Archive for March, 2015

Things that matter most picPriorities:

Becoming clear about our priorities in life is a sign of maturity. Recognizing our daily “To Do” priorities is a sign of a clear thinker. Honoring these priorities is a sign of wisdom.

A wise person is one who thinks ahead, knows what is truly important in life and values him/herself and others in a way that respects those priorities. A wise person does not run around putting out fires. He/she finds out what is creating the fires in the first place and stops the thinking and behaviors that generated those reoccurring problems.

As Peter Drucker says, one must become clear about “What comes first, the compass or the clock? Before one can truly ‘manage time’ (the clock), it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are, and know in which direction you are headed (the compass). Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent, learn to focus on what’s really important.”

This means, you may need to let some of those fires burn! I know, you think you have to put them out and that’s the problem. Because you don’t. If you feel this applies to you, then perhaps it’s time to stop being a stimulus-response machine and get control of yourself, your life and your environment. Let some of those fires burn out. Stop doing what created them in the first place. For example, interruptions are one of the biggest time wasters we have. The average worker gets interrupted 5 times each hour. It takes an average of 5 minutes to handle each interruption and 1 minute to get back on track with what you were doing. This adds up to 30 minutes each hour or 50% of your time!!

So stop looking at each email as it comes in. Set aside two to three times a day to check it and respond appropriately at those times. Have someone hold your calls when you are working on an important project or just don’t answer the phone, take a message and call back. Put a sign on your door stating when you are available to talk and unless it is critical, ask the person to please come back.

Parents, greet your children for 10 minutes or so when you get home after work and then set aside a time that is just “your time” to be together with your spouse when you can talk about the day or be by yourself to unwind. It’s a good idea to have a special, definite location for this “personal time”. Children will soon learn to not interrupt during this time. You will then be refreshed and ready to give them your full attention as they tell you about the sibling squabbles or as you throw a ball in the yard.

These are only a few suggestions that may be appropriate for some of you. The real message is to always think about what is most important and necessary and not allow those things to fall by the wayside as you stop to handle the small stuff that seems important at the time. To determine which is which in your life, ask yourself, “Will this be important in 10 years?” At work ask yourself, “Is what matters the most being replaced by what matters the least?”

Now get back to what you were doing…  🙂


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