Strategically Ignoring That Which Matters Least

You cannot do everything. Choose wisely.

‘Bird in a Hurricane’ by Ana

After being a general manager of a coffee shop for a few months, my district manager came in for a visit. It was obvious to him that I was a bit overwhelmed. We talked about how things were going. I told him that I was having trouble keeping up with everything, all of the day-to-day demands of the job, as well as the ever changing company priorities and initiatives.

He was a thoughtful, direct man, as strict as he was sincere. He took a moment to pause, looked at me and said, “A lot of things are going to come at you every day, from all directions. Your job is to decide what to ignore.” As this slowly sunk in, I breathed a sigh of relief.

If everything is important, nothing is important. If everything is an emergency, nothing is an emergency. It is better to give the few most important tasks on our to-do list our full attention and to make the others wait their turn than it is to try to accomplish everything at once and do them all poorly or not get them done at all.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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