This week’s tip had me pondering what this really means: Paying attention to what is important vs urgent.
A simple google search revealed:
Important activities have an outcome that leads to us achieving our goals, whether these are professional or personal. Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals.
As a mom, taking care of what is urgent is often what is most important.
And so to differentiate between the two, first left me puzzled.
What in my daily life is truly urgent?
- the toilet bowl overflowing
- leaking roof
- brown water coming out the sink, or no water
- septic tank backing up into the yard
- tree falls down across the road blocking your path
- water coming out of the hall light fixture
- heavy snow falling and accumulating on your path home from work when you are 90 miles away
- son falls off his bike and gets hurt
- husband’s sudden neck/ back pain or elevated blood pressure
- daughter’s car won’t start
- son’s girlfriend broke up with him
- teenager gets in car accident
- picking up a tearful child from their friend’s house
- child’s total meltdown in a store while you are at work
- outside cat found lifeless on the road
- dog gets into rat poison
- dog eats a roach trap
- dog dislocated her hip
- dog gets bit by another dog
More than half my list is rescuing children or pets and most of the others are house emergencies.
Yes, all those things have happened in my life.
I had to stop myself from continuing the list remembering the point I was making.
I guess the challenge is not to do what is important before what is urgent but to look at how we spend our time and to make important things a priority. Sure, when the toilet overflows or your teen calls and tells you they have been in a car accident, you must stop what you are doing and immediately take care of the urgent situation. You can also take time to reflect on priorities and write out your goals including weekly goals as well as those you intend to achieve in 3 or 5 years.
What is truly important in my life?
- facilitating my children’s education
- my relationship with my children
- my relationship with my spouse
- making time to write
- writing my book
- taking care of my health
- my family
- my children’s emotional, physical and mental health
As I was about to type nurturing myself, my cat climbed into my lap. My instinct was to type, sitting with my cat, but as I paused I realized caring for my pets not only benefits them, but also qualifies as nurturing myself.
I invite you to make your own list. What is urgent in your life and what is truly important?