Crucial v Not Crucial
We all have "too much to do". True? Sure 'nuf. And that says
a lot of good things about you. That you have "too much to
do" suggests that a lot of people have entrusted much
confidence in you. I mean, people who are drifting about
early each afternoon begging co-workers for something to do,
may not have earned that confidence from others. And this
applies not only in our work lives but in our personal lives
But this creates a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's
great to enjoy the confidence of others. Yet, having "too
much to do" often creates the stresses and distresses that
may reduce your overall productivity.
I divide our responsibilities into two categories: "Crucial"
and "Not Crucial". Crucial items give us the "biggest bang
for the buck" for the time spent and is the most productive
use of our time. It is the logical use of our time. "Not
Crucial" gives us emotional relief. It's doing the little
things, the junk mail, desk dusting and the like, that,
while necessary, do not really advance our daily success
When we accomplish the "Crucial" things in our life we are
doing "business" v "busyness". We are making progress versus
wheel spinning. Have you ever had a day when you were busy
the whole daylong but when you got home that night you knew
you had not accomplished a darn thing? (We can fool the
world sometimes but we cannot fool ourselves.)
Doing the Crucial things builds up our self-esteem and our
motivation level. Ever notice when you've had a really
productive "Crucial" day how that positive momentum carried
forward into your evening hours? You are more inclined to do
the woodworking, spend time with the kids, or work on
hobbies, when you've had a great day. But when you've had
one of those "Not Crucial" days, the motivation and momentum
levels are reduced and when we come home that night, many of
us just want to block out the day with that all important
exercise, "click, click, click", the sound of the TV remote
device, surfing us through a multitude of channels that fail
to grab our interest.
I really believe that most people, intuitively and
instinctively, want to be good time managers. It makes
sense. The better we manage our time, the more results we
will enjoy. It's the logical choice.
So let's say it's the start of your workweek and you have a
lot of "things to do", some of which are "Crucial", some
"Not Crucial". Intuitively and instinctively you and I want
to be good time managers. Therefore, where does our
attention gravitate towards? Do we focus on the "Crucial" or
"Not Crucial" tasks? The "Crucial"? Sure! Logic tells us
that. The more "Crucial" things we do, the more productivity
and success we enjoy.
But, you know what? When given a choice between "Crucial"
and "Not Crucial" items, we will almost always do the "Not
Crucial" items and ignore the "Crucial" items in spite of
the fact that we all want to be productive in our day.
Because we are driven more by emotion rather than logic.
You see the "Crucial" items are typically longer and harder
to accomplish. The "Not Crucial" items are typically more
quick and fun and emotionally satisfying.
We need to get over to the "Crucial" side more often to
increase our personal productivity.
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About the Author
Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
Time Management Seminars
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Stratford, CT 06615
(203) 386-8062 (800) 969-3773
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