Last week was one of family occasions. I only had one work task to do in the week and it was tightly corralled to a particular day. I did all the prep for it in the previous week (unusually for me who likes to “wing it”) and left it alone. I didn’t blog, didn’t use twitter and I didn’t do anything “outbound”. Essentially I disabled my “transmit” button!
So now it’s a week later. Birthdays and anniversaries have been celebrated, the sun is out and I’m back at my desk. Looks like no-one died, nothing caught fire and whilst the reading pile has backed up a bit, a weeks distance and reflection has enabled me to thin it out slightly anyway. Plenty of things which had “urgent” attached to them by the sender (or by me in my mind) actually weren’t urgent at all.
Which leaves me thinking about how we decide what is urgent and / or important. How often does someone ask you to do something urgently, except it is their urgent not yours, or it’s important to them but has no practical value to you? I guess you all remember a boss doing that to you, except it’s not just bosses who do this. We do it to each other all the time. It seems to me that most of our decision making around these priorities is done sub-consciously and so we can’t communicate it clearly to others leading to conflict with colleagues or indeed with self as we get torn between work and home, kids and partner……. and that’s before we add in all the distractions of the modern world, twitter, facebook, tumbler, cute videos on youtube etc etc.
So this weeks call to action is about being clear on what you need to prioritise, how you are coming to that decision and how will you share that knowledge with the important people in your life so that you can all work harmoniously.
Right, that’s all for now, I’m off to do today’s important tasks but do check in with me later either here via the comments or on Twitter
P.S. If you’re unsure where to start then take a look at this simple explanation of the Urgent / Important Matrix from the helpful people at Mindtools.