This is one of my new favorite handouts to give patients was inspired by Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.  It’s a tool to help differentiate between those activities that are truly important (meaning the consequences of not doing them will be severe) versus those activities that are merely urgent (meaning people are yelling at us to do them ASAP – or we are yelling at ourselves – but it really won’t matter that much in the long run if we let them slide.)  Those activities that fall under the “not urgent but important” category are those that allow us to develop the life we truly desire to lead.  They are things like enjoying family and friends, engaging in hobbies we love, getting healthy, and serving others.  They are those activities that refuel us, rather than deplete us.

Urgent and Important







Not Urgent and Important







Urgent and Not Important







Not Urgent and Not Important