First Things First Stephen Covey

In 2012 author Stephen Covey passed away.

Both his books “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “First Things First” (co-authored with Roger and Rebecca Merrill) influenced me.

Reading them was the main reason I got interested in Time Management and Goal Setting.
They were paramount in improving my time management skills!

Within”First Things First,” Covey describes a framework for prioritizing.

This framework aims at long-term objectives, at the expense of tasks that seem to be urgent. This concept uses a 2×2 matrix.

First Things First Stephen Covey – Fourth Generation Time Management

In this self-help book about time management Stephen Covey and the Merrills apply the insights from Covey's well-known book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to the daily work of managers.

The complex tasks to meet the strong demands of work and home set on them leans heavy on many managers.

The authors focus on relationships and results!
Instead of focusing on time and change.
They focus on effectiveness instead of stressing efficiency.

“First Things First” shows: 

  • Why previous tries to make effective use of time failed.
  • How the appeal of old habits can be overcome.
  • What the connection is between time management and being good with money.
  • How managers can delegate without losing full control.
  • What “winners” spend their time on.

First Things First Stephen Covey

First Things First Stephen Covey

First Things First Stephen Covey

………………………………What are the most important things in your life? 
Do they get as much care, emphasis, and time as you'd like to give them? Far from the traditional “be-more-efficient” time-management book with shortcut techniques, First Things First shows you how to look at your use of time totally different.Using this book will help you create balance between your personal and professional responsibilities by putting first things first and acting on them.

How can people take charge of their lives? 
Instead of just mastering the time they have.

Stephen R. Covey offers a classification scheme for the hundreds of time management approaches that are on the market today.

First generation time management: reminders

  • Devotees of this approach focus their time management efforts on keeping notes and lists.
  • They use these notes and lists as reminders.
  • By the end of the day items, which are not done, are transferred to the next day's lists.

Second generation:  preparation and planning

  • People in the second generation now use calendars and appointment books.
  • They will note where and when meetings are held and identify deadlines; sometimes they even use a computer to do this.
  • As opposed to the first-generation time management, the second generation prepares and plans schedules for future appointments. They also start setting goals. This, in turn, saves their time.

Third generation: planning, prioritizing, controlling

  • Third-generation time managers focus on their activities daily.
  • They use detailed forms on a computer for their daily planning or a paper-based organizer.
  • This approach helps them spend time in clarifying their values and priorities.

Fourth generation: being proactive and efficient

In his book First Things First, Stephen R. Covey refers to this approach as the 4th-generation time management.

  • This approach stresses the difference between urgency and importance in planning.

What do you find essential things in your life?

Are you able to give them the care, emphasis, and time as you would like to?

Far from a traditional “be-more-efficient” management book with some time management shortcut techniques, First Things First shows us how to look at our time use differently.

Covey discusses an organizing process to help you sort tasks, so you can focus on what is essential, not merely on what is urgent.

First, you divide those tasks into one of these quadrants:

1. Important and Urgent (crises, deadline-driven projects)

2. Important, Not Urgent (preparation, prevention, planning, relationships)

3. Urgent, Not Important (interruptions, many pressing matters)

4. Not Urgent, Not Important (trivia, time wasters)

First things first: To live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy

The subtitle of this book sums up perfectly the themes in the book.

Covey and both Merrill's show their readers what matters in life: ‘key' instead of ‘urgent' cases.

This book made a big impact on me and helped me to focus more on the things that matter to me.

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