Jeremiah Flaga My thoughts and experiences on programming, life, atbp.

Important vs. Urgegent

I’m keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.

— Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)

I hope these quotes will help me not to follow my urge…

I hope they will help you too!


In Software Development

Uncle Bob Martin (Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design)

… [Eisenhower] said: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

There is a great deal of truth to this old adage. Those things that are urgent are not very often of great importance. And those things that are important are seldom of great urgency.

The first value of software — behavior — is urgent but not always particularly important.

The second value of software — architecture — is important but not particularly urgent.



The dilemma for software developers is that business is not equipped to evaluate the importance of architecture. That’s what software developers where hired to do. Therefore it is the responsibility of the software development team to assert the importance of architecture over the urgency of features.


In Life

Dennis Swanberg and Ron Smith (The Mancode)

It’s worth noting that we human beings find it terribly difficult to view things from an eternal perspective. We want the kind of earthly rewards (fancy cars, big houses, and so forth) that seem, at least to us, to be important.

But God sees things differently. He wants us to focus on the important things: the spiritual rewards that last a lifetime. That’s what he meant when he said, “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).


In Music

(Note: I’m not really a very good musician… but I intend to become one :smile:)

Greg Howlett (from The unsatisfying job of satisfying critics)

…There is a lesson there for you musicians because the same thing happens in music. In many cases, you are going to just decide who you want to please: the music critics with the pedigrees or the average people who don’t know a bass clef from a treble clef but just love music.

I strongly advise you to choose the later…

If you chase the praise of critics, you probably won’t get it anyway unless you play their game and engage in their politics. And even if you get their praise, it will likely not impact your ability to expand your reach and influence.

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