Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Critical Sense of Non-Urgency

This weekend I was kind of studying for my final Marriage and Family Therapy test before licensure, but mostly debating whether or not to attempt going to Nashville to take the test on Monday. It became obvious I would not be taking the test when I-40 was still shut down 5 different places between here and there at 9 PM on Sunday night.

Having already been approved for PTO, it also became increasingly obvious how much I would not be going to my job. So, we just slept in and had a day of fun. You may be thinking a day of fun means a Farris Buehler's Day Off re-enactment scenario, but it actually turned out to be a day where we cleaned some junk out of our house and found enough stuff to host a decent garage sell. The only thing that could have made it better was having an epiphany and realizing how to make Windows 7 better, so it could have been my idea.

This led me to educate my wife on the idea in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey of spending more time in the important/not urgent quadrant. When I say educate my wife, I mean telling her an idea I really need to tell myself, but doing it in such a way to protect my pride. I didn't go to "man school" for nothing!

Hanging out in the important/not urgent quadrant for a day is a lot of fun. Getting rid of junk and papers now and knowing someday we'll be moving without them produces a nice feeling. I've found dealing with junk and excess stuff when in the important/urgent quadrant produces a less desirable feeling and increases the chance of profanity.

I encourage us all to take time for the important/not urgent stuff in our lives. It is usually easy to notice what this stuff is, because we've been consciously avoiding it--the messy desk, the continuing education courses, an oil change in the car, the date we promised our spouse, etc. Careful, though, because time in this quadrant can be addictive, and can even lead to wonderful things such as taking steps towards a better career, better health, and better relationships. Of course this is all confusing because we say these are the urgent and important things, but live lives that are too busy to focus on them. Don't worry if you can't do this, because I've found if I wait long enough, an illness or a threat of loss will bring these things back into focus every single time!


  1. Needed that. Time to take advantage of my no show.

  2. What was going on with I-40? I'm out of the loop. Is there a big party planned for after the last test?

  3. Record rains and serious flooding in Nashville...over 20 inches of rain in two days in some places. Several deaths...

    No big party planned after the test, but we'll eat somewhere good in Nashville.