Urgent or important?
They often compete for your precious time. Charles Hummel noted this over 40 years ago in his little book “Tyranny of the Urgent!” In it he describes the conflict between activities that are urgent and those that are important.
And how often the urgent one wins.
In business it could be the urgent request of your boss or a client preventing you from completing a project on time.
The urgent tying your time – and your schedule – in knots.
And in caregiving?
Caregiving taxes Mary’s organizing skills to the max. Her busy schedule is now jam-packed. And her goal of living her best life seems every day to be more challenging due to increased demands on her time.
From the time Mary gets up in the morning until she goes to sleep at night it often seems as though she moves from one mini-crisis to another. She’s busy giving support and caring for her mother in addition to her job and “regular” family responsibilities.
Mary recently caught herself wishing for just 5 minutes to finish a task before her mother called for help. Help that Mary usually thinks could wait 5 minutes – or more.
How does the urgent in caregiving crowd out the important?
Actually anything you don’t expect often qualifies as urgent and unimportant. Things like –
- Urgent requests for attention,
- Sudden needs for more help with personal care.
Important things need to get done but are not as demanding as urgent. They often include activities helping you recharge, so you can face another crisis. Things like –
- The 20 minute break you need to meditate or pray.
- Relaxing by knitting a few rows on a cap.
- You may also find caring for your own needs and wants pushed to the back as the urgent things demand more and more of your attention.
It’s no wonder your caregiver stress is growing exponentially!
When you’re a caregiver it’s often the one you’re giving care to who has the urgent requests. And because she doesn’t feel well or maybe can’t think clearly, what she thinks is urgent may not be what you think is important.
Oh it may seem important to her. But when you’re trying to multitask, are you finding your “To Do List” expanding rather than shrinking at the end of a hectic busy day?
Losing sight of your goals?
“When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember the original objective was to drain the swamp.” ~ Adage
The important – draining the swamp – is delayed by the urgent – taking care of “alligators.”
Mary recognized herself as someone who was letting the tyranny of the urgent delay meeting her own needs.
Until she found a tool that helps her reconnect with her personal purpose and goals. Now she recognizes that some of the things she originally thought were only urgent, actually are important too.
For example, Mary thought the interruptions from her mother were often urgent to her mother, but not important. Mary now recognizes them as part of her purpose and goal to keep her mother at home as long as possible. So the interruptions are important to Mary. And they’re less frustrating and less stressful than before.
How can you reduce the tyranny of the urgent and reduce your caregiver stress?
* Regularly reconnecting with your caregiving goals and purpose, in addition to your personal goals and purpose.
* Accepting and finding contentment in the present.
* Shifting your focus to positive choices so you can move forward in nurturing yourself.
* Reflecting on your successes and giving thanks for them.
* Recharging yourself at the beginning of each month to start the month inspired.
* Instead of wasting time looking for your To Do List – or recreating it when you can’t find it quickly and easily – keeping it handy and accessible.
Now there’s a powerful tool to help you do all that and more.
For more information go to www.AskDrIna.com/inspirational
And start finding relief from the Tyranny of the Urgent today!
To your healthy caregiving,
Ina Gilmore M.D. (ret.)
“The Knitting Dr.”
P.S. For fastest results go now to www.AskDrIna.com/inspirational.
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider.