X-Factor: What’s important? Urgent? 

 September 9, 2019

Important vs Urgent

Last week, we were in Hurricane Dorian's Cone of Uncertainty. The need to prepare to evacuate or shelter-in-place took time and energy, during a week already filled with meetings and to-do's.

As I considered on the personal and professional fronts ... What must get done? What can wait? I considered the importance and urgency of each item competing for my time and energy. Having a hurricane heading our way definitely impacted my answers! X-Factor helped ...

Important vs Urgent

X-Factor breaks competing priorities into 4 quadrants, based on level of importance and urgency (which is a function of time). Each quadrant prompts a different question.

Items of High Importance and High Urgency need our attention. Am I focused here? I need to be! Hurricane Dorian changed by my perception of what was most important and urgent last week.

While High+High items need our attention, putting out fires all the time can be exhausting and diminish the quality of our work. It's better to take care of High Importance items while they are Low Urgency. Do I have a plan?

There is only one of you. How good are you at delegating? Preserve your time and energy for what you do best. Can anyone else do items that are Low Importance and Low Urgency? Honestly, couldn't they -- if you let them?

There is simply not enough time to do all that could be done, even with delegation. Some things are necessary no's. For items of Low Importance and High Urgency, the window of opportunity is closing. But that does not mean you need to say yes. Can you afford not to get it done?

I hope no real or metaphorical hurricane has you in its cone of uncertainty this week. Nevertheless, even an ordinary week brings its own challenges and need to prioritize. With X-Factor you will know your priorities -- so can focus your time and energy where it matters most. Put X-Factor to work for you. You'll be glad you did.

Let me know what you think. What aha did X-Factor illuminate for you?

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About the author

A former CPA, my career started at a Big 5 accounting firm. As part of the Family Wealth Planning group, I saw the challenges of family business and family wealth. The cons often overshadowed the enjoyment of working with family. I was convinced there had to be a better way, but could not find anyone who could help navigate the intersection of family, business, and wealth. Determined, I left my career in finance and earned a Masters in Psychology.In the almost two decades since, I have learned how families can thrive -- even when business is personal. Let me help you, your family, and its business thrive.

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