The fire drills…
You know. Those are the times when something because so urgent that your focus is entirely on that task, possibly to the exclusion of other more important items in your life.
Your brain get hijacked and you get on the truck, put on the siren and careen out of whatever space you had been occupying. You are going so fast that you do not even notice the passing landscape of upset people, undone tasks and missed appointments. You are so focused on that “thing” that seems so important that everything is a blur.
Sometimes, when I am in this mode, which some call hyperfocus, I really enjoy it. Especially when it involves a creative project that is important to me, like building my membership site, I really like being in this space.
It is even better when I have consciously made the choice to “keep the world at bay,” and I do not have to experience any negative consequences from my decision.
To Switch Gears or Not, That is The Question
Many of my clients, however, tell me of times when they felt like they had no choice, but to grab the ladder and swing out of the station. That is, something seemed so urgent that they felt like they had to attend to it right away.
How do you know if it is really urgent or not?
When something feels urgent, I find that asking myself the following questions helps:
1. Do I need to do this right now?
If the answer is “no,” ask yourself question #4.
If you are unsure, ask yourself questions #2 and #3.
2. What would happen if I did not do it right now?
If you decide that it is really not a mission critical task, ask yourself question #4.
3. What would happen, if I put it off a few hours, days etc.?
If you think the negative consequences would not be serious, ask yourself question #4.
4. Do I have a more important task or commitment to attend to right now?
If the answer is, “yes”, then you have a choice to make based on what is most important to you.
When It is Not Urgent, Now What?
Sometimes you may feel that, if you do not attend to something as soon as it pops into your head, you will forget.
If it is not urgent, but will only take just a few minutes and you really do have the time, it may be a good idea to do it in the moment. Then you will not have to add to your long list of tasks.
If you determine that it is not urgent and/or you have other more important commitments or tasks, then use one of your reliable tools to help you remember to do it. See last week’s article, Do You Know How To Prevent Overwhelm? for more information about trusted tools to help you remember what is important to you.
What If It is Urgent?
Sometimes it is true, something comes up and you really do need to attend to it right away.
Even when you have done your best to track your task and appointments, inevitably, you are going to miss things. Other times, emergencies are going to arise that you could not have reasonable anticipated.
In these cases, of course, it is best to take care of missed appointments and tasks as soon as you can, including offering apologies.
But I hope that you do not beat yourself up for the unintended consequences.