Urgent vs Important: How Can Entrepreneurs Find a Balance? Understanding the difference between urgent and important can further help entrepreneurs to achieve greater productivity.

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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A typical day in an entrepreneur's life is incomplete without meetings, numerous pending emails, and a daily to-do list. There's a sense of relief in the act of crossing off all items on the to-do list at the end of the day. But how can one decide what needs to be done first, and what can wait? Understanding the difference between urgent and important can further help entrepreneurs to achieve greater productivity.

Therefore, Entrepreneur India is sharing few tips for entrepreneurs to help them find a balance between urgent & important:

Address The Most Important Tasks :

Important tasks which fail to get addressed within the required scope, time or quality demands may at some time get transformed into urgent tasks. These could be unforeseen events, or due to some very minor issues which were overlooked.

According to Khyati Mahajan, Founder, MevoFit, one definitely and swiftly needs to work on them.

"They become the single most important task which may have huge investments or one's reputation at stake. The important tasks may at that time be delegated or rescheduled. In short, the burning task cannot be delayed if one wants to save one's face," she said.

Prioritize Tasks:

Anand Tandon, CEO & Founder, Myforexeye feels one should keep the efforts aligned with their meaningful purpose of choosing urgent and important tasks.

"Review all the obligations on your list and do what's important first. Prioritize things in an ordered form and don't overbook your schedule. Secondly, build the foundation of your to-do list on a flexible platform by allowing a margin of error and room to think and breathe. When your plate is absolutely stuffed full, it becomes even more challenging to figure out where you should get started. So, set goals which are typically centered on strengthening relationships, future planning, creating value for the customer, team motivation and personal improvement for a long-term win," said Tandon.

Have a Defined Schedule:

Agreeing to Tandon, Parveen Kharb, Co-Founder, Twenty Two Motors also shared few important tips for entrepreneurs.

"If the task takes 2 minutes, it should be completed then and there only. One can decide which task to do first, on the basis of the long-term impact of the task at large. At times, a single task can affect a large chunk of the business while a number of other tasks have a minute impact on the overall business," said Kharb adding that if a task is contributing immediately to achieving the goals, then it should be prioritized first.

He shared the best way to prioritize tasks of a day is by having a defined schedule in place. This also helps in the measurement of the productivity in short intervals. Ideally, there should not be more than 5 important tasks in a day to accomplish as planned.

Make Better Use of Your Time:

The non-stop cycle of tasks turning "Urgent" from "Important" is inevitable. What's important today is destined to become urgent tomorrow. There are entrepreneurs who successfully carry on with fire-fighting through the day, but there are entrepreneurs who keep addressing the "Important" tasks as they come along, so those tasks don't become urgent all of a sudden. Nishchal Khetarpal, Co-Founder, GoldSeat believes the key is having a pulse of your business and making the best use of your hours spent at work.

"This most likely will give you an advantage over the situation," he added.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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