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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Break the Urgency-Induced Block

One of my mentors once told me “You can’t start doing what you don’t know how to do until you stop doing what you do know how to do.”

I’ve stopped chasing what’s urgent (which I know how to do far too well) so that I can start learning how to identify what it truly important.

I’m feeling a bit dazed, frankly, as I withdraw from urgency. And I have a feeling that some things that are both urgent and important might fall through the cracks as I relax enough to bring my cortex back online. Even so, refusing to follow urgency is the best strategy in the long-term.

Urgency only triggers my limbic system and I need my cortex to focus on what’s important. I need my cortex to discover creative ways to respond to what’s important. So no more urgency! (Please notice the irony of putting an exclamation point at the end of that declaration.)

Posting to this blog is important. Today I feel urgency about getting a post published because I promised myself I’d go back to posting twice a week in September. So how do I honor what’s important without getting myself in a frenzy?

I decided to use the already invented wheel. I’ve decided to be publicly imperfect. (Perfectionism is a significant source of resistance for me and a lot of other writers.) Instead of making myself crazy trying to write more original, insightful and perfect copy on the whole Important vs. Urgent perspective, I’m giving you links to three good sources of info.

Covey’s Time Management Matrix Illustrated with Cartoons

The Urgent/Important Matrix: Using time effectively, not just efficiently

Short video on Urgent vs. Important with Stephen Covey

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2 Comments on “Break the Urgency-Induced Block”

  1. Joel D Canfield September 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    I like the matrix illustrated with XKCD cartoons.


  2. nasreenfynewever September 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    One of my “mentors” once said she had decided to be “publicly imperfect” and I think that is genuis. I may have to follow suit! 🙂


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