Tech firms see the opportunity they have been waiting for as shoppers and business recoil from paper money. Who’s hurt when legal tender goes away?

If you are nor online, you are not making any money. You are missing out!




By: Michel Ouellette JMD


Is the Coronavirus Killing Off Cash?

From the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, stores and businesses were shuttering all over the World and many of those that were still open were balking at cash. Shoppers were switching orders to Amazon and Many stores and businesses that have stayed open would not take cash requiring customers to pay either by debit or credit cards or paying first online. What once seemed like the oldest, most reliable way of paying suddenly seems a thing of the past.

The Coronavirus crisis drove businesses and people to prefer credit and debit payments to cash; a shift that is here to last. Digital payments are quick, clean and easy and that shift is now representing a huge opportunity for all retail and services businesses around the world. People did learn from their Coronavirus experience and, for many, this means no longer walking in a store or and office.

For years, I have been pushing toward a more virtual, less cash-based business and payments system, and pressing businesses and business owners to go online to free them from the uncertainty of being paid for their products or services and increase their sales and cashflow tenfold. The Coronavirus crisis is now providing me with one more argument to justify that business model: Due to the coronavirus crisis, people that resisted to shop on line are now realizing how easy, economical and efficient it could be.

The only people I know that would not benefit from such a transition are the older and poorer people that tend to be more reliant on paper money either for lack of tech savvy, out of habit or because they do not participate in the formal banking system, the poorer and vulnerable people that do not have access to banks or credit cards.

You want to help these people!

For the duration of the pandemic, give them your products and provide them with your services free of charge. Donate to them directly, personally, the same way you donate to your preferred church or charity. This is good business. These people will be very grateful and let other people know about what you have done for them. Just do not forget to deduct these “promotional expenses” from your taxable income.

Some other people will still resist going online or using their credit card because they think that how they spend their money is nobody’s business, especially the taxation officer. Just take their money and put it in your left pocket. This is still good business. Just do not provide them with a receipt.

Money habits can be hard to break

The Covid-19 pandemic, has forced every one of us to change our spending habits almost overnight. It took years for ATMs to replace visits to human bank tellers. Now this is common ground. After resisting the move for years, many businesses started accepting credit cards and online payments either through their website or bank transfer. This shift in behavior is here to stay and for most businesses, it is now the right time to integrate in their business model infrastructure to support mobile banking and digital payments.

For others, the Coronavirus crisis is the rightful and legitimate occasion to turn their operations and business into fully cashless environments, that kind of economy, that long-held dream that I have been promoting for years. It is much, much faster to send money via the internet than to mail a check. It is much, much faster to get paid via the internet than waiting for the check in the mail.


Where is the money going?

Starting with day one of the Coronavirus crisis, items that were once necessities become luxuries, increasingly strapped people around the world were re-evaluating what they were spending their money on and how they were spending it.

For many, as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the world, new items and goods delivered in boxes seemed a safer bet than walking into stores. Suddenly, like many others, people became hyper aware of their expenses and were now taking a painful daily look at their financial priorities: Was that $5 monthly web magazine subscription really necessary? How much does watering the garden cost? When, in order to survive, where they going to need to tap into their savings?

“We are OK for now,” they were all saying. “But soon, the bottom may fall out from under us.”

As millions of people lose jobs, take pay cuts, close businesses and absorb family members into their homes, they were being forced to rethink where their money was going. Even before the scramble for new jobs can begin, people were cajoling creditors, looking for gig work or simply cutting back to get through the first few disorienting weeks of the Coronavirus outbreak.

For some, the question was simple as whether to by a jigsaw puzzle to keep from going corona crazy, and how much to tip the person that would deliver it. But for many others, the stakes were far higher: a good credit score sacrificed to pay off certain bills before others, or dinners rationing so that cash for groceries can be repurposed for an emergency fund.

To save money, heaters have been turned down, clothing sales ignored and auto insurance policies canceled. Vacations Plans turned into at-home entertainment and long sessions with Netflix, Disney Plus and Zoom. Rents were going unpaid as people spend weeks waiting for government aid to arrive.

An economic shock like this would certainly and definitely have a long-term impact on people who have traditionally felt like they were being cautious, that they were not squandering with their money, but did not have to worry about paying for rent or affording food. They might have more debt, which will make it harder to spend in the future, or they might just feel insecure.

