31 May Shift from the Urgent to the Important
Not everything in your life is urgent, and not everything in your life is important.
So, what’s the difference?
Urgent tasks are those things that have to be addressed immediately. Perhaps it is a question from a client that needs to be answered to move a project forward, or it could be hiring an employee for your business. These urgent items, reactive-oriented tasks require your full attention, right now – and have to be done.
In contrast, important items are more proactive or long-term oriented and are essential in helping you progress toward your future goals.
The unfortunate reality is, most of our time is spent tackling urgent or pressing issues. So, you may feel busy by the end of your week from having tackled dozens of urgent tasks. But, have you really progressed forward? Perhaps not, if you have not spent time addressing the important tasks, that will position you well for opportunities in the future.
Here are three ways that you can shift your energy from the urgent tasks to the more strategic and important tasks in your life.
Commit to making time. If you do not make a conscious effort to dedicate time each week to the important tasks in your life, then it will be rather difficult, if not impossible to make progress toward your long-term goals. Whether you block out 60 minutes a day or two hours a week, take this time to focus solely on important tasks.
Isolate yourself so you can innovate. Urgent things will inevitably come up and will likely pull you away from the important tasks you need to tackle. During your block times, proactively avoid distractions, including your computer, cell phones, and any mobile devices. You need uninterrupted time to give 100% of your attention and energy on making traction with your important tasks. Communicating with those around you to respect this time is an effective way to ensure that you can truly focus on the important tasks at hand without having to be bombarded with urgent issues that can wait.
Be consistent. To become a master at tackling the important tasks, you have to be consistent in how you block off time and get things done. If you continue to postpone any task long enough, it will become urgent. And, tasks that are both urgent and important can cause you stress and anxiety. You are at your peak performance when you have the time to think things through. Constantly having to deal with urgent and important tasks will only serve to add more pressure on you which is a surefire way to prevent yourself from progressing to the next level.
Keep in mind, urgent tasks will always be there, waiting for you to resolve them. So, taking time out to shift your attention and energy to what is important can be an effective way to balance your day-to-day obligations with moving yourself forward toward your long-term goals