Dwight D. Eisenhower was a five star general, and served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War 2. He later became President of the United States and served during a tumultuous time in our history as a nation. If anyone knew something about handling time effectively it was Ike. He once famously said, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” Those are pretty amazing words for someone who both oversaw a multi-nation campaign in Europe during a world war and a government transitioning to become a world power. As we begin to form a rule of life, we would be wise to heed Ike’s wisdom.
None of us live our lives in a vacuum. There are countless voices competing for our time and attention. The difference between a life of purpose and a life spent chasing our tails will depend upon which voices we listen to. The things and people that are most important to us should command the best of our attention, energy, and time. It seems like a simple thought, but it’s not always an easy thing to execute. Urgent demands, important or not, can often distract us from what we value the most.
Here are a couple of questions to carry with you this week as we think about what is urgent and what is important:
Are there things/people/tasks that you believe are important to you that do not get the time they deserve in your week?
Are you ever tempted to address “urgent” requests just to get someone to leave you alone?