Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's important? What's urgent?

We tend to do what is urgent rather what is important. Figuring out how to spend enough time with the family, friends, dogs, as well as time for work, working out, and just taking a shower became a real issue real fast.When I find myself getting anxious about this I hear my mentor’s words and I ask myself…OK, what’s important right this very second and what is not important but is just urgent. Is it urgent that you order diapers for your newborn? Yep. Is it important that you hold your baby girl 10 more minutes? Absolutely, so the diaper order can wait. At a glance, it may appear as if all the tasks on your list are equally urgent and important. But with only a few minutes of your time, the differences quickly become clear when you know how to identify your priorities, then organize and execute around them. Deciding what is most important is a skill you develop with mindful practice. Since each of us has our own unique set of duties, goals, and responsibilities, there is no one formula that works for everybody. To prioritize effectively, you must first understand your own roles and dreams. What are your job duties? What commitments do you have to family? What are your personal aspirations? How are you moving toward them? Once you know these things, you will find it easier to define your priorities and schedule your time to make better use of it. Spend a few minutes contemplating these questions before you proceed. An urgent matter is usually visible because it is right in front of your face, it is the ringing phone, the person standing in your doorway, the deadlines. Urgent matters press on you but they may not be important to the big picture of your personal or professional life. It is only up to you if you pick up on it. Importance, however, specifically has to do with results and is easier to identify. Quite simply, if something is important, it contributes to your mission, values, and goals. The things that are important but not urgent, such as relationship-building and investing time in planning the future. You not only get all your tasks completed, but you also build a strong foundation for the future by putting your time where it will matter for you. This way your effectiveness and satisfaction would increase dramatically. Your crises and problems would shrink to manageable proportions because you would be thinking ahead, and working on the roots.

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