What to do when everything is URGENT
by Louise D'Allura on January 23rd, 2014

Do you find you never get to those IMPORTANT TASKS because you're always taken off track by the URGENT?  

You're not alone! Much of what I do as a Professional Organiser is help my clients get to those IMPORTANT but NOT URGENT TASKS - those things we put off - though incredibly important - we just don't seem to get around to them unless we are working with someone to either design the system, or keep ourselves accountable.
We know working on these IMPORTANT TASKS would make a huge difference in our day to day - life would be easier, systems would be simpler. 

For one reason or another it is often the ‘urgent’ things that pop up and take us off course. We forget about the important tasks – or put them on the pile of other to do’s – wondering if we will EVER get to it.  

One of my worst habits is never making enough time to write.  I’ve not put enough priority on it and kept to my schedule regardless.  It has meant that I don’t write anywhere near as often as I like.  When I don’t keep to my schedule or let other urgent things in – I don’t keep to the routine and don’t to it.  I am guilty of ignoring the important. 
This is why I loved this article by James Creal, who writes about using behaviour science to master your habits and improve your mental and physical health.
In this article he challenges the thinking around Urgent and Important, and that while emergencies will come up, we MUST:

1) set up our routines
2) keep to the routine as much as possible to focus and cultivate on the important.

Here’s James’ take on it:
“We all have urgent tasks each day — a phone call we have to take, an email we need to respond to, a sick friend we have to help — but having a clear purpose and a specific goal allows you to get right back to what is important after you respond to the everyday emergencies. A specific goal gives you direction and prevents you from being sucked into a whirlwind of time–consuming, unimportant tasks.”
So clearly - we need to organise our lives around accomplishing our specific, important goals by breaking them down into tasks - AND LOCK them into our life through creating routines.  

In my case I’m keeping to my writing schedule damn it!  That's why I am locking it in first thing in the morning.  It means that the night before I need to get to bed early - even if I get home late after a talk, I need to not sit in front of the TV and vegetate!  Sleep is what I need so I can get up the next morning nice and early and WRITE!

What about you?  What are those important tasks that you let slide?
Click here to read the article: 

Posted in Getting Stuff Done - Task Management, Routines / Habits - Self Management    Tagged with no tags


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