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I make lists of “to do” items all the time.  Its the only way I get anything accomplished.

Its also the way I reward myself.  When I get something done I mark it off the list.

Going through the list isn’t the hard part, or even the important part.

The order of the list trumps everything!

Most of us can group the items into two buckets: Urgent and Important 

They are NOT the same, and being able to determine which is which is still something I get wrong daily.

Importantis something that is non-negotiable, like eating and drinking or paying your bills.  It also applies to things down the road like investing in your health.

Urgent is the stuff that comes up unexpectedly and somehow makes its way to the top of the list for many of us like when you forget to send an email or call someone back.

That is urgentbut not important, it can wait.

There are those things that are both Urgent and Important, but those are more obvious like house fires and hospital visits.

How do we prioritize other ones?  

I have a saying I heard somewhere that I use as the litmus test for what is Important.

“What must be done eventually should be done now”

If we leave those important things for later because they are overwhelming or uncomfortable it doesn’t make the issue any less uncomfortable.

And the second and third order consequences of not dealing with those issues trumps the short term pain of dealing with them now.

We are just delaying the inevitable.

Have that conversation with your spouse…

Go see the financial advisor….

Quit your job because you hate it….

Talk to your doctor….

Fire that employee….

Start investing in your health….

Pay off that debt…..

Stop eating junk food….

Make time for yourself….

You are going to have to eventually.