A wise manager sarcastically quipped:

“Whenever there’s a difficult job to do, … any distraction is welcome!”  

That actually captures something I learned in high school.  I would read assigned homework at 5 words a minute, but taking a break from homework, read material of my choosing at 500 words per minute.  “The dog ate it’, was the reply I was tempted with when asked by the teacher about my homework the next day.  As I fell further behind and had yet another fire to put out.
image001The lesson learned was not to confuse activity with accomplishment.  Just because we’re busy managing crises with ‘hair on fire’ does not have any bearing on whether we’re making meaningful progress on what matters most for our projects, businesses and lives.

President Eisenhower expounded on this topic with his decision matrix on “How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life.”
He commented, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”  Read the full story over at Art of Manliness and see if this rings true for you.

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