Thursday, September 27, 2012

Important, Not Urgent

Years ago I went to a mandatory training class set up by some curriculum manager. I often dreaded these classes because good ones were as rare as winning lottery tickets.
The class for which I was scheduled was What Matters Most, by Stephen Covey. I've actually written about this class before, but the information I learned has been invaluable. 
In fact, I liked it so much, I actually paid for Jilda to go out of my pocket. We both have day planners that we updated daily.
In the class he says that most things we do in our lives fall somewhere in one of the following quadrants:

Important/Not Urgent
Not Important/Urgent
Not Important/Not Urgent.

As an example, if your roof leaks, and the rainy season is approaching then getting the roof fixed is both Important and Urgent.
On the other hand if your roof leaks, but rain is not predicted for a month, then getting it fixed is Important, but it's not that Urgent.

Today, I handled some things that were important, but not urgent. We spent a fortune rebuilding our decks last year and one of the things you need to do after the wood dries a little is to treat it with a wood sealant. 
It wasn't urgent that I do it now, but it was important because an untreated deck lasts about half as long as one that's been cared for.

One problem that everyone struggles with it spending valuable time doing things that are not important. I'm not sure why, but when things are "on fire" they demand attention and action, right?

Not always. Ask yourself, what would happen if I didn't put out the fire, but let it rage. Would it matter a year from now?

I try to spend as much time as possible doing things that are important, but I still find myself wasting time doing things that really don't matter.

But getting the deck water sealed, felt good today.



  1. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  2. It's the little things that give the greatest pleasure! Take care

  3. Congrats on taking care of the deck. We want it to last as long as you do, and I'm sure that means many, many years.



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