For many of us, our work consists of a series of “urgencies”. Line them up and knock them out. Empty the inbox, write that article/sermon, get on that Zoom meeting, make the deadline.

In the beginning weeks of 2021, what if we used the time to move “system deficiencies” in the way we do things from the later pile to the it’s essential to do this right now pile?

Improving a system (how you operate) returns our effort many times over.

Dig deep into your communication rhythms. Figure out the priority list. Quit the tasks that are holding you back. Walk away from dead ends. Add rigor to your processes. Understand the difference between the things that feel urgent and those that are truly important.

None of this works if you simply do it temporarily. The point is to create and fix systems with finality. Identify projects that your team/lay people will do instead of you and then never do them again. Reorganize your approach and then stick with it.

In any given moment, an urgency that feels like an emergency gives us the permission to abandon our systems and simply dive in and fix it, as only we can. And this permission is precisely why we get stuck, exactly why the next urgency is likely to appear again soon!

Resolutions don’t work. Habits and systems do work.

Many of us are so stuck on the short-cycles of urgency that it’s difficult to even imagine changing the longer-term of how we operate.

Incredibly, this focused approach might be the single most effective work we do all year!

John V. Clark, President/Partner
The James Company
(815) 353-8997