When you have to choose between what is important and what is urgent, you should try to do both. I know ‘should’ is a tough word. It implies that there is a right way of doing things. But in reality, we all know that, despite whatever others may say, or what the perceived wisdom of the day is, we will do what makes most sense to us. That is how we, as human beings are, how we move and how we learn.
In the past, I have had to frequently choose between important and urgent. The thing about the urgent is that it always seems to rear its ugly head. And in doing so, it gives you a false sense of what is important. What is urgent is, I have come to discover, not always important. There is a distinction between the important and urgent.
I used to feel compelled to deal with what was urgent and constantly was in a position where I had to sideline what was important. I thought I would carve out the time somehow when I got rid of the urgent, to handle the important.
But as life so painfully makes clear, nothing moves in that clear-cut manner. And so I have a new plan now. I chip away at both, at the same time. And it’s become much better to bear.
The biggest benefit is the mental space you clear up when you tackle what you know you need to. Far more than the action and decisions you need to make, its frequently the mental space you need to conquer firstly. And when you are able to deal with the important, even if it’s a small bit each time, you feel a sense of relief, of power, of control and of accomplishment when you make inroads here.
So, do both. Do it as and when you can. But do both.