Have you ever wished for more time in your day? Or do you look at the clock and wonder, where has the time gone? Recently, I have been in a battle with the urgent versus important. In the 1960s, Charles Hummel published a little booklet called Tyranny of the Urgent, and it quickly became a business classic. In it, Hummel argues that there is a regular tension between things that are urgent and things that are important—and more often than not the urgent wins. I must sadly confess that recently I have become a slave to the urgent things in my life. I am like a “Pavlovian” dog when my phone makes any sound. It truly takes precedence over almost anything that I am doing. I must have “FOMO” aka Fear Of Missing Out. Wondering if anyone can relate? I was reflecting on a bible study that I have done multiple times called, Growing Strong in God’s Family a Navigator series by Navpress. The paragraph that stopped me read, “A man’s home is no longer his castle; it is no longer a place from urgent tasks because the telephone breaches the walls with imperious demands. The momentary appeal of these tasks seems irresistible and important, and they devour our energy.”
I don’t have a time problem, I have a priority problem.
So…I’ve decided to make the important the priority! Here is what I plan to do:
1. Identifying the things that have become urgent for me and steal my attention from the important.
My biggest culprit is my phone and my chiropractor would undoubtedly agree! For me, this means putting it in a different room while I am working on an important task. Out of sight, out of mind.
Needs of my home. Working from home is amazing, but there is an ongoing list of things that sidetrack me all day long. Housecleaning, laundry, meal prep, animal care just to name a few.
2. Identifying the important.
Quiet time with the Lord to start my day is a must. If I go to God’s throne before the phone, I am a much more grounded person.
Another important is my family. Being relationally intentional is a priority to me. I want to have coffee with my loved ones without the phone being a constant distraction.
Work is another non-negotiable. Setting boundaries for my schedule and not compromising. When the to-do list is done I will feel accomplished for the day.
3. Giving myself some grace in the process.
It takes 66 days to create a new habit. Any shift takes time and discipline and I don’t want to beat myself up and quit before I ever give myself a chance at success.
To ensure success, I’ve asked my husband and daughter to be accountability partners or as my daughter calls it “accountabili-buddies”. I’ve given them permission to gently remind me when they see me sacrificing the important for the urgent.
The book, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, opens with a Russian proverb that says, “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” I believe the same to be true with the tyranny of the urgent. When the urgent takes control of your life, the important will suffer and you will feel discouraged, anxious, and bitter. Our true inspiration and example should be the life of Jesus Christ. His ministry was a mere 3 years, yet he never once became a victim of the urgent and on the night before He died He said: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4) Are you struggling with the urgent crowding out the important? Schedule a FREE Discovery Call with one of our amazing coaches! We have been there and we can help!
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