Urgent vs. Important
We are a society looking for instant gratification. When a customer calls, we rush to meet their needs. When we check into a hotel, we expect prompt, courteous service. When we drive our cars, we always take the shortest routes - at the fastest speeds. And when we do a great job, we want to be recognized for it - immediately. Unfortunately, not all things can - or should - happen instantly; some things take time.
There are many shorter-term demands on our time, both at work and at home. Our managers, customers, suppliers, and co-workers all have expectations of us. Our families do too. We make promises to all of these people, and when we deliver, we enjoy a gratifying "thank you", as well as the intrinsic satisfaction of a job well done.
But what of the longer-term commitments that we make; the ones that are easily deferred when short term priorities (and crises) get in the way? Is there a trick to balancing them out? Probably the most effective way is to simply schedule specific time, every day, to work on longer-term commitments. During this time, don't take calls, emails, nor schedule meetings. Even if the time scheduled is only 20-30 minutes, it doesn't take long for the minutes - and your accomplishments - to add up.
This week's action item. Of all of the items on your to-do list, choose one of them, and schedule it into a fixed, daily slot. And while your calendar is open, schedule some time a few months from now, to look back at the "important" progress you've made.
Randall Craig is an expert on Career Development, Work-Life Balance, and Networking; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make It Happen Tipsheet
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Copyright © 2008 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: Sept 16, 2008
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