24 measly hours in a day divided up among competing priorities and initiatives that always seem to need more time than we have available. The joys of modern life seem to have ever-increasing demands of our time and attention without giving us the full reward of our efforts. I know this is starting off like a bit of a rant or whining, but I need to constantly remind myself that I need to find time to do everything.
But what is everything? That is really the issue as I see it. I need to do everything that is important and not do anything that is not important. Many people I speak with seem stuck in the position that everything is important. I laugh and scoff at the concept that everything is important and must or should be done.
Probably, one of the biggest challenges we must all overcome is the idea that everything is important. This goes from personal life all the way through professional life. Items that are urgent but are impossible to get done, do not seem to sink the ship for bring our lives to ruin. When that is the case, I really have to challenge the idea if that particular action was important. Obviously, there are items that are truly important that have dire consequences if not completed promptly and accurately. However, I would propose these make up the smallest set of tasks and activities we work on with any regularity. Modern life is busy, but that does not mean it is focused on the right things or even productive.
As a personal and professional leader, it is part of my responsibility to help determine what “everything” really consists of and understand its relative priority rank. I think a lot of people also miss the point when they believe that only tasks or activities that drive to a specific goal are important. If we do not take the time to rest and recuperate, then we will BURN OUT and never create things of long-term value. Socialization, relationship building, and experiencing new things in many ways is just as important as getting core goal-driven tasks done. If we do not invest in each other and build the solid personal and professional relationships, then we will have a very difficult time achieving success in tactical goal execution.
So take the time to determine what “everything” is and then find the time to get everything done. Just do not fall in for the trap that everything is important.