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In light of the recent wildfires in Central Texas and the 10th anniversary remembrance of 9-11, it’s been a perfect season to reflect on what’s most important in our lives and work.   You may have heard ABC anchor Diane Sawyer say last Sunday that on 9-11-2001 she remembers being near the World Trade Center after the first explosion. She saw thousands of papers floating down from the sky, many of them containing schedules, names, and to-do lists, all of which must have seemed very important prior to that moment.

Likewise, with the Texas wildfires raging so close to Austin and the brisk fall winds helping to ignite and spread them across many miles in just minutes,  my husband and I began gathering up documents, photographs, mementos, and other items that were most priceless to us, just in case we had to shove them in the car and make a run for it.   In turn, we noticed all the clutter, papers, and items we had to dig through to get to what mattered; possessions we’d  accumulated over the years that seemed so important when we acquired them, but in the face of a potential crisis wouldn’t really mean much to us at all.

This kind of stark reflection on what’s worth saving and what’s not can be applied very easily to your life, work, schedule, networking efforts, and connections.  And you don’t have to suffer through a disaster to adopt the “what’s most valuable” mindset.  Fact is, whether we’re talking about your possessions, the connections in your database, or the activities and meetings you pencil into your days,  only about 20% will matter most to you and your business, especially when time is short and you have to make some critical choices.

So instead of clicking through names trying to get to the connections that are most important to you, or having so many networking events on your schedule that you have no time left over to focus on your priorities, why not separate out the valuable from the not-so-much proactively and ensure that you’re always getting the most value from your relationships and time?


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