Habit 3 – Put First Things First

Habit 3 is all about making priorities and managing time so that your most important things get done first. In Habit 2, you decided what the most important things were in your life. So, Habit 3 then, is putting those things first. Sean Covey calls Habit 3 the habit of will-power vs won’t power.

You have decided that you are the driver of your life’s journey, (Habit 1). You know what your destination is, (Habit 2). Habit 3 says, “Get there. Don’t let roadblocks knock you off your course.”

I love Covey’s Time Quadrant which challenges us to decide what is urgent, not urgent, important and not important.

Unfortunately, in our fast-paced society, everything seems urgent. We want everything now. We live in an immediate gratification time of instant pudding, minute rice, crash diets, fast foods, etc. It is difficult to slow down and smell the roses. This is why we need to be aware of what our priorities are and what must happen first to get to our destination.

We are a society of procrastinators who have trouble prioritizing what’s really important and what’s more fun and easier to do. Sean Covey tells the story about the big rock experiment. If you have a bucket for pebbles and big rocks, you need to put in the big rocks first or else you’ll run out of room if you fill it with the little ones first. Life’s journey is similar. You have to fill your journey with the big rocks first, or your most important things. The pebbles represent all the little everyday things that suck up your time, such as chores, phone calls, and interruptions. Covey says the moral of the story is, if you don’t schedule your big rocks first, they won’t get done.

We need to schedule our days and adapt daily as needed, but try to stick to your schedule, your plan.

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