Does the phrase "tyranny of the urgent" mean anything to you? Would you prefer to spend your time doing enjoyable important work, or would you prefer to allow yourself to be the emergency solution to everyone else's crises?
I have worked in both types of environments, and there's a huge difference in morale, productivity, and most importantly, relationships among co-workers.
In the environment where there is intentionality and priority-setting, the work is more creative and original, the relationships are stronger, the respect is higher, and more overall value results. This is the tough road because it means someone has to say no to urgent, non-important requests. It requires a high level of self-respect and courage. Many will see how Jesus took this approach; He did not allow the religious leaders or even Satan to push him off course, away from his truest Self, even when it meant someone else would be unhappy.
In the environment where there is urgency, there is a lot of stress, low morale, a dearth of creativity and originality, and often times bullying goes un-checked. This is more of the people-pleasing route. It requires little courage but a lot of self-sacrifice in an unhealthy sense. People-pleasing is not looked upon as a Godly characteristic in Scripture.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
- Galatians 1:10
It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.
- Proverbs 29:25
Several years ago, I read Stephen Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Encouraged by the author to create a mission statement, I sat down and created both a personal mission statement as well as a team mission statement for my team at my job at the time.
These mission statements were revolutionary for how I approached life. They served as an anchor for me to stay true to myself as I shifted from a people-pleasing mode to a self-respecting (and ironically more loving and kind) approach to life and others.
Do you have a mission statement?