Urgent vs. Important

When I’m interviewing candidates for marketing jobs and they ask me what my typical day is like I tell them, “When I get in each morning I make a to-do list, then I work all day long. About 4:PM I pick up my to-do list and start on that.”

The world of AEC Marketing is a continual balancing act between the urgent and the important.  Between RFPs and RFQs with concrete deadlines, the search for new opportunities that come from meetings of opportunity, and the ongoing need to keep content fresh and accurate, it would be easy to spend an entire month working at a break-neck pace and still not scratch a single thing off my to-do list.  Just look  at how long it’s been between blog posts this time.  I can blame my work schedule, my vacation and my subsequent flu for not getting back to this sooner, but without a goal, a commitment and, frankly that handy reminder button on my Outlook calendar, I could have let this go forever.

Let’s all acknowledge that the urgent is deeply important when deadlines are looming, and that it’s often challenging to find the energy to squeeze in the important when you have already put in your 40+ hour week on the urgent by Thursday noon.  But do it anyway.  Commit to it.  Even if you get to it later than you should, get to it.  It’s the difference between treading water and swimming.


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