“Urgent things shout. Important things whisper. Listen to the whispers.” Ken Groen
With Thanksgiving around the corner, this quote speaks to me—and I hope it speaks to you, too. We have been living in a pandemic since March and it’s been filled with highs and lows. Most of us want to go back to our “normal” way of life, but that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. We are longing for the day we can hug our family and fiends again. We dream about the day we can travel again. We are hopeful there will be a day when we can safely see everyone’s face again. And much, much more. Right?
But what I am also seeing is a lot of work. WFH has many of us working VERY long hours. As I have said before, “I don’t believe it’s really WFH, I believe it’s actually sleeping at the office!” But SATO doesn’t roll of the tongue as easily as WFH. So for all of you WFH workaholics, myself included, I want you to start to separate urgent and important. Work may be urgent, but your family is important. And please don’t hide behind excuses like, “I have a deadline,” or “I have responsibilities,” because if you can’t find even a little time for what’s important, you’re at the wrong job.
Today, I’m insisting that you write a list of what’s important (you really don’t have to do it, but I’m hoping that by “insisting” you might pick up a pen). Here is the ironic part, our important list usually isn’t very long, so take the time to physically write it down. It’s likely that our urgent will be a “what,” and our important will be a “who.” As you head into the week of Thanksgiving, remember who or what is important to you. And I hope this changes your plans today and in the weeks ahead. Urgent versus Important are pulling at as every day; do you always chose urgent? Is important always the runner-up to urgent? It doesn’t have to be.