Focus on What Matters

Are you paralyzed because you don’t know what to do next?

Maybe you struggle to understand what is truly important, and so everything is.

And when you prioritize everything, nothing worthwhile gets done.

Suddenly, the day is over, yet you haven’t accomplished what you needed to.

Does the “Runaround Dilemma” resonate with you?

Step 1: Identify your important rocks.

The first step is to understand what is truly important to you.
But first, what does this mean anyway?

note, thumbtack, reminder-34670.jpg

Oxford English Dictionary:

adj 1: of much import, carrying with it serious consequences; weighty, momentous, grave, and significant

So, what truly matters to you? What is significant in your life?

We all have twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year.

Time is our MOST precious asset.

To illustrate this, watch this short video and reference the text below:

This jar represents our time and life.

  • Sand represents the things that don’t matter – the small stuff.
  • Pebbles represent the things that matter a little – work or school.
  • Rocks represent the really important things in your life – health, family, and friends.

If you choose to fill your time with the little things that don’t matter…
Stuff like scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, mindless games, menial tasks, or sweating the small stuff…

Or choose to fill your time with things that matter a little but are not that important…
Stuff like casual hobbies or activities not aligned with who you are…

There is not enough time for the important things, your family, friends, health, vision, goals, and doing what you love.

When you prioritize the important things first, you have time for ALL that genuinely matters.

You can fill any time left with things that matter less.

And you may need to rearrange a few things.

But in the end, most of it fits. You will be amazed at what you can fit into your schedule.

And if these things don’t fit – who cares – that stuff doesn’t matter anyway!

Prioritize the big rocks first – practice self-care, prioritize your vision, spend quality time with the people you love, have a positive impact in the world.

The rest is just pebbles and sand. They will always find some space.

When you prioritize the important things first, your entire life will shift.

So, how do you know what your big rocks are anyway?

If you struggle to determine your big rocks, tap into your Core Values and purpose, which act as your moral compass and guide decision-making. 

For more on values, read:
How to Overcome indecision through Core Values

Next, tap into your vision and long-term goals. What items on your plate align with the big picture of what you wish to create?

For more on vision, read Visualizing Success in 2022.

Then, think about which rocks come first? What needs to be a priority to make sure you achieve your goals? Do any of these goals have a specific timeline or season?

That’s great, but you probably also have a lot of urgent matters and interruptions throughout your day that gets in the way. What do you do about this?

Step 2: What is urgent?

First, what does urgent mean anyway?

Oxford English Dictionary:

adj 1: pressing, compelling; calling for or demanding immediate action; anything characterized by urgency

A truly urgent matter could be a crisis or emergency, pressing problem, deadline-driven project, meeting, report, or anything that demands immediate action and needs attention right away.

But is everything on your plate genuinely urgent? Do you get needlessly interrupted with unnecessary meetings, reports, phone calls, emails, or other people’s minor issues?

So how do you sort all of this out?

Step 3: Urgent important time matrix

Utilizing the Urgent Important Time Matrix diagram below, you can quickly determine where to focus.

Quadrant 1: 
Manage this quadrant of necessity immediately.
Essential items in crisis, pressing problems, deadline-driven projects, meetings, and reports are the priority. These are important and urgent. 

Quadrant 2:
Focus 60-80% of your time in this quadrant of productivity and balance. Preparation, prevention, planning, relationship building, creation, and values clarification is your sweet spot. These are important and not urgent.

Quadrant 3: 
Minimize this quadrant of deception. Needless interruptions, unnecessary reports, unimportant meetings, phone calls, emails, and other people’s minor issues can often derail your day. These are urgent and not important.

Quadrant 4: 
Avoid this quadrant of waste and excess. Trivial tasks, busywork, irrelevant phone calls, email, time wasters, escape activities, excessive television, internet, and relaxation are distracting. These are not urgent and not important.

So how do you know where to put everything?

Step 4: Braindump and categorize

Each week, take a piece of paper and brain dump everything you need to accomplish that week.

The list should include anything and everything from phone calls to grocery shopping or your morning routine. Also, keep any appointments or significant events in mind.

Do you have weekly meetings scheduled?
Does your child have soccer practice every Tuesday?
Do you need to go grocery shopping?

Think of all of your various activities and write them down.

Next, fill in the Matrix by placing each item on your list into the correct category. Is this urgent and important, urgent and not important, not urgent and important, or not urgent and not important?

Tap into your gut and be honest with yourself when placing each item into the appropriate category.

Assign each item on your list to one of the categories in the Matrix.

Once complete, focus first on Quadrant 1: urgent and important tasks, 60-80% of your time on Quadrant 2: important and non-urgent tasks, minimal time on Quadrant 3: urgent and non-important tasks, and avoid Quadrant 4: non-urgent and non-important tasks whenever possible.

Step 5: Protect your time

Last, protect your time. On average, it takes twenty-three minutes and fifteen seconds to return to your original focus after being interrupted. You don’t want to waste time, do you?

Create uninterrupted time however possible. What can you do to ensure that you are not distracted by unimportant interruptions?

Put on noise-canceling headphones, go to a quiet location if possible, or even put a red card on your door so that no one enters.

Keep calls short and just before lunch or dinnertime.

Eliminate any distractions by turning off excess noise, notifications on your phone or email, and letting others know that you are focusing and should not be disturbed.

A great tip is to listen to binaural beats or solfeggio frequencies that can help your brain focus. Check this out Here.

Where your focus goes, your energy flows. Make sure you are focused on the right things. And remember, no one will notice if you are polishing underneath the handrail.


Identifying significant areas is the first step to focusing on what truly matters. Prioritizing the big rocks first will allow you to accomplish your goals in alignment with who you are. Determine what is truly important while uncovering the elements distracting you, and take the steps needed to make sure you get back on track.

Step 1: Identify your important rocks.
Step 2: What is urgent?
Step 3: Urgent important time matrix.
Step 4: Braindump and categorize.
Step 5: Protect your time.

Stay consistent, do your best, and remember, progress is perfection. Remember, it’s worth it. Focusing on your important rocks will create a life and business you truly love.

If you need help getting unstuck and creating a business action plan in alignment with who you are, Book a Free Discovery Call.

I am looking forward to hearing what your biggest takeaway is, so make sure to leave a comment!
Michele x

Like this article?

Leave a comment

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *