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Movin’ Together – Tyranny of the Urgent

"Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem."


by Sara Vogt - January 23, 2017

Last year in our features for Movin’ Together, we created the concept of the healthy tool basket. The tools in this basket were designed to bring encouragement and support to women of all ages. In 2017 we are once again adding to the healthy tool basket with an essential tool for time management: a schedule.

When considering the schedule as our first tool for this year, it seemed right because nothing is more characteristic of modern life than the complaint, ‘If I only had time.” Did I just hear a sigh? As the well-known author, salesperson and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar stated, “Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have 24 hour days.”

We’ll present the same questions to you that we asked ourselves when selecting our first tool: Does your life have a trail of unfinished tasks? Would you like time to plan for your future goals? Do you have trouble saying no when a need arises? Do you feel the tension between the urgent and the important? Do you think you smell smoke because you just ran to put out another fire—not the burning kind, but the urgent kind? Have you ever heard the expression TYRANNY OF THE URGENT?

The tyranny of the urgent lies in the distortion of priorities. One of the measures of a manager is the ability to distinguish the important from the urgent and to refuse to be tyrannized by the urgent—to refuse to manage by crisis. To refuse to manage by crisis? That is the beauty of our first tool! Most of us women who have the joy of being called wife, mom, daughter, sister, boss, have some management responsibilities in our lives. Managing from strength is always more enjoyable and beneficial for both ourselves and others. This tool called a schedule serves to give us a baseline for how we choose to use our time. It also allows us the freedom to change it when needed because we have already set our priorities.

When doing our research on scheduling, we discovered a booklet entitled, Tyranny of the Urgent, by Charles Hummel. Mr. Hummel wrote this inspiring information in 1960. Over a million copies of this work have been sold, and it is still in print and available as an e-book.

Don’t have a schedule? If we have piqued your interest, the booklet has a suggestion that you may try! The author encourages you to begin by noting (using computer or paper) how you spend your time for a week. For a more detailed account, you can write out the information in half hour segments. Otherwise, you can make notes during the day to summarize later in the evening. At the end of the week, plan some time to review how you have chosen to spend your time. If you decide that changes are needed, there is no time like the beginning of a new year to start–one day at a time.

In Movin’ Together we value the friendship and inspiration women offer one another. This tool of scheduling may create a fun and invigorating discussion with your friends to discover how each of you handles the tyranny of the urgent.

A personal note from Sara: I had been resisting the use of a schedule for years, knowing that it would take time to establish the schedule itself, as well as the habit of using it. I am a woman with a full life, too … wife, mom, grandmom, homeschool teacher, vice-president of Home Page just to mention a few of the many roles I fulfill, and I needed a schedule! Many times I was managing out of crisis mode rather than a planned strategy, which was exhausting.

There are many computer calendar programs available, but I wanted to hand write mine, at least initially, so I am using a paper calendar appointment book. I am writing out the dates and appointments in my book and I am still figuring out the other details. Details do not come easily for me, so I am attempting to keep it simple as I proceed. Julianna now has a schedule of her chores and responsibilities, as well. (You are never too young to start!) My morning quiet time for prayer and planning has become very beneficial not only for me, but also for my family. Speaking of friends, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Morgan’s pep talk that encouraged me to start these features a year ago. As a member of the baby boomer generation, I was thinking I could tailor this information to others in this same segment, but when Morgan and Julianna wanted to join me, I had to get a new dream! And it did make sense for the younger generation to learn healthy habits! Last year in our first feature, Morgan quoted C.S. Lewis who said, “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” How about you? What new dream or goal is in your heart?


Idea/Concept: Sara Vogt, Morgan Koziar

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Sara Vogt

Anchor: Sara Vogt, Morgan Koziar

Photography: N/A,


Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Dunham’s Dept Store

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