Commentary - Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Putting first things first
By Senior Airman Erika Brooke, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 11, 2009
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Editor's Note: This is the third story in a seven-part series on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. A class on these habits is offered periodically by the Airman and Family Readiness Center.
Where you're headed is more important than how fast you get there. Think about it. If you put first things first -- things that are important to you -- then you will always be headed in the right direction. This principle is the root of the third habit in the series Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a seminar offered by the Airman and Family Readiness Center.
"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities," said Steven Covey, public speaker and author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."
I learned that to have a good balance in my life I need to start putting important things first rather than the urgent things. Things of urgency force you to be reactive rather than proactive. This concept is hard to grasp, but the key is to know what is important to you.
This is a habit of discipline and planning. Once you know what's important to you, it requires discipline to act on your priorities. My matters of importance stem from my values, my life goals and my aspirations. Family and friends are very important to me and it's important for them to know that, too. I get to see my good friend Kayla on regular basis, but we don't always get to spend time together. When we make a date to go shopping or go out for dinner we both make a conscious effort not to let needless interruptions interfere. We don't tend to our cell phones and we avoid gossip. By avoiding these trivial matters I'm able to focus on what's important -- building my friendship with her.
By making these efforts, I'm building meaningful relationships, relationships that I care about and can depend on. Relationships are just one example of what could be considered important. Once you distinguish the matters that are most important to you, you must make a plan and have the discipline to follow through.
Once I started developing the habits of being proactive and beginning with the end in mind, I found it much easier to prioritize. I challenge you this week to find the things that are most important to you and focus on them and not sweat the small stuff.
For more information on this habit, or any of the seven habits, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 720-847-6681.