21 July 2021

Learn the skill of using urgency to get things done

Every business owner needs to master time management. We all know that time is gold, but at the same time, we also know that business owners should not own every responsibility that comes through their desks, but instead, they should learn how to prioritise and manage their time.

The challenge isn’t only about managing your time, it’s also about the system by which you determine whether a certain task at hand is urgent or not. As a Business Coach, I help business owners learn to love the concept of deadlines. For me, deadlines create urgency, and urgency is the force that motivates a person to take action.

The absence of pressure is the absence of motivation

We’ve all been in that familiar situation where there’s no deadline and you procrastinate and postpone doing that important thing because, in your mind, you always have enough time. But in most cases, we end up not accomplishing that task because there wasn’t any pressure. You didn’t feel anything that made you worry about whether or not you did that task right away, so you didn’t do anything.

Parkinson’s Law states that if you give someone two hours to do something, that person will take two. If you give him four, he’ll take four. And if you don’t put a deadline on it, most likely, it will never get done. That’s the reason deadlines are so important.

The difference between urgent and important

For you to effectively respond to the demands of your business, you need to define these two concepts. A matter is urgent when it is crying out for immediate attention. Important tasks are those that, once done, will add significant value to your company. Obviously, something can both be urgent and important, and something can also be neither urgent nor important.

Whenever a task comes your way, you need to decide whether that thing is urgent, in which case you need to set a strict deadline, or important, in which case, you may not need to set a deadline (since it’s not urgent) but you still have to make some kind of a timeline as to when you want that task to be completed, may it be weeks or months down the road.

It’s not always easy to stick to deadlines

A self-imposed deadline can be a challenge for many business owners since there’s really no other person that they’re accountable to outside of themselves, whereas when you know you run the risk of ruining a relationship with your boss, your co-workers, or a client, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that task.

When you set a deadline for yourself, you need to create a sense of urgency. You can do that by outlining the different possible outcomes so that you’re reminding yourself of the importance of doing that thing right away. Celebrate small milestones as you move towards that goal, and imagine yourself getting a reward for each positive result that happens.

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