You may have come across some workers in your organization who never have time to rest. They are always up, about, anywhere and everywhere running between tasks that they need to accomplish by day end. They never even have time to sit and eat. Always getting home late, completely exhausted and stressed out. And yet they cannot pick out one thing that they have accomplished at the end of the day.

Imagine your supervisor asking you to write his speech for this all important occasion which will take place in two days time, and here you are already bogged down with a list of many other urgent tasks that you must also accomplish. This makes you anxious, unable to concentrate, distracted, moody and stressed because you have too much to do in too little time. Dwight D. Eisenhower attributed this to confusion of urgent and important.

Many managers, including myself, attribute their success to the Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle of time management – also called the Eisenhower Decision Principle. It says, “what is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important”. The principle works well if practiced in our private lives too. It gives one the leeway to exercise control over the amount of time to spend on specific tasks so that he/she can increase effectiveness, efficiency and/or productivity, which is in essence the definition of “time management”.

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