What are the enemies of the important, things that need to be done even if not just now?
The obvious one is the urgent. Clamouring requests to give attention to things that need to be resolved now. Sometimes they truly are urgent. Sometimes they even manage to be both urgent and important or at least possible to fix right now without taking too much time. Often though, the urgent can just be a noisy, clanging gong.
Another enemy is the immediate. They say that, if you want to get some work done, stay out of the office. Working with colleagues can be a wonderful thing but is also very easy to get pulled away from things that need to be done. Just because someone is on the phone or there in the office talking to you doesn’t mean that you can afford to spend all your time with them. Even without the presence of people, tasks can stake their claim by being right in front of you.
Thirdly, the inconsequential. This one struck me when I was pondering the subject yesterday after the threat of the immediate struck me. The third challenge to getting the important things done is frittering away time on things like Facebook and, uh, reading random blog posts.