The Unconventional CEO – Distinguish between Urgent and Important

The Unconventional CEO

Chapter 58 – Urgent is yesterday’s unresolved Important. Spend your effort on what is Important to avoid the tyranny of the Urgent.

The prepared CEO has a to-do list. It’s probably long. Mine currently has 768 items, over all aspects of my life. A nightmare of expectations!

The list should be divided into two columns: Urgent and Important. Each column should have a list of to-dos, in descending order from the highest priority to the lowest. The Urgent column will wag its finger at you in admonishment of dereliction of priorities. There should be no items in Urgent. Blank is very good. The Important column should be prioritised from matters which have the highest impact on the enterprise down those which have the lowest impact.

Some things with lower priority will stealthily creep towards their deadline to emerge as Urgent. Best that you deal with or delegate these items early, as it will keep you from getting to the really important Important stuff list.

You will face a crossroad when you get to, say, a hundred items. Either you are immensely important, but useless at execution. Or you are dreaming faster than the rest of your people can run. Either way, it is advisable to have a coffee and a deep discussion with yourself on delegation, staffing, the pace of change, and the advisability of introducing the new against the benefit of perfecting the existing.

Perhaps you will need some help, so make it a beer with someone you trust. Somehow you are failing to take the rest of the crew on the spaceship with you. Reconsider the pace. Pretend, start a new list: Futurama, how should your world work.

The proper and effective to-do list is a challenge. I have used a variety of lists and mind maps. The iOS App Clear works best for me. Now, if I can only get the programmers to make the six changes that will perfect it…?

The Unconventional CEO offers succinct, compelling advice from one successful CEO Mario Pretorius, to you The Cape Messenger reader.

The book is also available to purchase in full from the Amazon store.

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