Moving From Overwhelm To Action

     We’ve talked a lot lately about becoming clearer on your goals and a tremendous amount of choices, so it’s not uncommon to know what step to take next.

     What it all comes down to is prioritizing. Defining what really is urgent and time) needed to accomplish your other goals. Pay close attention to your mental state when deciding when you think it’s urgent to do an important task, it just won’t feel right. For my readers that need proof beyond the “feeling” thing, I’ve included some specific examples.

     Martha Beck wrote an article called “Urgent! Urgent! (Or is it?)”. In the article, she discussed one of Stephen Covey, Sr.’s, a renowned time management guru, concept of urgency. He used the below matrix to illustrate how to define the urgency of daily activities.


Quadrant 1


Important, Urgent

Quadrant 2


Important, Not Urgent

Quadrant 3


Urgent, Not Important

Quadrant 3


Not Important, Not Urgent


    Now quadrant 1 is the easy one, it includes eating and more time on the important tasks of life. He created the exercise below:

  1. Get 20 or 30 note cards. On each card, write down one thing you should do, want to do, plan to do, or dream of doing. Include everything, no matter how large or small. Keep this up until your brain runs dry.
  2. When you’ve written down all of your goals, plans, and those that don’t.
  3. Now go through both of these piles, separating each into “important” and “not important” stacks. The four resulting stacks correlate with the Covey quadrants.
  4. Carefully place both your “not important” card stacks in a safe spot. This, if my experience is any indication, will insure that you’ll never find them again. If you do happen to stumble across them at any time in the future, burn them.
  5. Commit to eliminating from your schedule all the activities that didn’t make it into the “important” stacks. If you have time after doing your important and urgent things, use it on important but not urgent activities. No matter how pressing something may seem to be, if it’s not important, just don’t do it.

     Yes it does take some work to break your daily habits and your ultimate goals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>