0012 – Important vs. Urgent

0012 – Important vs Urgent

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One of the most important lessons that I have learned about teaching is that when you communicate with students, your message can mean two completely different things to two different people if those individuals have a different understanding of just a few key words.

An example of how communications can get confusing is the term magazine.  One individual might think you are referring to Time, or Newsweek, another might picture a building with a large store of ammunition, while a third might think of a small box used to deliver ammunition to the action of an automatic firearm.  Who is right depends on the context of the statement.  The less familiar each individual is with the term magazine, the more opportunity for confusion.

The concepts we are gioing to delv into are only loosely related to fighting, but they are related.  In fact today’s podcast can be tied into any facet of your life, so feel free to apply wherever you see fit!

The ideas from this podcast are directly from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey.

A ringing phone is always urgent.

Trianing for self defense is important, but you can stop training to answer the phone and then pick up your training again.  The training is not urgent.

You stop training to answer the phone and it is an offer to buy an extended warranty on a car you sold last year.  Still urgent, but not important.

Or the phone call could be from your neighbor.  They just experienced a home invasion and three armed men are headed to your home next.  Urgent and important, right?

Back to the training.  You were training evacuating your family to your safe room.  We already knew the training was important.  Now it is urgent too!

There is a whole other group of things out there which are neither important or urgent.

This gives us a list of four priorities:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important but not Urgent
  3. Urgent but not Important
  4. Neither Important or Urgent

This list can help us to streamline and organize our lives and our training.

For example being prepared for violence in the workplace is important.

If a credible threat has been made regarding violence in the workplace preparing remains important and becomes urgent.

As you decide what training you need to be prepared for workplace violence you can apply the same concepts.

For example, Firearms training is an important part of most peoples self defense program, however if you work in a county court building and must pass through metal detectors each day on your way into work, being skilled with a firearm is not going to help you with workplace violence.  Firearms training remains important for the rest of your life but, is not urgent in relation to workplace violence.

Sharp and impact weapons are a different story.  A ball point pen makes an excellent sharp weapon and is perfectly legal to bring into any workplace.  You can see that sharp weapons are important and urgent if you are concerned about workplace violence and cannot or will not carry a gun.

Our resources are limited.  Time, money, family demands and our own interest and energy limit our training.  Apply the concept of Important vs Urgent to help you manage those resources wisely.

Stay Safe!


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