Many executives are whirlwinds of activity, racing from meeting to meeting or crisis to crisis without giving much thought to the rationale for their hectic schedules. Many of those professionals like the feeling of doing something; they are not comfortable reflecting on their priorities. Their typical approach can be described as “Ready, fire, aim!” Others get bogged down in a schedule dictated by their company or spend most of their time responding to “urgent” requests from others.

As a result, those energetic, ambitious people end up spending too little time on activities that support their highest goals. Despite their talent, they often report a serious mismatch between their work priorities and time allocations. ...

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