Put First Things First


Novelist, Stephen Covey, urges us to figure out what tasks are vital to our success. Then make a habit of putting those things first.

Three hours after you awake, conquer your important activities. Knowing your must-do tasks helps you create an effective daily routine. It also makes you aware of your productivity. The best to-do lists focus on urgent and pressing tasks. Plus, essential activities that bring positive results to our lives when done daily.

Covey suggests a time management matrix with four quadrants:
 - Quadrant 1: Urgent and important tasks
 - Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent tasks
 - Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important tasks
 - Quadrant 4: Neither essential nor urgent tasks

The majority of people put quadrant 1 first so they stay on top of their emails and phone notifications. However, quadrant 1 should contain activities and responsibilities that require immediate attention. Meanwhile, the attention of heavy procrastinators remains in quadrant 3 and 4.

Effective people focus the bulk of their energy on quadrant 2, while executing quadrant 1. Quadrant 2 consists of personal development activities like exercising, studying, networking, etc. To stay in quadrant 2, you will need to learn to say 'no.' Saying no allows you to make time for things you don't feel like doing. This allows you to experience proactive growth before opportunities arise.

It is hard but do you want to be busy or productive? Every time you let the laundry or your Netflix shows pile up, you are making time for quadrant 1 and quadrant 2 activities. 

If you want to change your mindset, you need to delve deeper into this topic by reading Stephen Covey's book on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.