Problems and Priorities

Every day, we are all faced with two important questions that greatly impact out productivity. These two questions are What are we doing? and How well are we doing it? Most of the emphasis in human behavior and personal development deals with the second question How well are we doing it? Very seldom do the success gurus focus on the primary element which is What are we doing?

Please understand that you can be doing a great job of accomplishing the wrong thing. It's like the maintenance man on the Titanic who was cleaning the deck as the ship was slowly sinking. Cleaning the deck can certainly be an important thing, but while the ship is sinking, it does not even approach priority.

I had the opportunity to speak to my accountant a number of times prior to the tax deadline. In his utter frustration with some of his clients, he had adopted a new motto that says, "Your current crisis brought on by your poor planning is not my immediate problem."

Each day, there are a number of people who are determined to make their problems your priorities. We have all had the experience of being at our desk involved in very productive and fruitful activities when someone calls to interrupt us. The classic example is, of course, the sales call. Telephone sales people make their living from calling prospects on the telephone. However, it is certainly not your priority during the productive part of your workday to be bothered with these kinds of calls.

Focus on your personal and professional mission statement, then ask yourself, "What are the things I can do today that will get me from here to there?" These activities become your priorities. Anything less important that diverts you from your priority is a problem. Remember, we are only as big as the smallest thing that it takes to divert us from our destination.

Oftentimes, the more productive things on our daily schedule are not the easiest things for us to accomplish. Therefore, we allow or even welcome intrusions and interruptions that sabotage our productivity. At the end of the day, you will either be one day closer to or farther from your goal. Make today count.

Today's the day!


Jim Stovall has been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, the President of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, and a highly sought after author and platform speaker. He is the author of the best selling book, The Ultimate Gift, which is now a major motion picture starring James Garner and Abigail Breslin. Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes magazine, says, “Jim Stovall is one of the most extraordinary men of our era.” For his work in making television acc...

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