Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mistaking what is Urgent for what is Important

How often do distractions get in the way of achieving long-term goals?


Yesterday, something reminded me of this post on Willpower that I wrote earlier this year. It was singularly inspired by a podcast titled The Science of Willpower thanks to KQED public radio.

In the aforementioned podcast, one of the guests speaks about how we often submit to the attention of urgent things, and thus get distracted from the more important things we ought to be focused on.
In hindsight, the urgent matters that keep distracting us may in fact be important in their own right, but not that important.

It is a failure to stick to what's important, and often taking time to other "urgent" matters that routinely slows or ultimately prevents us from achieving long term goals. Your priorities may in fact be right, but what you keep doing that takes you away from an important task makes a big difference in the end.

The solution is rather easy (I mean easy to say than to do) - delaying gratification.

Here's the KQED Science of Willpower podcast once again:

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