How many of us have trouble with prioritizing what is most important in a day, either personally as a student, a parent, a leader, an educator... you name it! This seems to be a lesson, habit, that is difficult to teach. It almost needs to be learned through life experiences, or through making mistakes often enough to cause us pain. I like Covey’s story of Sarah, a 16-year-old junior.
I was a very good student, but when tests came, I would do very poorly on them. I had no clue why I would bomb even though I knew the material being discussed. When I saw the quadrants it made me realize I was definitely The Yes-Man. When I was supposed to be studying I would have interruptions that’s I thought we’re important, like a phone call. I was easily distracted. I would then cram the morning before the test to get as much information in my head. I am learning to say no to people at times and saying yes to me. My teachers have taught me that it is OK to be a little selfish about my priorities.
The Quadrants can be found on page 24 of Sean Covey’s book, The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make. They are 1. The Procrastinator (Important), 2. The Prioritizer (Important), 3. The Yes-Man (Not Important), 4. The Slacker (Not (Important).
- Which Quadrant do you fit into? If you’re not #2. The Prioritizer, what could you do to get to learn Habit 3 - Put First Things First?