I was a bit under the weather last weekend, but was determined to get the grass cut after two weeks of neglect. The challenge was I felt I had enough energy to cut the front lawn, or the back lawn, but not both. The front is public-facing, and on show to the whole neighbourhood. The back is private-facing, and only on show to me and the family. What to do?
Well, I cut the back lawn, pulled up a chair on the deck and had a rest, admiring my handiwork. While mowing the front lawn held more urgency, the back lawn held more importance for me. My soul is nourished by the garden that I can see from the back deck.
So, is there a parallel in the workplace? I reckon that we often prioritise in a public-facing way, dealing with the urgent requests of others rather than the potentially more important private-facing tasks that help us to achieve our goals and objectives. While I am not suggesting that you stop dealing with the truly urgent in your role, ask yourself if you could maybe sometimes resist the temptation when the urgency conflicts with what you believe to be important.
At work, our souls get nourished by doing meaningful work that makes a difference. We need to make time for this. When we do, we can then sit on our corporate decks and admire a job well done, at least for a moment.