I think the busy we each feel today primarily comes from our legacy of treating everything as being urgent. We have bought into the legacy thinking that if it is urgent, it is important to our future. We have bought into the legacy thinking that to be responsive we must treat everything as urgent. We have bought into the legacy thinking that if we are working on urgent things, we are important and valued. We have bought into the legacy thinking that learning to handle urgent things is a competency that makes us feel good.
We might be hooked on the dopamine boost we feel in handling urgent things. (That’s why we can’t put our smart phones down, it gives us a shot of dopamine regularly.)
Why aren’t we focusing more on important things that provide a brighter future? New business models? New services? Anticipatory insights? The certification we need? New skills? The advanced degree?
The number one reason—it’s hard! It takes courage as it requires us to face inconvenient truths and new risks. It’s outside of our comfort zone and so uncertain. Or it just doesn’t appear as urgent. We could go on.
Let’s get some focus around what’s important—this is what great organizations and individuals do. It separates us from average and typical. We will get double shots of dopamine when we get the important done.
The bottom line is that it takes uncommon discipline to fight the clouds of busy to see the important things for our future.