The 5 Most Important Things To Do Today

“I don’t have time to work on it.” It’s the common complaint of the constantly busy, frazzled, overworked and overstressed. Many books, blogs and opinions have been expressed on this subject and are worth the read if you find yourself identifying with this sentiment.

However, I’ve always found that it’s only when you translate a positive intention into specific action that you actually see results.

So – here’s my take on the five most practical steps you can take TODAY that will only take a few minutes of time to complete:

  1. Block an hour on your calendar this week to tackle things that are important, not urgent. Use that time to focus on the priorities where you need to make progress. Be disciplined enough to decline all requests for meetings and calls so you fiercely guard and protect that uninterrupted time.
  2. Spend 10 minutes a day on Twitter, reading blogs or scanning your RSS feeds. Finding someone to follow on Twitter who has fresh insights or the latest research will help you stick to that resolution to be a voracious learner.
  3. Polish the dust off of your resume/CV and get it up to date. Include the facts on your recent accomplishments, awards and new skills you’ve attained since the last time it was updated. Send it to two trusted advisors/friends outside your company for their feedback.
  4. Schedule a networking lunch or coffee before the end of this month. Despite your best intentions, keeping up with your network is hard to do because it’s a disciplined habit that takes work and time. Take five minutes today to schedule one-two connections with people you’ve lost touch with – carve and protect that time in your calendar, regardless of the issues of the day.
  5. Write a personal note to someone. It might be a thank you to that team member who goes above and beyond or a note of encouragement to your mentee who’s struggling on a stretch role beyond their current skills. Personal, handwritten notes have a power of their own as a way to authentically connect … so don’t take the shortcut and write an email instead.

When I find that I make these things happen, I feel more balanced and more positive about what I am accomplishing in the big picture of my day/ week/ month – beyond what’s immediately in front of me. Your future self will thank you for making the investment in these simple steps today!

Sheri Browning is a Partner at PeopleResults. You can reach her at or on Twitter @sbPResults.