The Urgent Versus the Essential

“If I were to let my life be taken over by what is urgent, I might very well never get around to what is essential.”

That’s a Henri Nouwen quote, taking one tweet to say what I took 9 paragraphs to convey a couple of years ago.

Sometimes I feel like a one-string fiddle when it comes to this topic. I guess that’s because I find it to be so important in a day and age where our iPhones are never more than an arm’s reach away.

So long as our attention is focused on the urgent or the incoming, we won’t be able to do our best creative work. Inbox Zero isn’t about keeping an empty inbox, it’s about not allowing our inboxes to have sway over us. When you think of it that way, you can reach Inbox Zero without even opening your email app. Because it’s not about email.