At the end of each day, do you often wonder what exactly you accomplished?
According to Steven Covey’s Time Management Grid, there is a distinction between urgent and important: Every task, in both your business and personal life, falls into one of these categories: not important and not urgent, not important but urgent, important and urgent, and important but not urgent.
“Important but not Urgent”often takes the Backseat
Most people spend the majority of their time in every other quadrant besides “important and not urgent” because these are the tasks and priorities that demand our attention: email, meetings, incoming calls, texts, administrative work… and the small fires in everyday life that need to be dealt with right now.
We frequently fall into a habit of reactivity, only dealing with what’s right in front of us. However, the more reactive we are, the more that we put off the important priorities until they become both important and urgent. This leaves no space for strategic thinking or creative problem solving. And the frenetic energy often associated with tasks in this quadrant sets the stage for mistakes to happen. Not to mention, it isn’t very fun to be around.
When you put focused time into the “important but not urgent” areas of your business on a continual basis, you’ll see some wonderful changes, not only in your results, but also how it feels. This is the domain of joy, ease and flow.
Become More Proactive
I encourage my clients to shift into the habit of spending at least 20% of their time on the “important but not urgent” items every week. Block out a day, or two half days, for this sacred, uninterrupted, time to work on things like:
- Researching your ideal client’s needs.
- Building new curriculum for your clients that supports the needs you identify.
- Editing your website content (or design) to reflect your growing understanding of what your ideal clients are looking for.
- Writing blog posts that link your client’s problems to the help you offer or offers them support they can put into practice right now (like this article).
- Creating and executing business development strategies to get in front of more of your ideal clients.
- Growing your network: attending networking events, having one-on-one meetings that create genuine connection, and list building activities.
- Connecting with existing members of your network, via email, phone, and social media.
Comment below and let me know what you do to prioritize the important and not urgent tasks in your life. I’d love to hear if you make any changes and how this works for you!
Tara Butler Floch