Even when the economy was strong, many were in a precarious financial position, ill prepared to weather even minor disruptions and often weighed down by debt. Today, many of these people are experiencing a complete loss of income and on the verge of even loosing either their business or home. Those people are now relying on either good will from strangers or programs from corporations and the government to stay afloat.

For some people, many of whom have never seriously budgeted, are now mapping out strict spending schedules for the next few months. They get really creative. They eat little half meals, and they experiment with their seasonings and condiments to try to forget that they are eating the same thing over and over. They try to reschedule when monthly bills are due so she can space out the payments.

More than half of lower-income adults in North America say they will struggle to pay bills this month, compared to a quarter of their middle-income counterparts and 11 percent of those in the upper-income tier. Over all, more than half of those who expect a government stimulus infusion will use most of the money to cover essential expenses. One in five will save the funds to cover expenses further down the road.

To create a financial buffer, many people are hunting for freelance or part-time work or are working overtime in an attempt to drum up new business. For the last few weeks, for most people that I met online, they are all completely overwhelmed by their shortfall of income. For most of them, and they are not alone, while focusing on being able to afford groceries and maybe the house and car payments, they are all being stretched thin emotionally. They are totally exhausted at the end of the day.”


Going Online

“If you are not online, you are not making any money”

Following my predictions and recommendations, small business and shop owners are now launching “Online Stores” to either stay open or survive after the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are like many other entrepreneurs, for years, you wanted to venture into online sales for your business, but could never find the time. Now, with the pandemic shutting down most retail stores and nonessential businesses, it is only common sense to invest your time and money in doing so. The process is not really easy and may be costly and time consuming but the bottom-line results are certainly worth it. If you are not online, you are not only making any money but you are also losing money.

For many business owners that decided to go that route, the last several weeks have been chaotic and frantic, but the hard work is beginning to pay off. The response from customers has been amazing. Many businesses are now rushing to offer online sales or expand their available product line to keep their businesses afloat and meet customer demand. And this is only common sense.

Getting creative

Around the world, online store creations jumped by seventy-five per cent when comparing the second week of April to the first week in March. Some entrepreneurs have been very creative to offer the same product or service online as they did in-store. Despite the investment and long hours involved, their sales are going up their costs are going down and they are doing even better than before the pandemic.

For most of them, it is just non-stop work providing services, fulfilling and delivering orders. It is even busy, seven days a week.

The challenge

One more time: “If you are not online, you are losing money”

Creating an online store is often challenging for small businesses. Because of the many steps it can take, it can be a tedious process. It is definitely work, but it is important work right now. Really, if you are not online, you are not making any money and even losing money.

If you are not going online now, you are not only losing money, you are jeopardizing your future.

Look at the Covid-19 is a business opportunity

Even with the country in lockdown, a number of entrepreneurs are plunging ahead with new ventures. From pet services to food delivery and even advertising, many companies are forging ahead with launch plans. Some are even focusing their startup on issues related directly to the virus. For most of them, they find that the new, challenging environment actually presents an advantage for their startup.

When offering online services, your customers no longer have to walk in your store or offices to see your products, negotiate your services and process the credit card payment. All this interaction is now happening online.

Right now, people are really out of options, and do not know how to move forward with some sort and any kind of gathering. People are going online for everything and this trend is here to grow even further and stay.

For many services businesses going online, they offer a free phone consultation to start, and then propose other services susceptible to satisfy their customers’ needs. From the beginning, the introduction offers to the end, cashing the money of the customer, everything is done online.

If you are a retailer or distributor, going online is even easier.

There are a lot of opportunities to navigate.


Today and Tomorrow

Again: “If you are not online, you are not making any money”

Yes, the coronavirus curves are plateauing

There are fewer hospital admissions and the daily death toll is still grim, but no longer rising. While this is encouraging news, it masks some significant concerns. The gains to date were achieved only by shutting down the countries, a situation that cannot continue indefinitely.

No one knows exactly what percentage of the people around the world have been infected. So far, estimates have ranged from three percent to tern percent. Until a vaccine or another protective measure emerges, there is no scenario, agreed upon, in which it will be safe for people to suddenly come out of hiding.

