The Urgent vs. the Important

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

I have recently bought an e-book by a Gumroad author named Luca Dellana. I have to admit I did it mainly to see how successful authors on Gumroad package their offerings. I was initially skeptical about the book, dismissing it as just another attempt to capitalize on the self-help trend. As I kept reading, however, I found a few clever references washing away my initial skepticism. One quote in particular, stuck in my mind, and I cannot seem to stop thinking about it:

“If you think about it, the very important never feels urgent. Instead, most things which feel urgent are important for someone else, not for you.”

The key is this. We acknowledge the presence of urgency, however, most of us wrongly attribute importance to it, putting the actually important stuff aside. In reality, things that matter usually become urgent when it is too late. In most other times, they are important for someone else, not for us.

Think about that project at work that so badly needed to be finished before the holidays. It must have brought a ton of pressure to you and your team, hasn’t it? Yet, chances are, you would hardly remember it on your deathbed. Neither will your boss or their boss, either. The only person for whom it makes any difference is the one who created the business. If that is not you, I have news — you need to shift your focus. Start with your family and friends, for example. Or your health and passion. The kinds of things you always thought you would resort to doing someday, once you become rich and retired.

Do them now, instead of when it gets too late.

Originally published at on December 29, 2020.

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