Difference between urgent and important
Urgent vs important:
The words ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ are two words that are commonly used not only in an official setting, but also in normal day to day life. These two words are very similar in nature and one would often see envelopes stamped as ‘important’ or ‘urgent’ arriving at one’s doorstep as well. But what is the difference between these two words? What sets them apart? Thus, this article seeks to find out how these two terms can be differentiated in order to understand them clearly.
What is urgent?
The term ‘urgent’ is utilized for indicating a sense of urgency or emergency, implying that a certain matter requires immediate action or attention. It is a rather insistent word which compels speedy action. In work, urgent tasks indicate tasks which have to be submitted immediately or tasks of which the deadlines have passed. An urgent situation occurs even when something needs to be accomplished but a person keeps deterring it so that when the deadline approaches, the task needs to be accomplished urgently. For example, acknowledging the receipt of something may be a trivial task and yet, if one deters this task for long, it may become an urgent task which must be accomplished immediately.
What is important?
The word ‘important’ signifies something of great significance or consequence, entitled to more than the usual amount of consideration. ‘Important’ suggests something prominent or large and which has considerable weight, influence or authority. An important task is something that can have a large impact on a person’s life or career. An important factor is something that is very well capable of changing one’s life and path as well.
What is the difference between important and urgent?
The words ‘important’ and ‘urgent’ have somewhat similar implications. While something important may also be urgent, something urgent may also be important. However, an important task may not necessarily be urgent and an urgent task may not necessarily be important as well.
An urgent task is based on deadlines and final dates whereas an important task may not have a deadline looming over it. An important task is defined by the impact that it has on someone’s life or his or her career. An urgent task may not change a person’s life or his or her path whereas an important task or a decision is very well capable of changing one’s path or life. For example, an important decision of whether or not an employee should be fired will have a permanent impact upon his or her life. And yet, this is not an urgent task. The urgent task of submitting an assignment may be important and yet, it does not create a significant effect on someone’s life.
Even a trivial task can become urgent if that has been put off for a long period of time. Delivering a short message for example, may become urgent if it has not been done in time. The importance of a task does not thus change with the amount of time that is spent in accomplishing it. A task is deemed as important from the very beginning itself. However, the importance of a task may differ from one person to the next. A task that is important to one may not be as important to another.
An instance where ‘important’ and ‘urgent’ comes together is an instance where a person has been a victim of a road side accident. It is very important that this person should be hospitalized and it is urgent that he or she receives medical attention as well. If this person does not receive due medical attention in time, there is a high chance of him or her succumbing to the injuries and bleed to death. If medical help does not come in time, his or her life may end, thereby creating a significant consequence. Therefore, it is important at the same time urgent to get this person to a hospital as soon as possible.
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