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  • Writer's picture Treavor Dodsworth CFP®, CPA, CKA®

#172 - The Urgent and the Important

Urgent and Important

Recently, I came across this idea of focusing on the important vs. the urgent and have been tossing it around in my mind since.

Apparently, the idea comes from a quote Eisenhower borrowed, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” Stephen Covey framed this idea into a matrix for knowing how to prioritize tasks in his famous book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The idea of accomplishing the urgent but missing the important definitely permeates the personal finance world. For example, diligently saving for your kid’s education in a 529 plan but not taking opportunities to teach them life lessons in the every day or investing in your 401k plan for your and your wife's retirement but not investing in your marriage.

Definitely not here to cast any shame. The reason why this idea stuck with me is because I frequently find myself accomplishing the urgent but missing the important. Personally, I find satisfaction in accomplishing a ToDo list but some items that are really important are harder to check off in the same way and therefore don’t get the attention they deserve.

While admittedly I have far to go in this department, one thing I have found helpful is trying to create urgent tasks that assist with the important ones. For example, going on a "date" with my son every month.

Do you resonate with this idea? Are you accomplishing the urgent but missing the important?

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Thank you for reading!

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