Help, I’m Never Getting to the Important Work

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I understand. It can be really comforting to do what is urgent and stay in the groove of knocking out tasks. In a given day of work, there’s always the tasks that have to get done to keep pipelines moving, make customers happy and ensure our teams are motivated and productive.

However, that nagging feeling, for those business owners and executives that need to move the needle, will be there. Being busy can keep you from giving attention and focus on what really can 10x your business. You feel busy. You are getting things done. The problem is that you may not be getting the right things done.

It’s out of reach because distractions and busy work give you that dopamine hit and attachment to the work that simply has to get done.

If months have gone by, then consider, like someone who realizes that a personal trainer helps them get fit, to get clear and get the important work done. Get above the noise of your business and see what matters and does not matter.

The reality is that most things do not matter and a very few things matter immensely to help you grow your business. And if you are working on the low-level, have-to-get-done items, at the expense of the most essential opportunities, you are not being effective. You are allowing urgent demands to numb you into feeling busy and productive at the cost of big growth.

You do have to be productive so you don’t bottleneck your commitments to your customers. That’s worth making an established, reliable habit in your work.

However, if that is all you do – get busy work done – then you will struggle to grow your business. You are only refining and making what already exists optimized and at some point, it’s a diminishing return.

Are you getting the right things done consistently?


Have you ever looked at the result you produce?  Perhaps it is a legal brief, a sales proposal or a software solution.  Most likely, whether it is tangible or completely virtual, there were many tools, people and steps to create the end result.

On our team, we deliver business systems.  The amount of thinking, planning, people, information, systems and communications is mind boggling.  There are a number of failure points.  There are many other projects which have to be managed at the same time. This all has to be delivered in the midst of uncertainty.

The uncertainty comes from all the other knowledge workers pushing on us for time, energy, solutions and mindshare.  It’s part of the new deal in the new economy.  We are all in the collaboration game.  You have access to others much more easily now.  You are most likely dealing with similar demands and expectations. Continue reading