May 29, 2018

Habit 3: Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play

I love how Sean Covey shares his chart on Time Quadrants. The quadrants are made up of two primary ingredients:

  1. Importantyour most important things, your first things, activities that contribute to your mission and your goals.
  2. Urgentpressing things, in-your-face things, activities that demand immediate attention.

QUADRANT 1 – The Procrastinator (Q1): causes us a lot of stress. She thrives under pressure. She’s addicted to urgency. She’s a cram artist. Too much time in Q1 causes stress and anxiety, burnout, and mediocre performance.

QUADRANT 2 The Prioritizer (Q2): is made of things that are important but not urgent, like relaxation, building friendships, exercising, planning ahead and doing homework …. on time! It’s the quadrant of excellence – the place we want to be. She makes sure her first things get done first and her last things last. The results of Q2 are, control of your life, balance, and high performance.

QUADRANT 3 – The Yes-man (Q3): represents things that are urgent but not important. It is characterized by trying to please others. It is the worst quadrant to be in. The results of Q3 are a reputation for being a “pleaser,” lack of discipline, and feeling like a doormat for others to wipe their feet on.

QUADRANT 4 The Slacker (Q4): is the category of waste and excess, neither urgent nor important. The results of the slacker are lack of responsibility, guilt, and flakiness.

Habit 3 is the hardest of all The 7 Habits of Happy Kids!

All of us are somewhat addicted to doing the urgent thing or the easier thing first. Yet if we don’t teach our kids to delay gratification and do the hard thing first while they are young, they may learn too late or not at all. Covey’s story about Pokey is an excellent story to teach this habit.

Baby Steps Activities:

  1. What are some of your most important jobs or responsibilities? Practicing the piano? Making your bed? Doing your homework? Emptying the dishwasher? Taking out the garbage? Talk about them with your mom or dad.
  2. Tomorrow surprise your parents and do your chores before they even ask.
  3. The next time you have a lot of homework to do, do the hardest part first.
  4. Think of something you’ve been putting off for a long time, like cleaning up your room, pumping up that tire on your bike, or fixing a broken toy. Go do it right now!