Your priorities are what you DO

Do you ever wonder how you are meant to work on high priority long term tasks when you seem to have a never ending list of "urgent" (but non-important) tasks to work on?

Mark Horstman from the excellent Manager Tools podcast has a few words to say on the matter. My key takeaway from his post is:

What is it that you DO? How do you spend your time? Because what you DO really IS what your priorities ARE.
This really hits home on what you should be doing rather than what you are doing. It also indicates why it can start to get you down when you don't get to work on the them. Mark covers this when he says:
The disparity between what they know their jobs to be and what they spend their time doing is the primary source of their dissatisfaction in their role.
What you need to do is figure out how to spend less time dealing with the non-important but "urgent" work and more time on the important strategic stuff. Stephen Covey covers this with Habit 3: "Put First Things First" of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. His four quadrant model detailed in the book covers more on this topic.

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