Important vs Urgent

Keep the urgent from getting in the way of the importantStephen Covey uses this idea of deciding what your priorities are based on first of all beginning with the end in mind.

Think about where you want to end up and essentially plan ‘backwards’.

So often we use this notion, as I do with clients, when they’re setting goals and creating a strategy to achieve them.

It’s meant to be deeper than that, and it’s also about where you want to be at the end of your life – once you determine what you want to create in specific areas of your life, you start to plan and implement a strategy.

He combines this notion with deciding what’s important vs urgent and how we desire to live based on what’s important but so often we’re dictated by the tugs of urgent.

This hit me like a ton of bricks, even though it’s simple and I know it in some ways, but don’t always operate from this perspective and I soooo easily get off track.

I’ve been thinking of that a lot in the past week and noticing where I’m focusing on what’s urgent instead of what’s important.

How often, I’m answering a text or email, instead of listening to my kiddos (gulp). I can be a brutal multi tasker at times and that’s not the worst of it.

My obit could read-
“Mom spent time with us but texted, answered emails, cleaned while we talked”

That’s not what I want.

I fill up my days with what feels ‘important’ only to realize I have been strung along by the urgent.

I spent a day last week with a friend that has terminal cancer…

It was an incredible honour to spend time with her and in her words she feels like she’s straddling both sides – life here and what lies beyond and it’s given her great clarity about what really is important.

I wonder, if I was dying (and in truth we all are) would I be scrambling; chasing urgent, trying to chow down on ever last morsel of anything life had to offer or would I feel I had lived life in such a way that I had always been primarily been focusing on what was truly important and that the end of life would just prompt me to savour life more deeply.

I took my friend to a doctor’s appointment, out of town, and in order to get back on time I would have to rush and be late for my client or arrive in a panic.

I recalled the day my mom was dying and I was a maid of honour in my closest friends wedding.  I went to the wedding and missed being by my mom’s side as she passed away, because the wedding and the obligation felt so important, in hind sight I might have changed up how I did that day to honour what was really important.

With that in mind I contacted my client and asked to move our appt to the next day so I could savour this time rather than be in a rush…it was a small thing but it brought me such deep joy to not have to rush what will most likely be the last time I get to spend with my beloved friend.

Focusing on what’s important to you, takes clarity and courage; setting boundaries, asking for help, readjusting to navigate towards what really matters.

That’s important.

Begin with the end in mind.

What do you want your life to look like?

What do you want your life to be filled with?

What would you regret not taking more time to do?

Write down your goals and priorities.

What’s important?

What’s urgent?

Set aside some time for those ‘urgent’ things (maybe there are ways to remove some of those ‘to dos’ off that list – I can even help with all of that) but don’t lose sight of what’s important.

Now reset your priorities and set some goals based on what’s really important and focus on what needs to happen to make accomplishing those things your primary focus.

Join me on the all ‘important’ seeking journey

Leona deVinne