One thing is for sure:

If, in the near future, people are to pour back out in force, all will appear quiet for perhaps a few weeks and then, without any warning, all over the world, the emergency rooms will get busy again. The tighter the restrictions, the fewer the deaths and the longer the periods between lockdowns.

China did not allow Wuhan, Nanjing and other cities to reopen until intensive surveillance found zero new cases for fourteen straights days, the virus’s incubation period. At home, people can still take domestic flights, drive where they want, and roam streets and parks. Despite strict or mandatory restrictions, everyone seems to know someone discreetly arranging play dates for children, holding backyard barbecues or meeting people. Even with rigorous measures, Asian countries have had trouble keeping the virus under control. How can we be so arrogant?

If there is a lesson to be learned from China, it is that reopening nonessential businesses, lifting all distancing restrictions, requires a steady declining of cases for at least fourteen days, the tracing of ninety percent of all people that came in contact with a person affected by the Covid-19 virus, an end to all healthcare worker infections and at least the immediate instauration of recuperation places and facilities for mild cases. This is a strict minimum and for most of the location where the Covid-19 safety and prevention precautions have been relaxed, none of these pre-emptive steps have been followed. Get ready for second wave of the Coronavirus infection.

“If there is something that people need to realize, it is that is not safe to play poker with the Coronavirus; that the faucet needs to be reopen gradually”

Previously unthinkable societal changes have taken place already. Schools and business have closed, and millions of have applied for unemployment. Taxes and mortgage payments are delayed, and foreclosures forbidden. Stimulus checks, intended to offset the crisis, were issued. Food banks opened doors across the world, and huge lines have formed. Except for the upper class of the society, the world has become a welfare world.

A public health crisis of this magnitude requires international cooperation on a scale not seen in decades. Once the pandemic has passed, the economic recovery may or may not be swift depending on the way we are dealing with the pandemic today. The psychological fallout is harder to gauge. The isolation and poverty caused by a long shutdown may drive up rates of domestic abuse, depression and suicide.

In such a scenario, immunity to the virus will become both, a societal advantage and disadvantage. Imagine a population divided into two classes: those who have recovered from infection and presumably have some immunity to it; and those who are still vulnerable. It will be a frightening schism: Those with antibodies will be able to travel and work, and the rest that will be discriminated against.

As people stuck in lockdown will see their immune neighbors resuming their lives and even taking the jobs they lost, it is not hard to imagine the enormous temptation to join them through self-infection. Younger citizens in particular will calculate that risking a serious illness may still be better than impoverishment and isolation.

Even though limited human trials of three have already begun, any effort to make a vaccine will take at least a year to eighteen months. This is being very optimistic. Treatments are likely to arrive first. Meantime, for the next two years, I strongly suggest that you exert extreme caution. Avoid people that you know that may have been exposed to the virus. Avoid shaking hands and touching your face. Wash your hands. Keep safe distancing from everyone you meet and finally start doing business online.

Above everything else: Stay Safe!


Michel Ouellette, ll.l, ll.m

Business Growth Strategist



JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Skype: jmdlive


Michel Ouellette / Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

For the duration of the pandemic and its aftermath.

JMD Systemics is her to help.

Book Your “FREE” Consultation Now


“I am awesome!” – Donald Trump

“I am exceptionally smart” he said.” “I’m, like, a very smart person,” he assured voters in 2016, “A very stable genius,” he ruled two years later.

And then, on last April 24, this exceptionally smart, very stable genius comes out with this unbelievable statement suggesting “injection” of disinfectant to beat coronavirus and “clean” the lungs. No modern politician anywhere in the world can match and surpass Trump’s record of irrational or illogical statements.

Trump is in a class of its own

His constant careless and too often delusional statements definitely invited questions about his intelligence and actual state of mind.

When Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” in private, he was absolutely right. So where all other former senior administration officials that did the same or rendered equivalent verdicts.

Trump is a megalomaniac

Since long before his 2016 campaign, few subjects have been as meaningful to him as appraisals of his intellect. For Trump, it always has been a source of perpetual obsession and manifest insecurity, so much, that he always felt and still do feel the need to allude to his brainpower regularly.

Trump does not want to feel like anybody is better than he is. He cannot deal with that and this is the reason why he his so often dismissing them and their opinions. He used to be intimidated by lawyers. Anyone who knows more than he does makes him feel less than he is.

