By Angela M. Jackson | Owner, The Great Frame Up  

In today’s world, there almost always seems to be competing forces demanding our attention — work, family, friends, projects … more projects … did I say projects?

We dutifully take on the constant challenge of prioritizing our list and tackling each item with speed and proficiency. However, I often find myself asking the same question: Is this task the most important, or is it really the most urgent?

Generally, I have to be honest with myself. When I invest too much valuable time in what is most urgent and not enough on what is the most important, I’ve failed to do my "best."

Several years ago, I embraced a mantra of "doing what is best versus doing what seems good." For the past several months, I’ve been challenged to resurrect this mantra. My goal is to challenge myself to do more of the most important and less of the urgent to get closer to my goal of doing what is "best."

I strongly encourage you to take command of your season so that you too will discover the value of making your "best" the priority versus only what seems good. As humans, we have to own the space we are in at work and not allow others — our managers, our peers, our co-workers, our customers, our competitors — to shove us onto the constant treadmill of actions that are mostly the good versus what is "best."

Here are three practical tips for making your "best" a priority each day:

1. Create a comprehensive weekly to-do list — just let the data dump — then pause and step back and focus on items that are the best for your personal growth on the list. Choose one or two action items that are the "best" for that day or week.

2. Create an environment that makes you smile. Surround yourself with art and visuals that help you be creative and tap into your amazing potential for greatness.

3. Create your own statement of success that embraces your target strengths and goals. Write the statement on a sticky note and post it on the mirror at home. Speak it out loud to yourself each morning. You’ll be surprised at how powerfully this simple exercise will help fuel you during the day.

To share your valuable talents with others, focus on what is most precious to you  — the best — whether it’s reading a story, writing a poem, painting a picture, singing a song, playing an instrument or preparing a meal. Don’t neglect the gifts and treasures hidden deep within you. Command your season of vitality.

"You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you."  - Myles Monroe

Angela Jackson is owner of the Great Frame Up, an art gallery and custom framing business in West Des Moines. She previously was president of Angela Jackson Consulting, a human resource and leadership consulting company and served as senior corporate counsel for Maytag Corp. in Newton. Angela serves on various boards and commissions including the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and the Des Moines Arts Festival. Contact Angela via email.