Crucial v Not Crucial
We all have "too much to do". True? Sure 'nuf. And that says a
lot of good things about you. That you have "too much to do"
suggests that a lot of people have entrusted much confidence in
you. I mean, people who are drifting about early each afternoon
begging co-workers for something to do, may not have earned that
confidence from others. And this applies not only in our work
lives but in our personal lives as well.
But this creates a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's
great to enjoy the confidence of others. Yet, having "too much
to do" often creates the stresses and distresses that may reduce
your overall productivity.
I divide our responsibilities into two categories: "Crucial" and
"Not Crucial". Crucial items give us the "biggest bang for the
buck" for the time spent and is the most productive use of our
time. It is the logical use of our time. "Not Crucial" gives us
emotional relief. It's doing the little things, the junk mail,
desk dusting and the like, that, while necessary, do not really
advance our daily success very much.
When we accomplish the "Crucial" things in our life we are doing
"business" v "busyness". We are making progress versus wheel
spinning. Have you ever had a day when you were busy the whole
daylong but when you got home that night you knew you had not
accomplished a darn thing? (We can fool the world sometimes but
we cannot fool ourselves.)
Doing the Crucial things builds up our self-esteem and our
motivation level. Ever notice when you've had a really
productive "Crucial" day how that positive momentum carried
forward into your evening hours? You are more inclined to do the
woodworking, spend time with the kids, or work on hobbies, when
you've had a great day. But when you've had one of those "Not
Crucial" days, the motivation and momentum levels are reduced
and when we come home that night, many of us just want to block
out the day with that all important exercise, "click, click,
click", the sound of the TV remote device, surfing us through a
multitude of channels that fail to grab our interest.
I really believe that most people, intuitively and
instinctively, want to be good time managers. It makes sense.
The better we manage our time, the more results we will enjoy.
It's the logical choice.
So let's say it's the start of your workweek and you have a lot
of "things to do", some of which are "Crucial", some "Not
Crucial". Intuitively and instinctively you and I want to be
good time managers. Therefore, where does our attention
gravitate towards? Do we focus on the "Crucial" or "Not Crucial"
tasks? The "Crucial"? Sure! Logic tells us that. The more
"Crucial" things we do, the more productivity and success we
But, you know what? When given a choice between "Crucial" and
"Not Crucial" items, we will almost always do the "Not Crucial"
items and ignore the "Crucial" items in spite of the fact that
we all want to be productive in our day.
Because we are driven more by emotion rather than logic.
You see the "Crucial" items are typically longer and harder to
accomplish. The "Not Crucial" items are typically more quick and
fun and emotionally satisfying.
We need to get over to the "Crucial" side more often to increase
our personal productivity.
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