Don’t get me wrong, I always cheer the underdog and applaud when they win. But if I was still be praising Trump, I would have to question my own sanity!

I now believe that it is time to go nuclear on Trump.

The only remedy is the 25th Amendment.


Michel Ouellette, ll.l, ll.m
JMD Systemics
Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management
Business Growth Strategist

If you are not online, you are not making any money, you are losing money.

Here comes JMD Systemics

Inexpensive Covid-19 Resources You Can Access Right Now

Hello everyone,

In a race to save their companies, small business owners have been and, for most of them, are still struggling to stay afloat while trying to navigate a complex maze of governmental assistance programs and figure out their legal options. Many have had and still have to do it all on their own because they could not and still cannot afford the costs of expensive lawyers, accountants and business consultants.

For most of them, like many of you, they were and still are facing a “Cash Crunch” while running after their money, waiting on payments for jobs completed, services provided and, products sold and delivered before the coronavirus shutdown of their business.

For those of you facing this situation, here comes JMD Systemics, in these days of pandemic, dedicated to providing professional inexpensive sustainable business services and alternatives to small businesses.

My mission is to provide all small business owners like you, at low cost, with all the necessary assistance required to successfully face and survive this Coronavirus business disturbance historical and unforeseen period.

For all the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, what I am offering you is: a “25% REDUCTION” on all My Business Services  and a “FREE” 30 Covid-19 Minutes Online Consultation.

My name is Michel, Michel Ouellette JMD

What I am offering you is all my professional expertise at a very low cost.

As a Business Growth Strategist, a Former Attorney and Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech, for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am offering you unlimited access to all my expertise and professional resources at a price you can afford.

While I know that like for most other small business owners and entrepreneurs that I am now helping, that what you need most right now is “Cash”. I also know that  like for many of my actual clients and business partners you may not know when that money will come.

And, this is where and how I can help you

My JMD Covid-19 Business Assistance Program, is designed and aiming primarily at very small businesses, these businesses with 100 employees or less.

Only businesses with 100 or fewer employees qualify

If you qualify and are seeking help and immediate assistance, go to My Covid-19 “FREE” Consultation Web Page and tell me what are your most pressing coronavirus related issues and concerns so I can adequately assess, identify and address your most immediate  needs before our initial online meeting.

Time is money and I would not want to waste your time or mine.

This being done, I will contact you to find out what would be, for you, the most convenient time to meet online and schedule our meeting accordingly.

During this first virtual COVID-19 “FREE” Consultation, I will be asking you  more questions to determine what would be your best options and to find out who, on my team, has expertise in those areas where you need assistance.

While my Covid-19 Small Business Assistance Program may not be able to fulfill every small business requests, my hope is to help as many entrepreneurs and small business owners as possible survive the Coronavirus pandemic and thrive.

Talk to you soon

Meantime, Stay Safe.

Michel Ouellette, ll.l, ll.m

Business Growth Strategist

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Skype: jmdlive


Ask for your “FREE” 30 Minutes Consultation Now


Today is my second day of my 90 days “Extreme Me” Challenge.

“Why are you Doing this Challenge?” would you ask.

Let’s say that Christmas is 84 days away and the new year 89 days away.

The end of the year is always a really tough time for me personally. While I love the holiday season it can also be a really stressful and chaotic time especially this year.

The last three years have been very tough and stressful and demanding.

In 2016, shortly after being laid off, West Corporation shutting down its Omnipod division after losing the customer to the competition, I was diagnosed with advanced phase 3 colon cancer and was given 3 months to live if nothing was to be immediately done about it.

Accordingly, my knee surgery replacement was delayed and I immediately started radiation and chemotherapy. Then, this was surgery, removal of a major part of my rectum, wearing a bag and removal of the bag. While all prognostics were favorable for the next 6 months, having lost control of my anal sphincter, I was shitting in my pants and shitting the sheets on a regular basis.

Then, it was 2017 when I ended up to the Kingston General Hospital Intensive Care Unit on two occasions. The first one when I ended up fully dehydrated and the doctors had to perform what they did call “Dehydration Resuscitation” and a second time where surgery had to be urgently performed due to a severe cholangitis.

2018 was not a better year.

All year long I had to go to the hospital for follow ups and I was running out of money. Above everything else, I had to deal with a very chagrined and depressed life partner.

2019 was even worse.

