The 7 Habits

Habit 3: Put First Things First

The Habit of Integrity & Execution

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

-Johann Goethe

Focus on Top Priorities

Why is it so hard to put First Things First?

Because urgent things get in the way. If we put urgent things first, we're driven by the clock. Habit 3 is about putting the compass before the clock.

TIME MATRIX

Eliminate the Unimportant
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IMPORTANT/URGENT

  • Crises
  • Pressing problems
  • Deadline-driven projects, meetings, reports
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IMPORTANT/NOT URGENT

  • Preparation
  • Prevention
  • Planning
  • Relationship building
  • Re-creation
  • Values clarification
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NOT IMPORTANT/URGENT

  • Needless interruptions
  • Unnecessary reports
  • Unimportant meetings, phone calls, mail, e-mail
  • Other people's minor issues
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NOT IMPORTANT/NOT URGENT

  • Trivia, busywork
  • Irrelevant phone calls, mail, e-mail
  • Time-wasters
  • "Escape" activities
  • Excessive TV, Internet, relaxation

Plan Weekly

Tips for Weekly Planning:

  • When? Before the week begins.
  • Where? Someplace quiet.
  • How long? 20-30 minutes.

Plan Daily

1. Check today's appointments.

2. Make a realistic list.

3. Prioritize

Elements of An Effective Planning System

Highly effective people have a reputation for consistent follow-through. Putting first things first each week requires not only discipline, but good planning tools.

An Effective Planning System