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How To Get What You Want Done Today

I heard a story once of a girl in college.  She was a fantastic musician, majoring in some sort of music.  Each day she would wake up before class, clean her room and begin her day.

And she was not progressing in her music. She was not getting better like she thought she should or even like her music teachers thought she should.  She discussed this problem with one of them and eventually described her day.  It was suggested that each day, rather than clean her room before class, that she practice before she did anything else.  She reluctantly agreed to do this.  Before she did anything else each day, she practiced her music.

And she began to improve and get better at her music.

This reminds me of my friend who is a world-class mandolin player.  Growing up he would play his mandolin from the time he woke up until he went to school.  When he got home from school, he would play until he went to bed.  Often he would forget to eat dinner.

Both of these musicians neglected other things in their life to concentrate on their music.  You might even say it was planned neglect.  This was the only way they were able to get better and to the level of accomplishment they wished to achieve.

The last 36 hours or so have been like that for me.

We have a two-week cycle at work where we end in, for me, a stressful rush.  I got home Tuesday night and could have written a post to have one out there, but it would have stunk.  So, I focused on my job and resting.  In fact, I’m writing this at 4:30 in the morning rather than at night because I just needed to rest and have my mind right.

Planned neglect is really just a way of prioritizing what’s important.  We’re easily distracted from what we really need to be doing.  It’s just a matter of finding out what is most important to you and doing those these before anyone else.  You want to read your Bible?  Neglect other things.  You want to exercise?  Neglect other things.  It’s not very complicated, but it’s not easy either.

Audit your life.  See where your time is going.  Figure out what you really want to be doing.  Then do the important things first.

Planned neglect.  That’s how you get things done.

  1. February 4, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Is it planned neglect, or setting your priorities? What is important to you should come first, the young lady started her day with a clean room, a made up bed. That may have been more important as she grew up. She then could have done her music. Priorities sound better than neglect in my book.
    When I was coming up in my career, I put that first, but left my family to suffer. Years later I realized I had my priorities wrong and should have put my family first, for in my zeal to grow in the company I neglected them. I am paying the price now.
    What’s important to you? Set your priorities accordingly.
    Good post!!

    • February 4, 2016 at 5:48 am

      It’s really two sides of the same coin. The problem is of misplaced priorities. Do the most important things first. We tend to let the less important things crowd out the most important.

  2. February 4, 2016 at 8:35 am

    There have been times I have had planned neglect. My body, for example, will tell me when I need to rest from cycling or lifting. Planned neglect says, “No to the early morning exercise.” I came to the office yesterday (Wednesday) and planned not to do any sermon work. I am ahead and wanted to get some reading and other things done. Sometimes it is good to write nothing on the calendar.

  3. February 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Learning to say “No” is not easy for people pleasers like me.

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