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  • Writer's pictureMichael Barrett

Four Minute Friday #2 - Prioritising, Essentialism & New X Banner

The Balance Between: "The Urgent" and "The Important".


We've all been there, a quick (one time) trade-off now to solve something urgent. Only you find yourself making the same (one time) trade-off the next day.


Attending to the urgent over the important is the path of least resistance at any single snapshot of time.


Once or twice isn't likely to have a detrimental impact but this is why we must consider the decision within the context of time.


The critical question is: If I continue to make this same decision into the future, will I create more or less of what I want?


The cost of attending to the urgent over the important is only due for payment in the future. Compound interest is applied to the cost as you continue to make the same decision.


There's three parts to this:

1. Orientation

A clear intention of where to direct your efforts is required before the important and urgent can be designated.

2. Conflicting agendas

If you're not discerning, you will be recruited into both the important and urgent agendas of others around you. Of course, help if you can, but don't lose sight of the broader impact and cost of this choice.

3. Time

While it's true that the present moment is all that exists.

We can not remove our actions in a single moment from the context of time.


Unless you die while sleeping tonight, tomorrow morning, you will be dealing with the effects of what you did today. There's no escape.


Once in a while you can down a coffee, mask the hangover and get away with it, however this won't work for long.

Of course this isn't binary, attending only to the important to the exclusion of the urgent can result in it's own set of problems. However, it stands true, the more you live on the wrong side of time, the bigger the debt delayed to the future.


If you're content with your current state of life, you have for now, more leeway in taking the short term path of least resistance.

If you're not content with your current life, you know what to do.




Book Review: Essentialism - Greg McKeown


In light of the theme from above, this book ties in nicely.


This book is for anyone seeking to live a more intentional and fulfilling life. McKeown argues that the key to success and happiness is not doing more, but doing less - and doing it better. He encourages us to identify the few things that truly matter in our lives, and eliminate everything else.

McKeown offers a fresh perspective on the age-old question of how to live a meaningful life. He draws on insights from philosophy, psychology, and business, to create a compelling case for the power of focus and simplicity. Through practical tips and real-life examples, he shows us how to cut through the noise of modern life, and achieve greater clarity, purpose, and impact.

Here are three takeaways that really struck me while reading "Essentialism":

  1. The power of saying "no" - McKeown emphasises the importance of setting clear boundaries and saying "no" to requests and distractions that don't align with our priorities. This can be challenging, but it's crucial if we want to live a more intentional life.

  2. The myth of "having it all" - McKeown debunks the notion that we can "have it all" in life, and encourages us to focus on the few things that truly matter. By doing so, we can achieve greater success and fulfillment in the areas that are most important to us.

  3. The importance of rest and reflection - McKeown reminds us that rest and reflection are essential components of a fulfilling life. Taking time to recharge and reflect can help us gain clarity and perspective on what truly matters.

"Essentialism" is a valuable resource for anyone navigating change in their life. Whether you're facing a major transition, have just been sideswiped or simply seeking to live a more intentional life, McKeown's insights can help guide you. By identifying your priorities and focusing your time and energy on what truly matters, you can navigate change with greater clarity and purpose. Additionally, the practical tips and strategies in the book can help you reduce overwhelm and increase productivity, making it easier to stay focused and productive during times of change.




My New Twitter Banner (or X to be more accurate).

Ties in nicely with this week's theme.



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