On January 17th 2019, due to negligence and incompetence of my so-called surgeon, following a failed laparoscopic gallbladder removal, once again, between life and death, I was ending up in the Kingston General Hospital Intensive Care Unit only to be released from the hospital on April 27.

Yes, indeed, the last few years of my life were not the best of my life.

Following my release from the hospital last April, I had to deal with a major loss of income. Being physically impaired, no longer being able to manage dockings, I had to resign myself to sell my boat. I then had to deal with an N12 Notice and move from a very big house to a very small house. And, all of this while still having to deal with a still very chagrined and depressed life partner.

You are Still Wondering Why I’m Doing the Challenge?

Let’s say that I do not give up very easily. I am a huge fan of positivism and setting new big scary goals and I need, to turn my life around now.

Desperate times call for desperate solutions.

They say it takes 30 days to build a new habit. So, in times where things are getting very chaotic, giving myself 90 full days to reinvent myself can really help me stay on track and take me into the new year prepared to chase down my dreams.

The “Extreme Me” 90 days challenge is all about finishing the last 90 days of this year strong and starting a new life.

Tomorrow Starts Today

Tell me, what is your challenge?



Subscribe to “The Empower Yourself “Extreme You” 90 Days Facebook Challenge Page

to tell me more about you and learn more about the 90 Days “Extreme You Challenge” and how it could improve your life.


Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l, ll.m

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Skype: jmdlive

Web: JMD Systemics Bunkumless Services | JMD | JMD Systemics Online |

Michel Ouellette /  Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Follow JMDlive on:

Twitter, FacebookFightback, Pinterest, Tumblr & Instagram

Book a Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD


Starting October 1st
A Radical Personal and Professional Transformation Project
Turning Your Life Around | How to Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World

When things are bad, it is the best time to reinvent yourself

Why waste valuable time?

What if you could instantly improve your life, step up, stand out and kick ass, bounce back from failures, speak your truth, embrace your quirks, and have a lot more fun along the way?

What if you could instantly change the focus of your company to be customer centered, operationally excellent, and results driven? What if that change organically grew from within?

What if it took only 90 days for you to see the results?

For years, I have been looking for ways to escape the vicissitudes of my life and to become Who I Always Wanted to Be, Who I Was Meant to Be.

For years, I always wanted to escape all the vaticinators of my life and stop believing in all their lies and egotistical and narcissistic aspirations. Unfortunately, for years, I have been living the dreams of my father, the dreams of my mother, the dreams of a malevolent society, the dreams of the churches, the priests, the false prophets of all confessions only to lose myself in all their lies, illusions and delusions.

I was not going anywhere and, today, I am still not going anywhere. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa! I love a good challenge and it is now time to take personally charge of “My Life”. It is time to turn “My Life” around and be “The Person I Always Meant to Be and live “A Life of My Own”. Keep reading and see if you want to join me to share with me and the world the reason(s) why you wish to take the 90 Days “Extreme You” Challenge and tell me and the world everything about your roadblocks and progress.

It is “Now” time to do it. I have to do it!

Starting October 1st, I will be telling you more about the “Extreme You” 90 Days Challenge and I would love to share and hear from you. I would love to learn more about you, your personal concerns and challenges, about your own goals and dreams.

Subscribe to “The Empower Yourself “Extreme You” 90 Days Facebook Challenge Page

to tell me more about you and learn more about the 90 Days “Extreme You Challenge” and how it could improve your life.


Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l, ll.m

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Skype: jmdlive

Web: JMD Systemics Bunkumless Services | JMD | JMD Systemics Online |

Michel Ouellette /  Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.


Follow JMDlive on:

Twitter, FacebookFightback, Pinterest, Tumblr & Instagram

Book a Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD


Neuroscience Says Our Brain Is Wired to Procrastinate

Most of us procrastinate finding ways to avoid doing what we feel and know that would make a huge difference in our lives.

Neuroscience says our brain is wired to procrastinate. Our limbic system is this part of the brain that helps control our behavioral and emotional responses and playing a key role in our survival adaptation. Our limbic system only focuses on the proximate and immediate, on the present, on the “Now” moment. By contrast, our neocortex is this part of human brains that deals with higher-order brain functions like cognition, spatial reasoning, language and making decisions that affect our future.

