This is a recurring theme I have come across this last year. The urgent vs the important ie whether you should devote your energies to what’s important as opposed to what’s urgent. Seth Godin talks about it. And so does Stephen Covey in what he refers to as the Time Management matrix.
Given a choice, I guess most of us react by dealing with what’s urgent as opposed to what is important, especially if what’s important is subject to wavering commitment or a fluid timeline. I think that dealing with what’s urgent is very common and understandable but it takes a whole lot to deal with what’s important. It requires a level of self awareness, a constant state of mindfulness. It requires you to constantly assess what you are doing and where you are at against what you are aiming for. It requires work. And with no one chasing you on the important, it’s easy to see why it gets sidestepped.
Two points here.
Firstly, the gain is yours if you consider the important over the urgent.
Secondly, make sure you’ve made an assessment yourself about exactly what’s urgent. It shouldn’t be someone else’s definition of urgent, and based on their agenda. It should be yours.