Last week I shared my seasonal intention calendar and mentioned that I have a weekly priority list. In the comments, Virginia asked if I could share my priority list and I realized that though I have shared a bit about it in a Wish I Knew Wednesday long ago, I never shared the process here on the blog in detail.
So today, I plan to do just that.
I’ll quickly say right from the start that this practice comes from Habit 3 of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (no surprise there, huh?). Basically, the chapter illustrates that we spend much of our lives “fighting fires” or working on whatever is most important and urgent at that point in time.
Note: This ineffective habit is a common subconscious perfectionist tool to avoid [inevitable] imperfections. We wait to do something important until we don’t have enough time to do it perfectly. Hello, college cramming. On the other hand, we could have too much going on at one time and feel constantly forced to play catch up – unable to be proactive and plan for things in a non-rushed manner. Sometimes this is a byproduct of a stressful career like emergency care or having a baby. But often, this is simply a habit we fall into.
Or, we often will work on urgent but unimportant tasks (like a phone call interrupting an author writing a book). And last but not least, we can spend a lot of time doing unimportant and non-urgent things longer than necessary.
For me, these last two time sucks come in the form of excess inbox and social media checking which “feels” urgent and is not important. I can easily spend my whole day consulting, writing, ‘catching up on emails,’ and checking social media without ever doing important, but non-urgent work on key projects for the future. No bueno.
Overall, the things we have the most difficulty doing on a regular basis – and what will bring us the most effectiveness during our lives – are the important but non-urgent priorities. For us to have the success – in whatever way we define it – in our careers, we must find a way to align our time with this area of our to-do list.
In part two of this series, I’m going to share a method to accomplish those important, but non-urgent tasks in all areas of our lives.
Read part two here.