Filtering The Urgent Stuff From The Important Stuff

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I had been warned over and over before my baby arrived. I would no longer have free time. I thought I knew what that meant but visibly, I had underestimated how true it is. Days fly by at work, when I get home I spend time with my family until the little one goes to bed. Then, I have about 1 or 2 hours at most to do everything else. The problem? I used to have 3 or 4 hours and never wondered what to do with my free time. The same concept applies to weekends, probably even worse.

Challenging To Get Things Done

I know that some things need to be my top priorities (aside from the obvious time with my family which is #1)… among them are:

  • being able to make solid progress on my internet business
  • sleep enough to feel rested and full of energy
  • try to do sports 2-3 times/week (running, tennis, etc)
  • eat well
  • learn Vietnamese
  • be able to keep in touch with family but also friends from school, from trips, etc.

Those are things that are critical.

Why I’m Not Making Progress

I feel like I never am able to make progress on those, or enough of it. Why? Because there’s always something else that needs to be done;

  • paying bills
  • fixing something in the house
  • cleaning
  • taking care of my todo list
  • answering emails
  • etc.

All of those must be done of course but they’re all what I would consider “urgent” stuff. I see emails or text messages coming in or get asked to do something by my wife or parents and I’ll try to do it asap. The problem is that if I wait until there’s nothing “urgent” to do, I’ll never get to do “priorities”

My New Strategy

I’m now trying to go back to something that’s worked very well in the past. Setting aside specific time frames to work on these priorities while moving down the “urgent” stuff in other periods. For example, every Tuesday evening I play tennis. Every Sunday morning, I’ll try to work on my websites, etc.

Also, I’m having a hard time setting realistic goals when it comes to personal things or relationships. For example, I judged that I didn’t make enough progress in regards with staying in touch with family and friends. But how do you evaluate this matter in an objective manner? Some friends set goals like: 1 couple dinner per month, 1 friends dinner per month, 1 family reunion per month and so on. Maybe I should set-up this type of goals as well so I can measure results easily.

This new strategy asks for a lot of discipline though, which can get tiring after a while. This is why I think we should consider adding “free time” in our schedule. Keeping Monday night to do simply nothing other than the potato couch! ;-) It does seem impossible for me to reach that for now though!

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What about you? What are your strategies to actually get those critical things done? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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