Compass vs. Clock – Focusing on Top Priorities

Have you noticed how being busy is not equal to being productive? We’ve all had frustrating days when we’ve felt incredibly busy but had nothing to show for it. Equally frustrating are the days when we’re caught up in urgent matters and accomplish a lot, only to realize that we’d spent our day in meaningless pursuits. Urgent does not always equal important.

We all have things we want to accomplish for others, and ourselves—but when we cut out time for work, appointments, and other interruptions, the precious time we have remaining is scarce.

Consider the following two mindsets and how they differ: Ineffective – “I put urgent things first.” Effective – “I put important things first.”

Effectiveness requires the integrity to act on your priorities. If we can manage this, the results are much more validating. True effectiveness leads to increased organization and productivity, fewer crises, a reputation for follow-through, more life balance, and peace of mind.

It sounds like a lot of manage, but here is an analogy that can help you keep the right perspective. Contemplate the difference between a clock and a compass. What are their purposes? The clock represents your appointments, schedule, and activities – how you manage your time. The compass represents your mission, direction, and values – what you feel matters most. Although they are both important tools, the compass must come before the clock, because where you’re headed is more important than how fast you’re getting there.

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