While our neocortex realizes and is telling us that we have to do something about our live, our limbic system prevents us, to take immediate action. That is why we procrastinate: our limbic system and neocortex are always engaged in a constant battle, one that the limbic often wins unless we find ways to take it out of the equation or fool it into thinking it is winning.

The key to procrastination avoidance is to find a way to align all possible future outcomes with our present and actual outcomes; to make something now that we know is good for us in the long run and also feel good in the short term.

How do we do this?

First, we have to shift our focus from the future to the present. We have to find ways to trigger the “now” portion of your brain. Then, we have to modify our goals without upsetting our limbic system. The goal is to avoid our limbic system influence and interference completely. If there are recurring tasks we often put off, we have to find ways to automate them. This way, our limbic system will no longer get involved in our decision-making process and the things we want to do will always get done. The other thing we want to do is to adopt and follow the 5-Minutes Rule.

If we resent doing something, we have to make a deal with yourself to give it at least five minutes of our time. In most cases, after five minutes doing what we resent to do, we will end up doing the whole thing. Once we get started, something magical happens: We realize that what we were afraid of starting is not so scary after all. The endorphins kick in. Our mental muscles warm up. Our limbic system loves that feeling and we end up completing the task at hand.

When you are struggling to get started, do not think about all the work involved. Just give it five good minutes of your time. That will quiet your limbic system and the magic will happen. From there, it will be all downhill.


Book a 30 minutes “FREE” Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD

JMD Systemics, a division of King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation

JMD Systemics is a premier, full-service crisis management and communications firm serving business owners, corporations, businesses, non-profit organizations, individuals and governmental clients  worldwide.​
Headquartered in Kingston, Ontario, our firm’s principal has over forty years of field experience providing crisis management, strategic communications, public affairs and public relations counsel to clients facing a broad spectrum of issues and daily challenges
Real change and organizational improvement only occurs with repetition over a number of weeks.
Organizations are not static and changes such as new rules and regulations, problematic customer requests, or software upgrades if not communicated well can produce uncertainty and lead to disengagement. In these and related circumstances organizations are asked to adapt, perform and influence most often without providing clear roles and responsibilities, update processes and training.
To understand where the “disconnects” are, JMD Systemics uses assessments to pinpoint areas for improvement and help to determine your best possible path forward.
Real change and organizational improvement only occurs with repetition  over a number of weeks. Contact us to discuss how our organizational solutions are designed to provide you and your teams with a clear roadmap to help you develop plans, processes and grow your business.


Book a 30 minutes “FREE” Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD

JMD SystemicsA division of King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation

JMD Systemics is a premier, full-service crisis management and communications firm serving business owners, corporations, businesses, non-profit organizations, individuals and governmental clients  worldwide.​
Headquartered in Bath, Ontario, our firm’s principal has over forty years of field experience providing crisis management, strategic communications, public affairs and public relations counsel to clients facing a broad spectrum of issues and daily challenges

How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life

  “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Many spend all their time managing crises.

Their life is basically spent putting out one proverbial fire after another. At the end of the day they feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet cannot point to anything they accomplished of real significance. They confuse the urgent with the important.

The Difference Between Urgent and Important

An “Urgent” task is one that requires your immediate attention. These are the tasks that shout “Do It Now!” Urgent tasks put you in a reactive mode, a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly focused mindset.

An “Important” task is something that is to be done that contributes to your long-term mission, values, and goals. While they may sometimes be, typically, important tasks are not urgent. When you focus on important activities you operate in a responsive mode that helps you remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.

As a result of all these modern stimulus-producing technologies such as 24-hour News, Twitter, Facebook, social media and text messaging technologies process all information as equally urgent and pressing, you tend to believe that all urgent activities are important. These modern news and social media stimulus-producing technologies constantly assault you with information that only heighten your deeply engrained mindset that is: to believe that all urgent activities are also important.

As a result, you are experiencing “present shock”, a condition in which “you live in a continuous, always-on ‘Now!!’” and lose your sense of long-term narrative and direction. In such a state, it is easy to lose sight of the distinction between the truly important and the merely urgent and the consequences of this priority-blindness are both personal and societal. In your own lives, you suffer from burnout and stagnation and, on a societal level, we are unable to solve the truly important problems of our time.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Dwight Eisenhower lived one of the most productive lives you can imagine.

Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. During his time in office, he launched programs that directly led to the development of the Interstate Highway System, the launch of the internet (DARPA), the exploration of space (NASA), and the peaceful use of alternative energy sources (Atomic Energy Act).

Before becoming president, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army. He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, and was responsible for planning and executing invasions of North Africa, France, and Germany. Along the way, he served as President of Columbia University, became the first Supreme Commander of NATO, and somehow found time to pursue hobbies like golfing and oil painting.

Eisenhower had this incredible ability to sustain his productivity for weeks, months and decades. His most famous productivity strategy is known as “The Eisenhower Box” or “The Eisenhower Matrix”, a simple decision-making tool that you can use right now to empower yourself and make real progress on your life.

The matrix consists of a square divided into four boxes, or quadrants, labeled as follow:

1) Urgent/Important;

2) Not Urgent/Important;

3) Urgent/Not Important, and

4) Not Urgent/Not Important.

Quadrant 1: “Urgent and Important” Tasks

“Tasks that are both urgent and important require our immediate attention and also work towards fulfilling our long-term goals and missions in life.”

This is the “Do It Now!” box

“Urgent and Important” tasks typically consist of crises, problems, or deadlines. A few specific examples of Urgent and Important tasks would be:

  • Certain emails such as a job offer, an email for a new business opportunity that requires immediate action, etc.;
  • A term paper deadline;
  • A Tax deadline;
  • A member of your family in an hospital ICU;
  • Your car engine giving out;
  • Household chores;
  • A heart attack and ending up in the hospital;
  • A call from your kid’s principal saying you need to come in for a meeting about his behavior.

With a bit of planning and organization, many of these Quadrant 1 tasks can be made more efficient or even eliminated outright. For example, instead of waiting until the last minute to work on your term paper, thus turning it into an urgent task, you could schedule your time so that you will be done with your paper a week in advance. Or, instead of waiting for something in your house to need fixing or fall apart, you can implement and follow a schedule of regular maintenance.

While you will never be able to completely eliminate urgent and important tasks, with a bit of imagination and proactivity you can significantly reduce them by spending more time in Quadrant 2.

Quadrant 2: “Not Urgent but Important” Tasks

Tasks that are “Not Urgent bur Important” are these activities that do not have a pressing deadline, but nonetheless help you achieve your important personal, school, and work goals as well as help you fulfill your overall mission in life.

This is the “Schedule It!” box.

The “Not Urgent but Important” tasks are typically centered around strengthening relationships, planning for the future, and improving yourself.

A few specific examples of Not Urgent but Important Tasks would be:

  • Weekly planning;
  • Long-term planning;
  • Exercising;
  • Family time;
  • Taking a class to improve a skill;
  • Spending time with a rewarding hobby;
  • Car and home maintenance;
  • Creating a budget and savings plan.

Always seek to spend most of your time on “Not Urgent but Important” activities. They are the ones that will provide you lasting happiness, fulfillment and success. Unfortunately for many, there are two key challenges that will tend to keep you from investing enough time and energy into these activities:

  • First: “You don’t know what’s truly important to you.” If you do not have any idea what values and goals matter most to you, you obviously will not know what things you should be spending your time on to reach those aims! Instead, you will latch on to whatever stimuli and to-dos are most urgent.
  • Second: “Present bias.” For most of us, we are all inclined to focus on whatever is most pressing at the moment. Doing so is our default mode. It is hard to get motivated to do something when there is not a deadline pending over our head. Departing from this fallback position takes willpower and self-discipline. Cultivate these qualities. They hat do not come naturally. Do whatever you have to do to develop this mental toughness and discipline that you may be lacking of.

Because “Not Urgent but Important” activities are not pressing for your attention, you typically keep them forever on the back-burner of your lives and tell yourselves, “I will get to those things “Someday”. You even put off figuring out what is most important in your life and life in general.

But “Someday” will never come.

If you are waiting to do the important thinks until your schedule clears up, trust me when I say that it will never happen, that you are daydreaming. Whatever happens in your life, you will always feel about as busy as you are now, and if anything, life just gets busier as you get older.

To overcome our inherent present-bias that prevents us from focusing on “Not urgent and Important” activities, you must live your lives intentionally and proactively. You cannot run your life in default mode. You have to consciously decide, “I am going to make time for these things”.

