Tyranny of the urgent and unimportant…

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

Stephen R. Covey

What gets in the way of doing the important things in your life, your work? Having a goal, a set of goals, just isn’t enough. You have to intentionally set aside the time to ensure that you aren’t being distracted by all the stuff that comes up that is urgent and demands to be done “right now.” Those urgent things will bog you down and take over your life if you aren’t really really careful and intentional about how you spend your time and energy.

One of those urgent things for me that gets in the way of what is truly important is answering and managing email. There can be just so much of it coming at me in a given day and sometimes it is hard to keep up. About four months ago I found an app that allows me to “pause” my inbox and only receive email a few times a day unless it means a certain set of criteria (from certain people or with certain keywords). This has been a game changer for me because it allows me to control my time and schedule when I am going to read and respond to email. It prevents the urgent (whether real or perceived) from taking time from what is truly important.

What can you do to find the balance between the tyranny of the urgent and the truly most important things? Any successes you can share?

What price is worth your life?

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

Henry David Thoreau

This is so easy to forget when we are busy and in the thick of getting things done. Every decision we make about where to spend our time is a decision on where to invest our life.

How do you decide on where to invest? More importantly, how do you decide when to stop investing? In other words, how do you decide that something is no longer worth investing your time and energy, i.e, your life? Sometimes if we have been doing something for a long time we don’t even realize that we aren’t getting value anymore.

Where would, or should, you invest your precious life?

September 28, 2023… Will today’s stress matter?

“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.”

Catherine Pulsifer

This is so much easier said than done.  But it is a critical question to ask in a time of turmoil or stress.  Will this matter?  Sometimes I amend the question to an even easier time period to wrap my head around, “will this matter one year from now?”  It is amazing how wrapped up we can get in whatever is going on in our lives and let things that aren’t, or won’t be important, drive our behaviors and actions today.  I am guilty of this far too often, and this simple question has been an incredible gut-check for me.  And yet, even though I know to do it, I still fail at this one regularly.  

Alternatively, in times where we aren’t stressed how often do we ask about ourselves these question; “What will matter 5 years from now?  What do I need to do about that to make it happen?”  Would baking this question into your routine allow you to find clarity to help minimize the stress that we all feel on a daily basis?

Pick the stressor(s) that are on your mind today, the ones that keep you awake at night or impact you to the point that those around you can feel your tension.  Will the cause of that stress matter on 9/28/2023?  If yes, then what are you going to do about it?  If no, then why is it occupying so much of your bandwidth?

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