A Facebook friend recently posted a link to an article that brilliantly highlights the difference between things that are important and things that are merely urgent, using a Star Wars analogy to illustrate. The author of the article argues that the secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on things that are important, while minimizing the attention and time given to the merely urgent.
He suggests the following (read the article for more detail):
- Say no.
- Unplug the TV.
- Kill notifications.
- Schedule your priorities.
- First things first.
- Less volume, more time.
To all of which I say, "Amen." Except that I think he has some of them in the wrong order, and I rarely watch TV anyway (except for The Big Bang Theory, and I will fight to the death the person who changes the channel when that show is on!)
This is the take-home I got from the article:
"Identify and schedule the important. Say "no" to as much of the rest as you need to."
Identifying the important is not a problem for me. But I am one who tends to get hopelessly bogged down in the urgent, which often then ends up waylaying the important. And God knows that I have a terrible time saying "no" to anything! (Although I am getting better at it in my old age.)
Given the length of today's to-do list, arguably I should not be blogging, since this is neither urgent nor important. However, I am considering it my reward for knocking two things off my list this morning that were both important AND urgent...a few minutes of playtime before moving on down the list, if you will.
After all, what's the point of saving time through focused efficiency if you can't then blow the saved time on something that you actually enjoy doing??