Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says that one of the traps of ineffective people is getting caught in doing the urgent rather than the important. Bottom-line this is reacting to life rather than responding. While urgent things will come up, they seem to happen more when you are not planning. Eventually, everything will become a crisis. STOP.

When you care for the important you will have less urgent things to deal with. There will always be truly urgent things, but these are called emergencies, not daily urgent tasks. Make a list and determine what is important for you to do to move forward with your business (or life). What do you need to do in order to accomplish these goals? This is what is important.

It often seems like it will not matter if important things get done today or tomorrow and therefore often are perpetually put off until they become urgent. It is similar to the bad habit many of us had in school with reading. The teacher gives us what is important to read each week. Students are busy and do not read what is important and then a few days before the test when there are 200 pages of reading, the assignment now becomes urgent. Thus the cycle begins as we create urgent tasks that would not be urgent if we did the important things we need to do each day.

In order to break this cycle, it is important to:

  • Recognize the cycle and how much time you spend reacting to the urgent.
  • List what you are trying to accomplish (your goal)
  • Decide what is important to do today to reach that goal.
  • Determine what is important this week to reach that goal.
  • Highlight these things on your to-do list.
  • Block one hour in your day to do the important tasks.

Force yourself to do the important today and watch how the overflow of urgent tasks decrease off your plate.


  • Christy Geiger

    Executive & Leadership Coach

    Synergy Strategies

    Christy is an seasoned and certified Coach for executives/CXO, leaders, entrepreneurs and top performers with a truly refreshing and unique perspective. Since 2002, she has worked with over 1000 individuals to break through personal and business barriers to perform at their best. She is passionate about learning, challenging the status quo and helping her clients achieve their desired goals. With extensive background in human psychology, personality and strengths, Christy leads each of her clients to better understand themselves, their clients and their team to increase efficiency and productivity. Over the course of her career, Christy has helped her clients customize their approach to implement strategies which maximize personal strengths and styles, and to break through personal barriers and limitations to perform at their highest. With her approach, Christy has helped solopreneurs, business leaders, and CEO’s to grow start-up businesses or expand their organization into multi-million dollar companies. She has helped businesses and non-profits grow, developed leadership teams, and coached CEOs to leverage both their strengths and weaknesses to transform their leadership styles and that of their organizations. Whatever your goal is, Christy expands internal awareness and insight to break through personal barriers guiding individuals to reach new sales, marketing, or team production. Christy brings over 15 years of personal and professional experience to each of her clients. She has developed teams in the corporate world, earned a Master's degree in Psychology, and is certified in the use of the DISC personality system, Guerrilla Marketing approach and Rule the Room Financial system. Founded in her belief each person has God-given strengths and talents, she also works with those in career discovery, transition and advancement to better understand and leverage their gifts and skills to love their work and place in the world. She grew up in California but has lived on the East Coast (North Carolina), and in the Midwest (Minnesota) and now calls Texas (Austin) home with her husband and two children.