26 Sep A fulfilled life starts with the important not the urgent
Like most of us I have a never ending to do list that just seems to get longer. I doubt you’re any different in this cash rich time poor society of ours.
However, I feel compelled to tell you of a solution, which if you follow this will change your life dramatically. It has mine.
A few years ago when I started in business I read one of the best known bibles of business The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
It is an excellent book but like all these books whilst the advice makes perfect sense, there is a world of difference between reading the book and implementing the actions.
The reason for this is we are all creatures of habit, whether it’s good or bad habits and it takes time and discipline to create good habits, which will eventually imbed in.
In a quest though to become more efficient due to a heavier workload of late I found myself looking for help to use time more effectively and my Internet search led me back to the book I first read some 5 years ago.
Without getting too complicated, as the 7 Habits is a heavy book, habit 3, which is put first things first, is possibly the most important that we could all do if we want order, more time and a more fulfilled life.
The synopsis of it is we find we spend most of our time doing tasks that are urgent, but seldom important in the big scheme of life.
For instance this evening I have to get a new tyre after discovering a puncture over the weekend, and also take my young son for a haircut before a big event at his school tomorrow. To add to this my new iPhone needs setting up and this will take time too. All urgent, but not life changing, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Workwise we tend to replicate this too. There are many pressing issues, but how many of them really matter?
Dr Covey in his book recommends that we try to spend time to prioritise on what really matters to us in life and business for the long term.
For instance if you are too busy to exercise, you may find in a few years time you are 20 stone and your knees have gone – all because the most important wasn’t urgent.
What about your business? You need to spend time marketing and not just on keeping your customers happy or you may find in a year of two you won’t have any customers.
It all makes sense, but what about putting this in action?
These activities are what are known as Quadrant 2, not urgent but the most important for your life. The problem is we spend nearly all our time doing urgent and important, or not urgent and not important like messing about on Facebook.
If we take the time to spend time on the long-term important goals, which all our dreams and ambitions go in, you’ll soon find too that there will be less crises taking us back to the in your face problems.
I’ve been operating this system for the past month and am already finding my life more balanced and efficient. There are grids on the net you can print out too to help implement this incredible system.
It really is worth persevering with and I’d like to go into more detail, but I’ve a flat tyre to contend with. I didn’t say I’m perfect.