I attended a meeting recently and a colleague of mine made the statement, “Sometimes you have to set aside the urgent for the important.” Immediately, I was stuck on that thought.
Frankly, I got so stuck, I mentally missed most of the meeting. I kept thinking, how can something non-life threatening be so urgent that you would overlook what’s important? I always just assumed one would know what is important — family, doing the right things, sound business principals, etc. What could be so urgent that we would not pay attention to those things?
Possibly one answer might come from a recent experience I had at home. Mrs. Shriber asked me to change the channel on the TV. Pretty simple, right? Well, not so. We have two remotes, one for the TV and one for the cable. I picked up the one for what I thought was the cable (she asked to change the TV but I was smart enough to know you have to change channels on the cable box) but it was the wrong one and now I was staring at a black screen. I quickly grabbed the other one, but because I was now on the wrong channel on the TV, I got nothing.
Of course, you know the drill. I finally got it right and tried to figure out what went awry. It’s simple. I just need to program the devices all to one remote. Have you tried to do this? First, you need the instructions. If you lost those, it’s off to the Internet to try to find those. Then, you need codes and all sorts of other processes to get everything synced up. The end result is, maybe it works and you are out about two hours. This is why I still have two remotes. I am setting aside the important (installing all equipment to work properly) for the urgent (watching the program NOW!)
Our world is full of things to make our lives more interesting and easier. The trouble is we all have one thing in common. There are only 24 hours in a day. That is finite for everyone. All this great technology and its subsequent complications take time. None of us have enough time. Unfortunately, the important stuff takes time too.
I hate to present a problem without a solution, so here is my best shot: Our everyday business functions have become so complicated and intense, that we sometimes or never take time to focus on the long-term/important matters. We must set aside time to focus on more than just the immediately urgent. If we don’t, we will become consumed by the day-to-day and never accomplish those things we all know are important.