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The illusion of urgency

The illusion of urgency
By Ngoiri Migwi • Issue #27 • View online
Hey friends,
I have always argued that many things in life are only as urgent as we make them. Last week, The Morning Brew (my favorite newsletter) wrote about the Trump Slump; which is the apparent notion that since Donald Trump left office and Joe Biden took over, news consumption has significantly declined.
In fact, CNN reports to have lost almost half of its primetime viewership in the key 25–54 demographic in the period between President Biden’s inauguration and March 15. And well… you may have noticed that over the last couple of months you have felt no itch to keep up with US politics or check up on Trump’s twitter profile.
This notion that life can move from seemingly the dramatic House of Cards to just another day in the life is what makes me think that we should assess how we spend our time. More often than not the ever buzzing notifications on our phones are just illusions of urgency. That we need to keep tabs with every event, that we need to respond to a message/email fast enough, that we need to be the first to know of a new song release…However, every few minutes, days, or weeks, those illusions pass and they are replaced by new ones.

Einsenhower Decision Matrix
Einsenhower Decision Matrix

The way I like to think about what things in life I should focus on is through this Eisenhower Decision Matrix. The basic interpretation of the Eisenhower Matrix is that we should DELETE any work that’s not urgent and not important. We should DO stuff that’s urgent and important. We should SCHEDULE stuff that’s important but not urgent. And we should DELEGATE stuff that’s urgent and not important. 
Often, our lives are spent on the 4th quadrant distracted by WhatsApp messages and status, tweet threads and the whole plethora of social media while really the most important tasks in life lie in the green and blue quadrant.(Finishing assignments, Working on a project with a deadline, reading books, building healthy relationships, learning a new skill, exercising).
While having a social life is still important, seemingly reducing how urgent we make it will most definitely create time for more important things in our lives.
Interesting Stuff This Week
Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone
Notes to keep
Here’s the thing: When I stopped instantly reacting to everyone else’s priorities, I got better at making time for the projects I believed were most important—even if they weren’t urgent or nobody was asking for them. 
-Jake Knapp
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