Creating Urgency for the Important Things

Creating Urgency for the Important Things

Creating Urgency for the Important Things

By Steve Backlund

How can we get the urgency to do that which will make our greatest dreams and desires happen? How can we get the inner fire to write the book, earn the degree, build stronger relationships, deepen our prayer life, or get better daily habits? This blog will help you answer these crucial questions.

Urgency means something needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, and it usually comes from two sources. The first is from having a vision for our future. This is a burning desire to accomplish a goal or to see a dream fulfilled. This positive vision for the days and years ahead gives power and purpose to the present because we believe we are investing in something that will bring a positive return. The second source of urgency results from experiencing pain. This could be a lack of fulfillment, broken relationships, financial difficulty, poor health, repeated negative cycles in life, addictive behaviors, or spending time in jail. These uncomfortable emotions or happenings cause us to act now to avoid future pain. This blog is to inspire and equip us to create our own urgency through having a personal vision by prioritizing the truly important things in our time management. 

There are four main time quadrants for us to live in: 

  • The urgent and important 
  • The urgent but non-important
  • The important but non-urgent
  • The non-urgent and non-important 

Success in life largely depends on our living in the important but seemingly non-urgent quadrant. Those who struggle generally spend their time in the urgent but non-important aspect of their lives, but those who succeed find a way to create an urgency to vital things that don’t seem urgent at the moment. 

In a previous blog called “I Realize There are Few Normal Weeks,” I share about the necessity of learning to thrive in non-normal weeks (weeks where the unexpected happens, weeks where our emotions are not good, weeks where we are more tired than we thought, weeks where we feel like we are failing, etc.). This teaching came from my own experience of realizing that practically every week I seemed to have an excuse for why I could not do many of the important things in my life. 

Just as there will be no convenient time to radically renew our minds, there will be no convenient time to live out our stated priorities. There will almost always be a reason why now is not a good time to do so. But if we do not learn how to create urgency for important things, they will eventually become urgent themselves. 

Here are some examples of important things in  life to prioritize and create urgency around: 

  • Healthy spiritual life
  • Pouring into our families
  • Personal health and well-being
  • Increasing skills in your gifted areas
  • Positively impacting others
  • Establishing an emergency financial fund
  • Become more proactive in scheduling ,  finances, and relationships

What we are talking about is creating an investment mentality instead of a debt mentality. We generally associate debt with finances, but financial debt comes from a deeper root that is largely reflected in us living in the urgent but non-important time quadrant. Those who become urgent in investing in themselves,  their skills and giftings,  their relationships, and spiritual lives will experience a remarkable return on what has been invested. 

Here are 7 ideas to create greater urgency for the important things in your life:

  1. Develop S.M.A.R.T. goalsSpecific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound
  2. Feed on books, podcasts, relationships, etc. that feed into the important things in your life – marriage, finance, hope, evangelism, etc.
  3. Get a life coach or find a “growth partner” to help you live in the important but non-urgent time quadrant.
  4. Create deadlines and pay someone in some way if you don’t reach goals – For years I have paid money to people for not reaching important goals I have set. I have found it a way to motivate me. 
  5. Have vision for your life – We can do this by associating with “eagles,” by valuing the prophetic words for our lives,  feeding on testimonies of those who have overcome great odds to become powerful people,  declaring God’s promises over our lives, and imagining ourselves succeeding and being an incredibly positive influence.
  6. Do a little at a time – I have written books and created courses by committing to work two minutes a day on them. Often, once I have worked two minutes, I want to work more. 
  7. Budget your time, money, and energy – This means developing a plan for where our time, money, and energy are going. A short time of planning in each of these areas will make a huge difference.

As always, celebrate progress, not perfection in your journey to create urgency for the important things in your life. This is a life muscle we can grow into a great strength if we do not give up. 

How can you apply this teaching? Here are some questions to consider: 

  1. Which time quadrant do you spend most of your time in?
  2. Which two of the seven ideas for how to live in the important but non-urgent time quadrant spoke to you the most and why?
  3. Who can help you live more intentionally? When will you connect with them?
  4. What are the main lies you need to overcome to live in greater intentionality and proactivity?

For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

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