- Steven Sutton, LCSW
Urgent Tasks vs. Important Tasks
Part of overcoming procrastination is being able to clearly distinguish between urgent tasks that aren’t important, and important tasks that aren’t urgent. You may already know some things in your life that you would really love do — important things — that you never seem to have time to work on. Or perhaps those important projects feel overwhelming to engage when you consider how many urgent tasks fill your schedule.
Having a reliable sense of your values and the projects in your life that have the most meaning makes life simpler. It also provides critical leverage for overcoming procrastination. I challenge you to begin mentally identifying what activities in your day are important and meaningful and which activities are urgent and largely unimportant. Here’s a test you can use to determine if something is important to you:
Imagine you’re at the end of your life. A loved one asks you what meant the most to you in life, what are you most glad you did. How would you like to answer? What do you aspire to tell them? Will you be glad to tell them you achieved inbox 0 in 2020? Likely not. Those emails might be urgent and answering them may feel important in the moment, but they’re not what matters most in your life. Believe it or not avoiding the most important things in life is one of the ways we perpetuate procrastination. The first step towards correcting that cycle is to get sensitive to things in your life that matter most. Start identifying them for yourself this week.
If you’re interested in taking the next step towards using what you learn to improve your life, consider joining Growing Out of Procrastination. We’re going to explore this and many other concepts in more detail. It will be fun and challenging work. You’ll lean how to use specific tools to leverage what you lean about what matters most to you to begin fueling a way of life that is more engaged, more consistent, and more in touch with earned joy and leisure.
Check it out and join us!