When America’s thirty-fourth president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, began his administration, he instructed his aides and his executive assistant that there should be only two stacks of papers placed on his desk in the Oval Office.
The first would be a stack of those things that were urgent, and only the extremely urgent. The other was to be a stack of the important, and only the extremely important.
He said years later that it was interesting to him how rarely the two were one in the same. He was right.
The conflict between the urgent and the important is inescapable. How easy to get the two confused! Staying busy and working hard can make us feel as if we’re managing the important. But that’s not necessarily the case.