Doing the Most Important Things When You’re Already Busy – Learning from the Dying

 In Better Life

This week I’m excited to bring you a guest blog from a fellow speaker, Derek Deprey. This tip is from “Derek’s Dose” where he turns everyday moments into leadership lessons. I really enjoyed it and found it extremely valuable so I wanted to share.

I recently led a workshop called, “How to Do the Most Important Things When You’re Already Busy.” We worked through 10 different behaviors to ensure laser-focus on the things that deeply matter. Number six was, “Say No.”

I shared a story from author Bronnie Ware, who wrote the book, “The Top Five Regrets of the People Who Are Dying.” Ware spent 12 weeks caring for terminally ill people and would ask them what their top regrets were in life. Their number one regret was, “I wish I would have had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life that others expected me to live.” 

I want you to fast forward and think about yourself at age 80. Looking back, what do you wish that you would have done?

My challenge to you… Do that thing or do those things RIGHT NOW.

For me, it’s creating a “SAY YES list” 41 years before I turn 80. My “SAY YES list” includes my relationships, wellness, and personal development.

Once I know what I’m going to say yes to, I can more easily decide what I will say NO to. I want to say NO to TV, other people’s opinions of me, worry and negative news.

REFLECTION: Take a moment and think about what you want to say YES to, so that you can truly tackle those things and cut out the things in your life that you shouldn’t be wasting your valuable time on.


Derek Deprey is a speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations create energized and effective cultures, so that they can fully realize their mission and vision. Learn more about him and his core philosophy of “Intentional Self-Leadership + Inspirational Team Leadership = Invigorating Culture” at

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