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Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Thick of Thin Things

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, May 15, 2006
7:44 pm

If you are anything like me, you always have a list of good things you can do that stretches way beyond the limits of your available time. Choosing which of the many tasks to accomplish is a big challenge.

Steven R. Covey gives this advice: “There always will be items on your “to do” list. The trick is to figure out which are priorities. You must first attend to what’s both urgent and important. But to be truly effective you should spend as much time as possible doing important things that aren’t urgent. Otherwise, you can spend all day in the thick of thin things.”

I like that phrase, “the thick of thin things.” It conjures up visions of intense action with no real purpose – kind of like a dog chasing its tail, or like our cow that figured out how to suck all the milk out of her udder – leaving nothing for us to sell.

Every once in a while, I need to sit back, re-evaluate my long list, and check for “thin things” that can be safely discarded in favor of activities that will have more lasting value. I don’t always make the right choices, and too often find myself engulfed in triviality, but then I sit back, think of thick and thin things, and try again.

By the way, I’m old enough that when I went to BYU, Steve Covey was just a popular teacher on campus, not the superstar consultant and author we know today. The first book of his I read (back in the early 1970’s) was entitled, The Spiritual Roots of Human Relations. Highly recommended.

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