Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Does Ruthless Focus and Time Management Require you to Care Less?

After a week’s holiday relaxing, thinking and practicing my knowledge management, I think I’ve come to a conclusion; albeit one I’ve reached before.

I’ve always had moments of clarity in my productivity when I’ve felt like I had the meaning of life (in a productivity sense :-) at my fingertips.

These moments mainly occur when a project or task which is primarily very important suddenly becomes more urgent. At these points in time I find I am very clear about what I should be spending my time on.

The reasons for this are clear. You are given some set of priorities by external events that you internally agree with (Covey’s Important and Urgent align).

What is very interesting is how my relationship changes with the other ‘previously-prioritized’ items in my life. Firstly, their importance fades away. So far: so obvious. But here’s the fascinating observation to me. It’s as though they never were important. The clarity I have is remarkable in that I see the other non-important items for what they are. Their true lack of importance or lower priority is suddenly obvious.

So what happens when this isn’t the case? When there isn’t a sudden important/urgent. I personally find that the noise of tasks and actions all merges into one. The general stress of ‘to-do’ completion drowns some of my ability to prioritize more subtley. But more importantly, my barriers to the entry of the tasks that I’m not due to be focussing on at that point in time seem so much lower.

The working solution for me? I’m going to trial out a bit of bloody-minded ignorance. Let me act as if I were always in those moments of transparency, and see where that gets me……

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