Putting the important before the urgent

Putting the important before the urgent

I’m currently on deadline – on top of my usual workload – but while reflecting on what I’ve managed to do today, I came to the realisation that I hadn’t done very much at all.

Sure, I spent a good couple of hours finishing a novel, followed by some time spent colouring in and sticking stickers with Bean, but I didn’t manage to clear my inbox or do any of the invoices I’d planned for this morning. I called my dad for a much-needed catch-up session, then Beanie and I planted our Checkers Little Garden plants. I had coffee with my mama, and sent countless voice notes to two of my nearest and dearest. I did some journaling, and meditated… all the while promising myself that I’d sit down and do some ‘proper work’ next.

It was while taking some time out to focus on me, that it hit me: this is the real work! What could be more important than spending quality time with my son, connecting with my people, and doing something that brings me joy? Don’t get me wrong: work is important, and we all need to make money – but it’s also ok to close your laptop and spend some time focusing on the really important things sometimes. Things like your family, your friends, making (and eating) a really wholesome meal, going for a walk on the beach or in the park… and finally finishing that novel.

I’ve come across the idea of ticking the most important tasks off your to-do list before completing the more urgent ones countless times before, but it wasn’t until today that I really understood what this meant. While berating myself for taking 10 minutes out of my day to do a guided meditation (when I really ought to be writing), I realised that while my deadline is urgent, my mental health is certainly more important. Not to mention that I’m much calmer and feel so much more alert now that I’ve finished meditating!

So here’s a little reminder: look at your to-do list for today, then highlight the most important things on your list and do those first. They may not be the most pressing or urgent matters at hand, but these are the things that will contribute to your future success and happiness in the long run. (Why not leave a comment telling me what your most important task for today is while you’re at it? I’d love to know!)