Don’t allow other people’s pressures to distort your priorities

It is important not to feel under pressure to dance to someone else’s tune. For example, something seen as urgent by someone else does not necessarily mean you have to change your own priorities to accommodate it. This does not mean that we should not help people who need something doing urgently, but it does mean that the fact that something is urgent for somebody else should not be allowed to distort your own priorities. Sadly I have come across many situations where Person A has something urgent (but not especially important) that they want Person B to do and, when Person B does it, the result is that something much more important from Person B’s own to do list does not get done – often with more serious consequences than if Person A’s task had not been done. By all means take requests for urgent help seriously, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that you have to oblige if that means you are creating potentially worse problems than you are solving.