Working on a Dream




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The 30-Hour Day

Have you ever wished for a 30 hour day?

Imagine all of the extra time to fulfill those loose ends that keep on building up around you.
-----Like that pile of laundry that is hitting your ceiling.
--------------Like those books that are sitting next to my bed.
-----------------Like those letters that needed sent out yesterday still sitting on your desk.

But would more hours really mean more productivity? 
I think not. 
If we are honest with ourselves, I am sure we would all find a way to fill those extra hours with more of the same unnecessary things we do now.  This is why Lord Chesterfield stated, "If you take care of the minutes the hours will take care of themselves."   

I came across a piece of advice years ago that has transformed how I utilize my time. 
It is called the "Tyranny of the Urgent."  The basic idea is as follows:
"You cannot let the urgent things crowd out the important."

---Simple, yet powerful advice.

I cannot tell you how many times I am trying to accomplish something important and magically I find myself involved in some type of nonsense. 
-Time to clip my toe nails.
-Time to catch up on my 1,320 Facebook friends.
-Time to perform an intense research study on the cast of "My so called Life."

This is why I adhere to the 11th Commandment of time management,"Do not leave undone those things which you ought to have done; or you will have done those things which you ought not have done."  (forgive me for not sharing a simpler 11th commandment) 
With this in mind, everyday when I walk into work I have a list of the important items that I need to accomplish.  Then I work feverishly to accomplish that list and by the end of most days I do.  This method helps me sift through what is necessary and what is not.  In short, I have to be intentional about fighting the tyranny of the urgent because I know that without a plan, the seemingly urgent things will find a way to creep in and take over my life. 

I have found the diagram below as a helpful tool to help decide what is urgent and what is not.  I hope it can help you too!

Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity,
because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15

What about you? 
-Do you have any time saving techniques that has helped you battle the Tyranny of the Urgent that you could share with the rest of us?


Courtney Hilliard said...

Do you really have 1,320 facebook friends?

Anthony K said...

1,139 I guess I added some to make myself feel popular.

Courtney Hilliard said...

WHAT??? I thought that was just some exaggerated number you came up with to make a point. You really are a popular guy. Like famous!

Patrick McIntosh said...

This is what I needed today. Been chasin my tail. Gonna use the diagram. Thanks!