April 27, 2009

The urgency of doing

One of the world’s most famous inventors said, “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.”

Exposición Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, certainly knew a thing or two about getting things done.

The urgency of doing suggests doing the urgent, which is nothing but a very deep bear trap. Stuff comes up, email tumbles in, do you have a minute? could you …? I’ll just do this before …

All those little urgent nothings get in the way of actually doing something that matters.

Steven Covey says the heart of personal effectiveness is to spend time on the non-urgent important stuff. Putting time into the slow stuff today – like relationships, purpose, maintenance, planning and preparation – means less (quick) time fire fighting stuff tomorrow.

Here’s the full da Vinci quote,

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Don’t be so impressed with the urgency of doing that you do whatever comes along. Be willing to prioritise the important.

Photo credit – mallorcaquality who has a bunch of photos showing replicas of da Vinci inventions.