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Focus on the Important Rather than the Urgent

Focus on the Important Rather than the Urgent – by Sal Celly

Good morning, everyone. Hope you’re having an awesome day and a great week ahead. Today I want to discuss about the urgent versus the important. We all have very busy lives. And there are multiple demands that are placed on us and our time, at home, at work with the kids, with our spouses, our families, our managers, our bosses, our leaders, our employees. Sometimes we get so caught up in busy work that we forget to invest the time where it really matters. That is why it is critical to distinguish between the important rather than the urgent and then to focus on the important rather than the urgent.

Multiple Fires Creating Urgency

There are going to be multiple fires that we will have to deal with. They come up every hour, every day, every week, and every month. And while we need to attend to those, what about the long term goals, and the long term areas of opportunity and growth that we know that we need to focus on. If we are so busy running around, like headless chickens, trying to put down fires, and try to fix somebody else’s mistakes and screw ups, we have absolutely no time left to do what is really important, which is either investing in ourselves, investing in the relationships that matter. learning a new skill, expanding your horizon, changing your attitudes, and increasing your faith. Those are all important things.

I’m not here to tell you what is important and what is urgent, you know that already. What I am saying here is that prioritize the important over the urgent. If the urgent doesn’t get done, yes, there will be a few issues but nobody dies because of that. On the other hand, if you don’t take the time to invest in the important, you will regret not having done that. The last thing you want to do is when you grow old, and you look back at your life, and you have a feeling of regret, rather than a feeling of accomplishment, you have a feeling of remorse rather than joy. And the reason for that is because you never had the time or you never took the time or you never made the time to invest in what was important to you and to others.

Impact of Wrong Focus

Let me give you an example. Many of you know that over the last 30 years, I’ve been focusing on sales and business development and technology. A lot of my roles required a lot of traveling and visiting customers and building our teams etc. As a result of that, a lot of times I was away from home, not having the time to spend with my kids and with my wife and do the things that are important-attending their graduation, from grade five to grade six, or when my daughter was finishing elementary school and moving to middle school, or when my son had soccer practice, or when my daughter had a swimming meet, or parent teacher conference. I mean, the list goes on and on. Right? What happened as a result of my attending my work and prioritizing that over the other important areas that I was neglecting.

Well, very simple. It never got done. So I missed out on those activities-I missed out on the ball games, I missed out on the simple things in life which are so important yet give us the most pleasure. So I had to make a choice. I had to take a call and see if if that was what I was going to continue to do. Or if I needed to refocus and reprioritize and change a few things.  Many times God shows us the path. God puts us in situations that when we look back we realize why we were in those situations?

Impact of Re-prioritization

In my case, I did reprioritize. I did adjust. And today I can confidently say that I’m a lot happier. And I’m leading a more balanced and fulfilled life. Was it easy? No. Did I struggle with letting go of the past and what I was used to doing, and adopting the new? Absolutely. Was a difficult-yes? Was it worth it? No question. Did I know all the steps to go from step one to step 10? No, I did not. Did I figure some things along the way? Yes. Did some people closest to me help me figure that out? Yes. Did some people closest to me, lead me on the wrong path? Yes. Was God there to show me the direction? Yes.

That’s the key folks. Take the first step. Have faith in yourself, have faith in God, trust in Him. And He will show you the right path. Focus on the urgent and you will continue doing what you’re doing. Focus on the important and you will see the difference in yourself and as a result, in the lives of people closest to you. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters. It’s not how much money you have or how many properties you have, or how many fancy cars you have or how many boats you have or how many toys you have- none of that matters. What matters is, are you happy? Are the people closest to you happy? Are you engaged in their lives? Are you thriving versus living? That’s what matters. Are you doing good? That’s what matters. Are you helping others that are less fortunate? If God has put you in a position, do something with it. Help other folks that are less fortunate? Make a difference.

Trust me when you do that, you will be so much happier. You will be so much more at peace. And that’s what makes the difference. The choice is yours. You can focus on the urgent or you can focus on the important. Let me know what your thoughts are. Hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks.


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