Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was quite a guy – scientist, artist, author, politician, and more. He is well known for some famous quotations. Today, I share one of them. This quotation is obvious and everyone will nod in agreement, yet far too often, far too few of us live in this manner.
Questions to Ponder
– How much time do I spend on things that matter least?
– How well do I prioritize things in my life?
– What things get mis-prioritized in my life?
1. Get a clear list of priorities (write them down).
2. Plan your actions against that list.
3. Review your progress regularly.
4. Take my productivity survey to better understand the choices you are making now (and qualify for a free gift).
The idea/admonishment here applies to everyone. And while we intuitively know that this is true, too many people ignore this wisdom where it really matters – in their daily actions. As a husband, friend, achiever, and human being, this idea captures me and in many cases convicts me. Yet as a leader (and parent), it takes on an even more important role. It is one thing when we don’t do a great job of prioritizing for ourselves. But as a leader, others are watching, and they are taking our actions as their clue to the relative importance and priority of things. So our “things that matter least” that get done, become the “things that matter most” to those we lead (and parent).
As leaders too, if we aren’t working on the important things regularly and consistently, we can’t (and therefore our teams and organizations can’t) achieve what we are capable of and need to achieve.
Know what matters and why, and make sure your time is being spent accordingly.