Why Some People Almost Always Have Fulfilling and Prioritized Lives

Written By Anthony Moore


I came to a shocking realization the other day—theres a huge difference between whats important in my life and what’s urgent in my life. The difference makes up a big part of how fulfilled, motivated and productive I feel. Heres my breakdown of the two.

Things that are urgent, but not important:

Texting people




Texting people back

Some phone calls


Things that are important, but not urgent:

Paying off my student loans

Working on Professional Graduate (my online curriculum for college grads)

Training for my half marathon

Finish reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

The blunt truth is that a lot of people are almost always caught up in the urgent-but-not-important sector, like going out and getting drunk, watching Netflix, or surfing Pinterest. All the while their dreams—their innate passions that need nourishment and practice, collect dust and are stubbornly kept on the back burner.

There are some people who almost always have fulfilling, prioritized and productive lives. Those people do whats important, but not urgent. It’s hard, but you have to protect whats important because people and other distractions are vying for your time. Once the stars align and you finally sit in front of your desk to write that book, fill out that application or create that website, something urgent comes up and its back to the same as usual. Is that what you want?

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks a lot about phenomenon. There are the people who wake up each day and dive into the urgent side of life—answering emails, texting back promptly and never saying no to a project at work. A common trait among these workers is that theyre stressed all the time. So, after they finish with the urgent stuff, they check out completely by going home and tuning out.

There are also people who have found how to fight for whats important––long-term goals that may not produce short-term results. Many people defiantly refuse to spend their precious time on important projects, and instead dive back into social media and short-term thrills. 

What do you want to do? Do you want to be someone who has a life defined by fulfillment, priorities, and productivity? Then do whats important, not whats urgent.


Anthony Moore is the creator of StuffGradsLike, an online resource for college grads that provides hilarious, yet practical tips, tricks and guidance for life after college.