Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Are You Addicted to Urgency?

Are you addicted to urgency? While this may seem like a malady of the 21st century, Stephen R. Covey wrote about it back in 1996 in his book First Things First, and his work was inspired by The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles Hummel published back in 1967. But certainly this addiction to the call of the urgent has become more potent with the advent of the smartphone.

Now we can receive calls and email wherever we are, day or night, not to mention accessing Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and a vast array of apps that keep us up on the weather, news and sports. Our latest hit of information is never more than a click away.

In our recent interview with Elise Roma, general manager for the North East for Franklin Covey, she talked about a new seminar that they have launched called The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity. Roma makes the observation that the number one reason people give for not managing their time wisely is that they have no time – sort of the Catch 22 of the business world.

Roma offered several suggestions to “cure” our urgency addiction:

  1. Since we’re inundated with technology, we need to make it work for us. Having all your sources of information on one device reduces the pressure. When everything is synched to one device, you aren’t missing a vital piece of information you need to do your job efficiently.
  2. Plan you time at the beginning of each week, without technology. Turn away from your computer and other distractions while planning your week. And always leave space in your schedule for the unexpected.
  3. Self-renewal is essential. The Franklin Covey program suggests five sources of renewal: Move, Eat, Sleep, Relax and Connect. While these may seem obvious, doing them is still a challenge for busy executives. Exercise, regular healthy meals, adequate sleep, time for relaxation, and connecting with family, friends, church or other groups can mean survival.
  4. Productivity is not about doing more stuff, but achieving the goals that are important to your job and the success of the company. Many times we need to do less stuff in order to achieve what’s really important in our business and our life.

If you would like to hear the complete interview with Elise Roma, subscribe to the Premium Edition of Soundview Executive Book Summaries, which includes monthly video interviews with top executives speaking to the important topics of our day.


1 Comment so far
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You’ve managed to summarize the 5 Choices in four bullets–seems very productive to me!

It’s a great program. I haven’t listened to your interview yet, but subscribers should definitely check it out. FranklinCovey are also doing a free 2.5-hour “mini” version of the program all over the country, which I really enjoyed.

Comment by Busy Signals

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