3 Ways to Do What Matters Today

Everyone wants to do what matters but we’re afraid to define it. After all, when you define what matters it’s unsurprising. Think love, relationships, satisfaction, health, and making a difference (mission).

Suppose you want to save the planet. That seems dramatic, right? But fulfilling a great mission distills into unimpressive daily behaviors.

Occasionally you do something sensational, but daily actions are unspectacular, even when you’re saving the planet.

Do what matters. You don't find purpose at work. You give purpose to work. Image of a squirrel with a nut.

Do what matters – Why you care:

Time is a burden when you do what doesn’t matter.

  • Unfocused talent is misspent.
  • Distraction dilutes life.
  • Busyness obscures significance.
  • Boredom.

How to do what matters today:

You don’t find purpose at work. You give purpose to work.

#1. Clarify your mission.

Mission infuses mundane behaviors with meaning.

You do what matters today when actions reflect mission. Create and focus on mission.

Long-term goals that express mission establish direction and define success. Short-term goals impact daily behaviors.

#2. Use the Eisenhour Matrix:

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” (Attributed to Dwight Eisenhower)

Divide tasks into four categories.

  1. Urgent and important (tasks that express mission with deadlines or consequences).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks that contribute to long-term success – schedule for later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks to delegate).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks to eliminate).

“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” Tim Ferriss

Things that feel urgent are seldom important:

  1. Responding immediately to most emails.
  2. Immediately answering most phone calls.
  3. Addressing most interruptions immediately.
"Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action." Tim Ferriss
Image of a squirrel

#3. Choose effectiveness:

Doing the right thing poorly is better than doing the wrong thing efficiently.

Choose effective over efficient. Work on efficiency only after you are effective.


  1. Embrace a ‘you can’t have it all’ approach.
  2. Always clarify the win before you act.

How can leaders do what matters today?