They say: “The squeeky wheel gets the oil”
Often, this is true.
I wonder, though, how often we’re putting that oil (effort) into projects that aren’t all that important while the more important stuff sits idle?
Just because it’s squeeky, must we drop what we’re doing and call all hands on deck . . . EVERY time?
An infant or puppy will teach you this is not a wise approach . . . there must be a point at which enough IS enough . . .
We’ve gotta draw the line and define boundaries such that we protect ourselves from that web of being so caught up the fires of “urgency” that we fail to pay attention to the real matters and people of true importance.
Pareto’s Principle applies here writ LARGE. Instead of 80/20, the disproportionate return on investment may be more along the lines of 98/2.
So . . . when you’re hearing a squeeky wheel – BEFORE you drop what you’re doing and go chasing that rabbit down that new trail, PAUSE for a moment and consider the validity of the need to oil THAT wheel vs attending to other matters.
The opportunity cost of dropping and running to oil every squeeky wheel amounts to neglecting care for self, others, and things that matter more.
It also creates a precedence that leads to a spoiled infant or puppy or customer/client who will continue to demand MORE MORE MORE . . . until there’s nothing left to give.
This is as much self preservation as it is to preserve your delivery of service to all of your other, less squeeky commitments (the 98%)
(Unless, of course, the squeeky wheel happens to one of your “vital few”
What matters most about everything I’ve written above is that we intentionally decide how we invest our effort, time, and resources instead of defaulting to consuming every minute of every day fighting fires and oiling squeeking wheels.
An ounce of prevention . . .