How to focus on what's important, not just what's urgent

How to focus on what's important, not just what's urgent

Putting off your big-picture career goals? Here are 6 ways to stop fighting fires and rethink your priorities

26 readers like this


October 04, 2018

Do you have days at work when you have to put out small fires and meet multiple “ASAP” demands throughout the course of your day? Perhaps you even make a sizable dent in your to-do list. But in order to make it happen, you have to shift your longer-term, big-picture career goals to the back burner. 

Most of us can relate, and, in fact, research shows that we are drawn to tasks with short deadlines, “even in situations in which tasks with less pressing deadlines were just as easy and promised a bigger reward,” writes Alice Boyes in a Harvard Business Review article. 

If you find yourself stuck in pursuit of “inbox zero” over more meaningful tasks such as improving your leadership skills, writing that book you’ve been meaning to start, or even scheduling your annual physical on time, it may be time to rethink your priorities. 

Read this article for six strategies and tips that Boyes says can help people prioritize the important over the urgent, while still tackling their daily to-do list.  

Carla Rudder is a writer and content manager on The Enterprisers Project.

7 New CIO Rules of Road

Harvard Business Review: IT Talent Crisis: Proven Advice from CIOs and HR Leaders

CIOs: We welcome you to join the conversation

Related Topics

Submitted By Kevin Casey
December 19, 2018

If you thought there was a lot of chatter about Kubernetes in 2018, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Submitted By Carla Rudder
December 19, 2018

IT leaders: If you wish to capitalize on all the tech trends and emerging breakthroughs coming down the pipeli

Submitted By Ginny Hamilton
December 18, 2018

Award-winning CIOs share their proud mentoring moments and guidance to help others who want to grow in their IT careers. 


Email Capture

Keep up with the latest thoughts, strategies, and insights from CIOs & IT leaders.