These days I feel like all I do all day is fight fires. Case in point, I have been wanting to write this blog post since March 26th, when Seth Godin posted about fighting fires as a career versus a career of what you really want to do. I know that most people feel like there is not enough time everyday to get everything they want to get done accomplished. But I think it is really important to think about urgent things versus important things. Seth suggest making the important things urgent in order to knock them out and get them done. Unfortunately I think that is easier said than done, but I think that Seth is absolutely right.

My goal for the next three months is to change my thinking: to understand what is really important and figure out a way to make those items very urgent on my task list. I am currently up against a book deadline and have not finished the book yet because I keep stopping to be a fire fighter. Now I am under the gun, feeling very rushed, trying to get something done that should have been easy to accomplish given the time that I have had to do it.

I truly believe that you will accomplish more for your business if you can change your mentality. Small businesses often get mismanaged because the owner is also the accountant, is also the stock manager, is also the market, etc. and is too busy dealing with the every day fores to take a step back and try and think strategically. So heed Seth’s advice. Think long term goals and make time every day to get through some of those more important, but less urgent tasks.

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Sabrina Parsons

Sabrina has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007.