First Things First – Getting the Right Things Done.
We sometimes feel that we work and work on the things we need to get done and afterwards feel we didn’t accomplish anything important. We can get to feeling like we’re spinning our wheels; wasting our time on activities that don’t give us true fulfillment.
Stephen Covey wrote about these frustrations in his book First Things First. I would highly recommend you getting a copy and reading it if you haven’t yet. In it, he discussed how many of us have worked to learn to be more efficient in doing what we do, but we still feel like we haven’t accomplished what needed done. We’ve come to think that accomplishment is achieved by making the list and prioritizing it and then checking off things as they are done.
Mr Covey points out that so many of us, in the end, come to see that we accomplished a lot of stuff, but left a lot of important things or people out of our lives. We may have climbed the ladder of success, only to find that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.
Live by Compass not Clock
In his book, First Things First, he explains a system of examining your motives for life, your real priorities in life. He uses the analogy of living life by the compass, rather than by the clock. By that he means, decide what is really important to you, what direction you want to go, and put your time into doing what will achieve those things. Most people live by the clock or schedule feel frustrations when something or someone interrupts that schedule.
For example, if you are in the middle of a project and your child needs help with something or is crying about something, you might feel frustrated because your child interrupted you. When if you think it out, your child and their happiness is of a greater value to you than the project you’re working on.
Follow Your Values
Mr Covey explains how to go about listing out what is of most value in your life and using those values as the basis for your activities. He uses the term “roles” for these values in your life. For example, you might have a Role of parent, or a business professional. He suggests doing a weekly review of your Roles and decide your goals, what needs accomplished, each week in each Role. For example in the Role of a Spouse, you might schedule a date to spend time just with your spouse. Or in the Role of Business Professional, you might have the goal this week of producing 3 short videos.
By using a process of planning each week based no your values or roles, you end the week feeling more accomplished because you focused on what’s really most important in your life. You accomplish the important things in your life and the other things get done as needed as well. You put first things first.
Again, if you don’t have this book in your library, I recommend you get a copy and read it.
Here’s to your Success!
Jerry D Ross
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