You know the feeling when you get to the end of your day and you’ve been busy as all get out (whatever that means) and you’re exhausted? You’re fully spent, and feeling like it. You didn’t stop, working through lunch and it’s now past dinnertime.
After all that effort expended, you review your accomplishments. What did I do all day? Then you realize you haven’t done a lick of what you needed to do. While every moment was taken, consumed with good things, they prevented you from tackling the important things. In doing so, you never got to the things that really mattered. How does this happen?
Tim Fargo wrote about it in his blog entitled, The Tyranny of Distraction, where the small things are the weeds in his garden of goals. Left alone, you will harvest the weeds instead of the goals you achieved. It’s a short read and worth it.
Stephen Covey illustrated the idea by showing how sand occupies the space where the big rocks should go in a short video entitled, Charles’ Dilemma. Rocks first; then the sand. Take a couple of minutes and view it.
The lesson isn’t complicated and nothing you don’t already know. Yet it’s so easy to succumb to email, notes, calls and other interruptions and distractions that ultimately rob us of pursuing more important things.
This week, don’t let yourself be consumed and overrun with weeds and sand. Determine what you want your week to be and then fight diligently to keep focused and on track. Be clear about what you want at the end in terms of accomplishments and progress.
Here’s the bonus question: How do you want to set up the following week, having completed what you will this week? Now you’re really ahead of the curve, planning and anticipating like your work and your life matter. Because they do.