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Getting things done? It’s about time.

There are exceptions, of course. lastminute.com can offer some great deals if you put off your decision to the last minute. But the trade-off is that you might not get exactly what you want. And, in life, we usually know what we want. My wife is still fuming about that sky-diving package I bought her. Absolute bargain.

Once things become important and urgent they have to be done in a hurry. But when you allocate time for things that are important but not urgent you are forward planning. So fix your roof when the sun is shining. Creosote that fence before the bad weather comes. Pack your suitcase before leaving home. I know that last one doesn’t quite fit but I was struggling for a third and it’s still reasonably sound advice.

But what if you fail to allocate time and things don’t get done at all? You never do get to see Naples or take that African safari. Those Salsa lessons you promised yourself are now a distant dream thanks to your arthritic hip. And imagine if your family never has the pleasure of hearing you play the tuba. Actually, that’s probably a good thing.

If you don’t allocate time for things that are ‘important but not urgent’ then you run the risk of never doing them at all. And you may live the rest of your life with regret. Particularly when you get towards the end and can no longer do what was once important but not urgent.

Fix the roof and paint the fence. Spend more time with those closest too you unless it happens to be a stalker when you should walk more quickly and try not to panic. Enjoy your time with elderly relatives before it’s too late. Above all, have fun. It’s important that you do, even though it often doesn’t seem the most urgent thing.

 

Philip Hesketh is a professional speaker on the psychology of persuasion. His new book ‘How To Persuade and Influence People’ was released on August 25th 2010 - and went straight to Number One on the Amazon business list - Nice.