In a post titled Hurry! Seth Godin discusses the common failing of doing what’s urgent rather than what’s important.
“The easiest thing to do is to allow the urgency of the situation to force us to make the decisions (or take the actions) that we’d rather not take. Why? Because then we don’t have to take responsibility for what happens. The situation is at fault, not us. The beauty of the asymptotic curve is that at every step along the way, running ever faster for the plane is totally justified. The closer we get, the more we’ve invested ourselves. The more we invest in making our flight, the easier it is to justify running like a lunatic to make it.”
The idea is that if you do the important stuff first, there will be far fewer urgent issues to deal with. The trick of course is determining what’s important.