Quadrant 3: “Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Urgent and Not Important” tasks are activities that require your attention now, but do not help you achieve your goals or fulfill your mission in life. Most “Urgent and Not Important” tasks are interruptions originating from other people and often involve helping them meet their own goals and fulfill their own priorities.

This is the “Delegate Me!” box.

Here are some specific examples of “Urgent and Not Important”  activities:

  • Most phone calls;
  • Most text messages;
  • Most emails, those that are not “Urgent and Important”;
  • Co-worker who comes by your desk during your prime working time to ask a favor;
  • Request from a former employee to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf;
  • Your mom drops in unannounced and wants your help with a chore.

Many people spend most of their time on “Urgent and Not Important” tasks, while thinking they are working on “Urgent and Important” tasks.

While “Urgent and Important” tasks may be important to others, they are not important to you. They’re not necessarily bad, but they need to be balanced with your “Not Urgent but Important” activities. Otherwise, you will end up feeling like you are getting a lot done from day-to-day, while eventually realizing that you’re not actually making any progress in your own long-term goals. This is the perfect recipe for personal frustration and resentment towards others.

The solution to this problem is simple: Become more assertive and start to politely but firmly say “No!” to most requests.

Quadrant 4: “Not Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Not Urgent and Not Important” are these activities that, other than if they serve a specific professional or business purpose, unnecessary. These are the activities that are not helping you achieve or resolve anything. They are neither pressing nor do they help you achieve long-term goals or fulfill your mission in live. They are primarily, simply and utterly, mainly distractions.

This is the “Do Me later!”, the “Do Not Do It!” box.

Specific examples of such mostly useless tasks include:

  • Watching TV;
  • Mindlessly surfing the web;
  • Playing video games;
  • Scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram;
  • Gambling;
  • Shopping sprees.

If we were to conduct a time audit on ourselves, most of us would find that we spend an inordinate amount of time on “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities.

As a pragmatist, I do not think you need to eliminate “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities altogether from your life. After a particularly hectic and busy day, randomly browsing the internet or watching a favorite TV show for a half hour is exactly what my brain needs to decompress.

Instead of aiming to completely rid yourself of “Not Urgent and Not Important” tasks, try to only 5% or less of your waking hours on them.

Be Like Ike; Spend More Time on Important Tasks

In our present shock world, the ability to filter the signal from the noise, or distinguish between what is urgent and what is truly important, is an essential skill to develop. When faced with a decision, stop and ask yourself, “Am I doing this because it is important or am I doing it because it is merely urgent?”

As you will spend most of your time working on “Not Urgent but Important tasks”, you will feel a renewed sense of calm, control, and composure in your life. You will feel like you are making real progress. By investing your time in “Not Urgent but Important” planning/organizing activities, you will prevent and eliminate many of the crises and problems of “Urgent and Important” tasks, balance the requests of “Urgent and Not Important” tasks with your own needs, and truly enjoy the veg-outs of “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities, knowing that you have earned the rest. By making “Not Urgent but Important” tasks your top priority, no matter the emergency, annoyance, or deadline you will be hit with, you will have the mental, emotional, and physical wherewithal to respond positively, rather than react defensively.


Transition & Reputation Management

Office: 613.449.3278

Skype: jmdlive


  1. J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

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Kingston, ON, December 18, 2018SSTM [Strategic Systemic Transition Management] is a top performer in both execution performance and overall customer satisfaction. SSTM is a premier provider of Transition Management Services for businesses and business owners.

Highlights of the SSTM results in the 2018 survey include high rankings in:

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SSTM 2018 Transition Management Survey identified several trends resulting of increased transparency in the industry. Reasons for utilizing a Transition Management Firm are shifting. In 2017, the top reasons were: manager performance and fund restructuring. In 2018, most respondents indicated they used transition management services for asset allocations or to change manager personnel.

The survey also showed there have been fewer principal trades and more hybrid trades, whereas last year, principal trades surged. With an ageing population and a forever increasing cost of life, more and more people are now concerned with securing their financial future and the financial future of their family.

Emotional intelligence and transparency issues are now a general concern.

SSTM, as an agency-only provider with a reputation for strong customer service and operational excellence, is well-positioned to take advantage of the trend toward greater transparency.


For more information on SSTM, please call (613) 449-3278.

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J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMD live

Skype: jmdlive