Looking is Easy, Seeing is Hard

Some years ago, I made a point of taping something to my monitor that I wanted to be sure I saw every day. It’s Stephen Covey’s time-management matrix:

According to Covey, every task we face falls into one of the four quadrants of the matrix, but the really critical work gets done in Box #2 (“important/not urgent”). The matrix has, over the years, been a great help for prioritizing my time. But this post isn’t really about the matrix (for a deeper dive, check out this article). This post is about seeing.

The other day, I realized that this matrix on my monitor, which I had considered so critically important, was now such a familiar part of my surroundings that I didn’t notice it anymore. It had blurred into the background. Sure, I looked at it every day. I had to, because it is right in front of me. But I didn’t see it. Until, for some reason, I did see it – as if for the first time. I was again impressed by its simplicity and usefulness. And I was reminded why I wanted it right in front of me, all day, every day.

And so, I created a created a goal for 2019. It’s to keep my eyes open, both in the literal and figurative sense. Truth, beauty, growth, adventure, and other wonderful things are right in front of us. But experiencing them requires doing more than just looking – we have to see them.

Here’s to seeing everything that’s important in 2019!


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