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Confronting the Fierce Urgency of Now

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As promised from last week’s post. here is my second (and final for the near future) post on some additional time management techniques as written in a new book I’m working about stress prevention.

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Do the most difficult tasks first: 

Within the confines of your busy schedule, it’s always a good idea to knock out the most difficult tasks during the first part of your day—or I should say during the first part of the day when you know you work best.

Why?

It eliminates the possibility of flirtation with procrastination.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood——it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’”

I could not have said it any better myself and so I won’t even try—thank you Dr. King.

But why else should we take on the most difficult tasks first? It’s a great opportunity to get rid of anxiety and rewrite those invisible scripts in our heads that say we can’t or won’t be able to effectively complete such a demanding and arduous assignment. You’re giving yourself an opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong (even if those naysayers live inside your head) and do something that you, at one point in your life, may have thought was impossible. You will have climbed your proverbial Mount Everest and have lived to tell the tale—and you’ll have the skill and mind-set to complete a similar and maybe even more difficult mission tomorrow.

“To infinity and beyond!”

~ Buzz Lightyear

Postpone irrelevant activities

Remember we talked about, “relevance,” being an optimum way to set S.M.A.R.T goals?

If you have responsibilities and deadlines to hit with an event you’re planning with the social work club on campus this weekend but you also wanted to start taking acrylic painting courses as a new hobby the very same weekend—it’s best to postpone the hobby and manage your responsibility with the social work club first. You might be able to do both, but will you be diluting the quality of work you’ll be putting forth for the social work club?

Obviously each situation and scenario has its own set of circumstances and it’s difficult to speak in hypotheticals but if you have any reservation about taking on a new activity then go back to your goal sheet. If it’s helping you move toward one of your top three goals, then keep it on the schedule. If it’s taking away from the greater good of what you’re trying to achieve, it’s best to eliminate it or postpone it.

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And while there’s a plethora of other time management techniques and more in the book, we’ll leave it there for now. And I’m looking forward to starting on some fresh new topics in the weeks to come!!

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