All caught up. Caught up on inbox zero, on chores, on busy work. Now I can get down to something big and meaningful, you might tell yourself. It is a great feeling being caught up. All the psychological weight of incoming tasks has gone. You feel free, you feel motivated, you feel like you have time to do something big. But, like everything, it is fleeting. What happens when the next email hits, when the next interruption stings by your desk, when it is time to go to the next meeting?
'I'll just do this one thing now, so I can be caught up again.' 'It's only small and I like the feeling of being caught up, so I'll just do this small thing and THEN get onto the big stuff.' But guess what? This type of thinking is what got you here; this type of thinking is standing in the way of growth; this type of thinking leads to a life of mediocrity.
Just like Covey's big rocks and sand analogy, you must make time for the big things first. An entire life can be wasted if you focus on busy work. Will you really care that you got to inbox zero every day in a job that you hated? This is the trap that many people who complain of 'having no time' fall into. Not realising that just starting the day with something big and proactive is all the change that is needed. The busywork can still get done in a reduced amount of time; or it will not get done; or sometimes it just sorts itself out. All are manageable if you have already made progress on the big stuff.
Gary Vaynerchuk posted a great reminder the other day: 99% of stuff does not matter. Stop worrying about dumb shit.
Focus on the important and put this first. Execute