Schedule Time For Your Important But Not Urgent Tasks

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

Outstanding performers manage their time well.  Recently, I saw a piece on line by Brian Tracy where he recommends creating large chunks of time for working on big projects.  He says, “Most of the really important work you do requires large chunks of unbroken time to complete.”  I agree.  I like this idea because, after all, it is only common sense. 

Mr. Tracy says…

“Some people allocate 30 to 60 minutes a day for exercise.  Many people read in the great books 15 minutes each night before retiring.  In this way, over time, they eventually red dozens of the best books ever written.
“The key to the success of this method of working in specific time segments is for you to plan your day in advance and specifically schedule a fixed time period for a particular activity or task.
“You make appointments with yourself and then discipline yourself to keep them.  You set aside thirty, sixty and ninety minute time segments that you use to work on and complete important tasks.”

Stephen Covey tells us that successful people find the time to focus on the important, but not urgent tasks.  If you’re not careful, your day will get taken up with urgent (and sometimes important, and sometimes unimportant) tasks.  If this happens, you will be keeping your head above water, but not gaining any ground.

This blog is a good example of how I carve out chunks of time to focus on the important, but not urgent.  If you’re a regular reader, you know that I post every day, Monday through Friday.  I post on a different topic each day.  This structure helps me when it comes to composing my posts.
I usually write my posts two or three days ahead.  At a minimum, I write blog posts the night before I am going to post them.  It takes me 30 to 45 minutes to write a blog post.  My discipline in writing a day before I post means that I don’t feel under the gun to write something every morning.  I think it results in better quality posts.

Finally, I post my blogs first thing every day.  If I have a very early meeting, or will be traveling early, I post the night before.  It takes me about 30 minutes to post this blog, as I post it in several locations. is the main page for this blog.  However, I also post on Success; Fast; MySpace; Yahoo 360 and the Know More Media network.  In addition, this blog is picked up automatically and posted to my Facebook Notes page and on My Venture

All of this takes discipline.  The time I spend writing and posting every day is a very important part of maintaining my internet presence.  My internet presence is the cornerstone of my marketing effort.  I am following Brian Tracy’s advice on carving out large chunks of time to do the important, but not urgent task of building and maintaining my internet presence because I have disciplined myself to set aside 60 to 90 minutes per day writing and posting my blogs.

Recently, I have decided to carve out some additional time to build my internet presence.  I have committed to myself to comment on five blog posts, written by other bloggers, every day.  I expect that this will take an hour a day.  I will have to identify blogs to read regularly and then read them.  Then I will need to take about seven to ten minutes to compose a thoughtful comment. 

In the past, I have had good intentions of doing this, but the urgent tasks that come up every day have made this a hit and miss proposition.  I have decided that I will take one hour at the end of every day to read and comment on other blogs.  I will do this before I end my business for the day.  I’ll keep you posted on how well I am doing at keeping this commitment.

The common sense point here is simple.  From a time perspective, we get the biggest bang for the buck from the activities that are important to our success, but are not urgent.  Unfortunately, important but not urgent tasks often don’t get done because of all of the urgent tasks that come up during any given day.  Schedule time to work on your important but not urgent tasks.  Keep this commitment to yourself and your success.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense. 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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  1. You’re right, Bud. Five comments doesn’t seem like a lot, but it takes longer than others might imagine to find something that interests you enough to comment on, AND make a THOUGHTFUL comment. There’s no point at all to making comments like, “Nice post!” I actually had as my goal making five comments a day (until I started writing three blogs). Now I have as a minimum to make at least five comments a week from each blog. So that takes up to a couple of hours reading others’ blogs on similar subjects, then out of all of those finding ones that really grab my attention. Good for you.
    Best regards,
    Eileen (formerly from Denver!)
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

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