I think it’s an important skill in life to know how to prioritize things that are less important and less urgent over other things that are more critical. It doesn’t really seem to make any sense…I mean, logically, one should just take care of the things that are more important and then work down the list, right?
Well, except human beings are inherently terrible at managing time. Thus, the only way to keep up with so many things is to fight the battle on multiple fronts simultaneously. Yes, each burst is necessarily discrete, and probably should be anyways, but any of those battles which is not being fought is actually being lost (not just being held idle).
Perhaps by postponing the urgent things, one is able to create and enforce a sort of artificial time pressure (well, not artificial in the sense that it’s fake, but in the sense that it is self-inflicted). And time pressure can be a useful thing. It gives us focus and direction–it makes it clear what needs to be done next, and what sacrifices, compromises, and adjustments need to be effected in order to achieve that.
I’m still not entirely sure how it works. But it’s been too omnipresent in my life to ignore.