Meg Reid, co-ordinator for Suffolk and highly experienced coach, looks at what’s urgent and what’s important and why you need to know the difference!


I was listening to the radio when a sentence leapt out at me.

 “The important gives way to the urgent”

It’s so true. My coaching clients tell me that they feel they are always fire fighting- reacting to what comes at them rather than having space to think.

They get up intending to eat a healthy breakfast, talk calmly to their children, organise things to work smoothly at the office, get some exercise during the day and invite friends round in the evening.

The reality is that keys will have disappeared, deadlines be brought forward, inboxes and in trays will be overflowing. It will all seem so urgent. Breakfast will be eaten in the car, tempers will be frayed, exercise will be tapping the keyboard and you’re home too late to invite the friends.

When I used to run a theatre company Tim the technical stage manager of one theatre had a big notice on the door of his office “Your crisis is not my crisis” Tim was very helpful and efficient  until it was time for morning coffee, lunch or an afternoon tea break. Then no matter what terrible disaster we needed sorting, he would disappear.

The strange thing was that everything always got done anyway. The show always went up on time scenery, props, lights and sound effects working perfectly.

We’ll all die with a “to do” list. I’d rather that the things left on mine were some of those oh so urgent tasks not the things that are really important to me.

  • March 27, 2012
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