First Things First
eBook - ePub

First Things First

Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

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  1. 368 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

First Things First

Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

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About This Book

The New York Times –bestselling time management book from the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen R. Covey's First Things First is the gold standard for time management books. His principle-centered approach for prioritizing gives you time management tips that enable you to make changes and sacrifices needed in order to obtain happiness and retain a feeling of security. First Things First: The Interactive Edition takes Dr. Covey's philosophy and remasters the entire text to include easy-to-understand infographics, analysis, and more. This time-saving version of First Things First is the efficient way to apply Dr. Covey's tested and validated time management tips, while retaining his core message. This guide will help you: • Get more done in less time
• Develop and retain rich relationships
• Attain inner peace
• Create balance in your life
• And, put first things first "Covey is the hottest self-improvement consultant to hit US business since Dale Carnegie." — USA Today "Covey has reached the apex with First Things First.This is an important work. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be helped by reading it." —Larry King, CNN "These goals embody a perfect balance of the mental, the physical, the spiritual, and the social." — Booklist Readers should note that this ebook edition differs slightly from the print edition and does not contain all the same materials.

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Information

Publisher
Mango Media
Year
2015
ISBN
9781633532229

The Main Thing Is To Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing

In this section we’ll introduce the Quadrant II organizing process—a thirty-minute weekly process and tool that will empower you to create quality of life based on needs, principles, and endowments. As we move through the parts of the process, we’ll address questions such as these:
  • Suppose you’re planning a day. How do you know what’s really most important for you to do? What determines your “first things”—urgency, values ... or an empowering vision and mission based on the principles that create quality of life?
  • What do you do when you feel torn between different roles in your life, such as work and family or contribution and personal development? Is “balance” a matter of running between bases fast enough to touch them all?
  • Suppose you have the day planned and someone comes to you with an “urgent” need. How do you know whether it’s “best” to change your priorities? Can you change with the confidence and peace that you’re putting first things first?
  • Suppose you’re going through your day and an unexpected opportunity comes up. How do you know whether it’s “best” to respond to the opportunity or stick to your plan?
The first time you go through this process, you’ll see immediate benefits. You’ll be able to start shifting your focus from “urgency” to “importance” and learn how to create a flexible framework for effective decision making instead of a schedule made of cement.
But you’ll experience the process on a much more powerful level as we go through each step in depth in Chapters 5 to 10. In these chapters, we’ll talk about:
  • the transforming power of a principle-based vision and mission
  • how to create balance and synergy among the various roles in your life
  • how to set and achieve principle-based goals
  • why the perspective of the week makes such a vital difference in putting first things first
  • how to act with integrity in the moment of choice—where the rubber meets the road in daily living
  • how to create an upward spiral of learning and living
At the end of each of these chapters, you’ll find specific suggestions for goals you can set during weekly organizing to integrate these things into your life. Some ideas may be more helpful to you than others. We hope you’ll come up with many ideas on your own. After going through these chapters, you’ll come back to the process with new eyes. You’ll be able to see how, over time, Quadrant II organizing can empower you to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a great and enduring legacy.
The key to quality of life is in the compass—it’s in the choices we make every day. As we learn to pause in the space between stimulus and response and consult our internal compass, we can face change squarely, confident that we’re being true to principle and purpose, and that we’re putting first things first in our lives.

4: Quadrant II Organizing: The Process of Putting First Things First

Roger: Some time ago, a friend of mine—a business consultant—was moving into his new home. He decided to hire a friend of his to landscape the grounds. She had a doctorate in horticulture and was extremely bright and knowledgeable.
He had a great vision for the grounds, and because he was very busy and traveled a lot, he kept emphasizing to her the need to create his garden in a way that would require little or no maintenance on his part. He pointed out the absolute necessity of automatic sprinklers and other labor-saving devices. He was always looking for ways to cut the amount of time he’d have to spend taking care of things.
Finally, she stopped and said, “Fred, I can see what you’re saying. But there’s one thing you need to deal with before we go any further.
“If there’s no gardener, there’s no garden!”
Most of us think it would be great if we could just put our gardens—or our lives—on automatic and somehow get the quality-of-life results that come from careful, consistent nurturing of the things that create it.
But life doesn’t work that way. We can’t just toss out a few seeds, go ahead and do whatever we want to do and then expect to come back to find a beautiful, well-groomed garden ready to drop a bountiful harvest of beans, corn, potatoes, carrots, and peas in our basket. We have to water, cultivate, and weed on a regular basis if we’re going to enjoy the harvest.
Our lives will bring forth anyway. Things will grow. But the difference between our own active involvement as gardeners and neglect is the difference between a beautiful garden and a weed patch.
This chapter describes the gardening process. It’s identifying what’s important and focusing our effort to help it grow. It’s planting, cultivating, watering, and weeding. It’s applying the importance paradigm to nurture quality of life. It’s a “high-leverage” activity you can do in about thirty minutes each week. And whatever your current quality of life, the Quadrant II process will produce significant results.
On one level, this process is a first-aid measure to treat the problem of urgency addiction. If you haven’t had a chance to think deeply about needs and principles in your own life and you’re basically operating from the urgency paradigm, it will immediately help you begin to shift from urgency to importance thinking. Just going through the process will help you act on the important instead of reacting based on emotion or circumstance.
On another level, it creates the framework in which you can organize your time to focus on needs and principles and begin to work on them in your life. Through the organizing process, you can create Quadrant II time to connect with your deep inner life, create a personal principle-based mission statement that deals with all four needs, and develop your personal capacity to understand and align your life with the principles that govern quality of life.
On yet another level, this process enables you to translate your personal mission statement into the fabric of your daily life. From the mission to the moment, it empowers you to live with integrity and put first things first in a balanced, principle centered way.
As we present the steps in the process, we suggest that you consider them carefully. Write things down. The more involved you are, the more significant your learning will be. We suggest that you look over the following worksheet and then use it to organize the next week of your life according to the six step process that follows.
The forms we’re using in this chapter are part of an organizing system we’ve developed based on Quadrant II.* We want to emphasize the fact that the system is not a “magic tool.” The system is designed to enhance the process of Quadrant II organizing. But the same process can be done in a modified daily planner, on a computer, in a spiral notebook, or even on a paper napkin. It’s important to make sure that whatever system you use is aligned with what you’re trying to do. A system that’s focused on prioritizing urgent Quadrant I/III activities will get in the way of your effort to transition into Quadrant II.
THE WEEKLY WORKSHEET®
As you look at the weekly worksheet below, you’ll notice that it’s different from most planning tools in that it is a weekly and not a daily page.
The week creates context. You may have seen the wonderful two or three-minute video clip where the camera pans over what appear to be great hills and valleys, sweeping up and down, giving various perspectives of the apparent contours of a vast geographical area. At each sweep of the camera, we wonder what it is we’re seeing. Are those raised areas the undulating hills of some barren wasteland? Are they the huge dunes of a remote desert? After a few moments, the camera slowly backs up so that the whole becomes visible. The “mountains” and “valleys” are the recognizable texture of an orange!
Daily planning pr...

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