It seems that I have recently run into a lot of people who say they are too busy to get anything done at work or at home. While at the conference, I had the benefit of seeing a presentation from Hardin Byars, a business coach and leader, that addressed this and gave a simple diagram that I think can help a lot of these people.
He stated that we all start with Urgent and Important. However, we tend to then go to Urgent and Not as Important, when you should actually move to Important (Which is number 3 in the diagram) and make it number 2.
Taking this a step farther, you must not let others dictate your Urgent. Sure, many times our bosses give us this directive (and my wife), but clarifying their time frame and understanding the urgency is important.
You would think that technology should have made us more effective and can start handling things we used to do manually (like a calendar), yet today we now place urgent on text messaging, voice mail and other items that would be just fine if we prioritized tasks better.