If you are like most of us human-types, you struggle trying to stay organized and ahead of your tasks and deadlines. Many times, we find that our sense of well-being and accomplishment is how many things we get done instead of the quality of what we achieve. We get into checklist mode and bask in the flow of released endorphins when we cross out another item on our to-do lists. “More is better” is usually how we keep score. Let’s call these tasks the “urgent and not important”.
The dirty little secret is: our businesses and careers would be better off if we stay diligent finishing the really critical stuff. Let’s call this the “Not urgent but very important”.
To prove my point, I just read a study that said that when business people leave their email open while they are at work, they change their tasks 37 times per hour.
So instead of staying focused doing the really important tasks that require a longer period of sustained focus, we jump around like a hummingbird drinking expresso. Sure, we get things done, but it is only transactional accomplishments.
The moral of the story is this. If you want to accomplish the really big and important tasks that add value to your business and career, close down your email and reopen it only at specific times during the day. Additionally, be courageous and get away from your desk and go someplace where you can concentrate on the tougher more time consuming work. Your success may hang in the balance. Be brave!