Today, a few of my colleagues and I took the whole day to plan and strategize about issues that we are experiencing as we grow. With any form of growth or improvement comes stresses and problems, some we expected, some unforseen.
While this was going on, we found ourselves often running from one pressing need to another. It felt like being a firefighter, where our priorities were dictated to by whatever was the biggest emergency. This is called the Tyranny of the Urgent.
Tyranny – cruel and oppressive government or rule
Urgent – requiring immediate action or attention
Do you find yourself running from one thing to the other? Are you constantly asking yourself where your time went? Do you find that you’re busy but still terribly behind on the most important things of your life?
It might be because you’re being oppressed by the Tyranny of the Urgent! Overthrow it immediately!
This is why we spent the day planning the year ahead, fixing our schedules, and prioritizing tasks. We had to resist the temptation to zoom in on particular subjects. We had to put off emergencies that cried out for immediate attention. We resisted immediate relief in favor of the things that we would be glad we did ahead of time.
Are there urgent things that plague you? People who constantly need your attention, but never seem to get out of that fix? Some situations really are urgent and are worth responding to immediately. But when you find that that’s all you do or there’s a particular relationship that seems to be only composed of the urgent, you might want to reevaluate.
Think of a typical work day. Where does your time go? Is it to things that will bear fruit in the future? Or is it going to repetitive things? Things that could be done by others? Things that could be taken care off for a long time with some planning?
What about media and internet intake? Technology is so powerful in making us think that EVERYTHING IS URGENT. That Facebook message must be replied to IMMEDIATELY. Someone tagged you -check it out now! Refresh, refresh, refresh – maybe someone posted something new.
We all suffer from this from time to time. And like true freedom fighters we must constantly rise up and overthrow the tyranny for the emancipation of our schedule, the liberation of our to-do lists, and the democratization of the overly-extended metaphor.
P.S. Great blog on the subject – BUSY