight importance or urgency as needed. For example, I could have a view showing me the most important tasks I can work on. Another view could show those tasks that need to be done today (or this week). Another could show me tasks due to today, sorted by importance (useful for starting out the day). Another could show me my most important tasks (filtered by some threshold) sorted by urgency, which I could use once my most urgent, important tasks are taken care of. These seem to me to be the ideal views of your tasks.

Of course, you still want to have the context oriented views of your tasks, so that when you go run errands you can see all the things that you need to do while you're out. And how much more useful those views would be if you could sort them based on how urgent and/or important the tasks are.

Of course, all this is fairly straightforward to set up in Outlook, but it does require an investment of time setting up the views, as well as an ongoing commitment to set the importance and urgency (due date) on your tasks. I'm going to be going through this process with my own tasks to see how well it works for me. Also, I'm expecting my first PocketPC (Dell Axim with wireless) in the mail today or tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see how well these concepts carry over to the Pocket Outlook program, which I have little experience with. I'll let you know how it goes.

Comments (3)
  1. codeguy says:

    An nice non Covey alternate paradigm for getting things done…

    http://www.davidco.com/

    http://www.davidco.com/productDetail.php?id=63&IDoption=20

  2. Rock says:

    See my post on Daily Tasks (http://blogs.msdn.com/mpower/archive/2004/08/20/217997.aspx) for thoughts on both Getting Things Done and 7 Habits.

  3. To save time you can get the PlanPlus for Outlook plugin says:

    It can do the things that are talked about in this post without taking all the time to configure the outlook. It also has many other nice features too.

    Here is a link to the product:  

    http://www.franklincoveysoftware.com/…/planplus-for-outlook-v7

    And here is a link to someone talking about it:  

    http://www.franklincoveysoftware.com/…/how-do-i-make-my-microsoft-outlook-look-like-that

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