Leaders Make Wise Time Choices
I hope you all enjoyed a happy and gratifying Thanksgiving. So many people love this holiday because it gives them the opportunity to both express and feel gratitude for all the wonderful things in their lives.
This week renowned coach Scott Eblin reminded me of a lesson I learned years ago and subsequently proceeded to teach for many years. Scott said the following in his blog post:
“Could it be that you’re so busy doing stuff that you don’t see what needs to be done? I’ve had a lot of clients over the years recognize that the frantic race to keep up and put a check mark by everything on the list has kept them from focusing on what’s most important in their personal and professional lives.”
These wise words from Scott reminded me of my years facilitating “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” workshop for Georgetown University employees.
We spend so many hours of our lives rushing to check the next box and feel the adrenaline rush associated with getting something done. Then, when are able to check one box, we look quickly to see where the next box is.
Stephen Covey used to say, it is critically important to “put first things first.“ When we think everything is important, then really nothing is important. We often spend too little time prioritizing among all the to-do‘s on our lists.
As Covey reminded us, activities typically fall into these categories:
Important and urgent,
Important but not urgent,
Urgent but not important, and
Not urgent and not important.
Frequently we never stop in the gap between stimulus and response to consider our responses to the items on our lists. If we make the time – not take the time – to seriously consider our choices, we can then focus on activities which are important but not urgent. These are the ones about which human beings typically procrastinate.
Typical important but not urgent activities include
Getting enough sleep,
Planning at home and at work
As we all reflect upon those parts of our lives for which we are grateful during this Thanksgiving season, I encourage us to make proactive choices and give meaningful time to those activities and choices which will bring us the most happiness, the most fulfillment and the most meaningful results.
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