Our article on Whacking Alligators (being a slave to the urgent) evoked quite some reaction. Seems that it’s a prioritise-your-timepretty common scenario faced by many business owners.

Most people say health, relationships and family are important. But you wouldn’t know it looking at their behaviour.

Many act under the misguided belief that they need to drop everything for clients. Be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Frankly this is the way to ill health, broken relationships and possibly, an early grave.

The 1974 folk song, “Cat’s In The Cradle” by the late Harry Chapin sums it up exquisitely.

Here’s some advice I gave to one person. You might find it useful as well.

Figure out your priorities in life.

If health and family are important, act that way.

Take out your diary and block out times you’ll exercise, spend time with the family or other things that help you recharge your batteries.

Then lock in critical business building activities.

And only then fill in times with client facing work.

And if you’re tempted to drop everything when something supposedly urgent comes up, don’t just react. Filter it through the important/urgent grid and make a conscious decision as to whether it warrants your attention right now.

Often things are not as urgent as they first appear.

There will be times when you have to drop everything. Just don’t make it a habit.

You should be the one controlling your diary and what’s important. Don’t subsume this responsibility to someone else.

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