Overthrowing the Tyranny of the Urgent-The Productivity Series S16E4


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We all have things we think are important, we want to get done, but we continue to put off. This occurs because of the difference between urgent tasks and important tasks and the 4 different types of actions that occur (as an action can be urgent & important, neither urgent nor important, urgent but not important, or not urgent but important).

We tend to put off the important but not urgent things. If they’re never urgent, there’s never pressure to complete them. Ultimately, we need to put pressure on ourselves to complete them.

This doesn’t mean we ignore the urgent: the urgent has to get done. With the urgent, we have to find ways to be efficient or have others do these things (e.g. have the groceries delivered, have someone else mow the lawn). The important and urgent things have to get done. Items that are neither urgent nor important really need to be examined: how much value do you get, for example, scrolling through social media or binge watching Netflix. We need to eliminate or at least limit these activities.

All this requires, of course, identifying what’s important. This comes down to what provides us value. You decide what’s important.

This relates directly to strength training and dieting. Strength training is not urgent, though it’s important. We can increase the urgency by having accountability and protecting the space. Over time, we impart urgency on strength training, “It’s getting close to training time, I’ll have to do this later.”

The same goes for food. If eating is always urgent, then you’ll find yourself eating the most convenient items, which will usually be unhealthy. Preparation prevents food from being urgent, because you’re prepared and have food ready.

Lastly, completing the urgent is still important. If you have urgent things floating in your head when you’re attempting to get your important work done, you’ll be unable to focus and accomplish the important work you want to complete.

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