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

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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.

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