October Reading Recs: Urgent v. Important


It is never been easier to stay perpetually busy, while never get anything done. The default state that most of us live in nowadays is simply responding to whatever is right in front of us or screaming the loudest.

We’re on “the urgent treadmill.”

  • Respond to emails.
  • Respond to texts.
  • Respond to Instagram DMs, Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, etc.
  • Attend meetings and calls.
  • More phone calls.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

Sound familiar? Before you know it, you’ve spent your entire week putting out fires, responding to emails and attending meetings. You have virtually nothing to show for it except maybe sleep deprivation.

Prioritizing urgent tasks can even feel good in the moment. You’re living fully in reactive mode. It can even be an ego boost. It feels good to feel needed or counted upon. Plus, responding in real-time comes with a healthy dose of instant gratification especially around checking and responding to social media.

On the contrary, the most important tasks are almost never the urgent ones. These are the tasks that tie back to your mission, vision or long term goals. They require you to think deeply, get uncomfortable and do the hard work.

So how do you learn to put aside the urgent and make time for the important work? That’s the theme for this month’s newsletter.

What are you reading right now? Drop me an email, and let me know. The only thing I love more than reading is getting thoughtful recommendations for what I should read next.

*An earlier version of this post went out to my email subscribers. If you want to get first dibs on what I’m reading and the occasional update (I never send more than 2 emails per month), sign up here.

About the author

Jessica Malnik

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