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Editorial Reviews. Review. What are the most important things in your life? Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like $ Read with Our Free App; Audiobook. $ Free. Find out more about First Things First by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill at Simon & Schuster. Read book reviews & excerpts, watch. THINGS. FIRST. AS we begin this chapter, take a moment to consider your answer to the following to what's urgent is foundational to putting first things first. As you go .. broken-down machine, undergo heart surgery, or help a crying child.

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Stephen R. Covey Author (). cover image of First Things First Habit 3 Put First Things First. Stephen R. Covey Author Stephen R. Covey Narrator (). The easiest way to learn modern web design, HTML5 and CSS3 step-by-step from scratch. Design AND code a huge project. First Things First will empower you to define what is truly important; to accomplish you may now receive an audio download of First Things First for $, which is a If you are not yet a member, please register for free by clicking here.

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We're always responding to crises. We're constantly caught up in "the thick of thin things" -- putting out fires and never making time to do what we know would make a difference. We feel as though out lives are being lived for us. For others of us, the pain is a vague discomfort. We just can't get what we feel we should do, what we want to do, and what we actually do all together. We're caught in dilemmas. We feel so guilty over what we're not doing, we can't enjoy what we do.

Some of us feel empty. We've defined happiness solely in terms of professional or financial achievement, and we find that our "success" did not bring us the satisfaction we thought it would. We've painstakingly climbed the "ladder of success" rung by rung -- the diploma, the late nights, the promotions -- only to discover as we reached the top rung that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

Absorbed in the ascent, we've left a trail of shattered relationships or missed moments of deep, rich living in the wake of the intense, overfocused effort. In out race up the rungs, we simply did not take the time to do what really mattered most. Others of us feel disoriented or confused. We have no real sense of what "first things" are. We move from one activity to another on automatic. Life is mechanical. Once in a while, we wonder if there's any meaning in our doing.

Some of us know we're out of balance, but we don't have confidence in other alternatives. Or we feel the cost of change is too high. Or we're afraid to try. It's easier to just live with the imbalance. A loved one dies. Suddenly she's gone and we see the stark reality of what could have been, but wasn't, because we were too busy climbing the "ladder of success" to cherish and nurture a deeply satisfying relationship. We may find out our teenage son is on drugs. Pictures flood out minds -- times we could have spent through the years doing things together, sharing, building the relationship The company's downsizing and our job's on the line.

Or our doctor tells us we have just a few months to live. Or our marriage is threatened by divorce. Some crisis brings us to an awareness that what we're doing with our time and what we feel is deeply important don't match. Years ago, I was visiting with a young woman in the hospital who was only twenty-three years old and had two small children at home.

She had just been told she had incurable cancer. As I held her hand and tried to think of something to say that might comfort her, she cried, "I would give anything just to go home and change a messy diaper! In the absence of such "wake-up calls," many of us never really confront the critical issues of life. Instead of looking for deep chronic causes, we look for quick-fix Band-Aids and aspirin to treat the acute pain.

Fortified by temporary relief, we get busier and busier doing "good" things and never even stop to ask ourselves if what we're doing really matters most.

It reflects something of a "popcorn phenomenon," with the increasing heat and pressure of the culture creating a rapidly exploding body of literature and tools. In making this survey, we read, digested, and boiled down the information to eight basic approaches to rime management.

These range from the more traditional "efficiency"-oriented approaches such as the "Get Organized" Approach, the Warrior Approach, and the ABC or Prioritization Approach, to some of the newer approaches that are pushing traditional paradigms. These include the more Far Eastern "Go with the Flow" Approach, which encourages us to get in touch with the natural rhythms of life -- to connect with those "timeless" moments in time when the tick of the clock simply fades away in the joy of the moment.

They also include the Recovery Approach, which shows how such rime wasters as procrastination and ineffective delegation are often the result of deep psychological scripting, and how environmentally scripted "people pleasers" often overcommit and overwork out of fear of rejection and shame. We've provided both a brief explanation of each of these approaches and a bibliography in Appendix B for those who are interested.

But we generally find that most people relate more to what could be called the three "generations" of time management. Each generation builds on the one before it and moves toward greater efficiency and control.

First Generation. The first generation is based on "reminders. This generation is characterized by simple notes and checklists. If you're in this generation, you carry these lists with you and refer to them so you don't forget to do things.

Hopefully, at the end of the day, you've accomplished many of the things that you set out to do and you can check them off your list. If those tasks are not accomplished, you put them on your list for tomorrow. Second Generation. The second generation is one of "planning and preparation. It's efficiency, personal responsibility, and achievement in goal setting, planning ahead, and scheduling future activities and events.

If you're in this generation, you make appointments, write down commitments, identify deadlines, note where meetings will be held You may even keep this in some kind of computer or network.

Third Generation. The third generation approach is "planning, prioritizing, and controlling.

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You've asked yourself, "What do I want? You prioritize your activities on a daily basis. This generation is characterized by a wide variety of planners and organizers -- electronic as well as paper-based -- with detailed forms for daily planning. In some ways, these three generations of time management have brought usa long way toward increased effectiveness in our lives.

Such things as efficiency, planning, prioritization, values clarification, and goal setting have made a significant positive difference. But, bottom-line, for most people -- even with the tremendous increase in interest and material -- the gap remains between what's deeply important to them and the way they spend their rime. In many cases, it's exacerbated. These three generations describe a chronicle of my history in time management. I was raised in the Carmel, Pebble Beach area in California.

The artistic, free-thinking, philosophical environment was certainly in generation one. I would jot down, from time to time, things I didn't want to forget -- particularly golf tournaments, which were a big part of my life. Because I was also involved in ranches and quarter horses, there were certain seasons and other important things not to forget.

As I moved on, the need to get more done in less time, the demands of the many things I wanted to do, and the rich opportunities that were around drove me deeply into the second generation. I read everything I could get my hands on in the area of time management. In fact, my business, for a period of time, was as a time management consultant. I would work with individuals to help them become more efficient, organize things better, learn how to handle the telephone and so forth.

Typically, alter observing and analyzing their activities for a day, I would make specific suggestions on things they could do to get more done in less time.

As time went on, I found to my dismay that I wasn't really sure that I was helping. In fact, I began to wonder if I was just helping people fail faster. The problem wasn't how much they were getting done. It was where they were trying to go, and what they were trying to accomplish. People wanted to know how they were doing, but I realized I couldn't tell them unless I knew what it was they were trying to do.

This drove me into generation three. In fact, both Stephen and I were quite involved in some of the work that began this third generation and worked with some of the people who have been very influential in that field. Our interest was in tying values to goals to help people do more that was congruent and in priority. At the time, it seemed like a clear path that needed to be pursued. But over time, it became evident that there was a real difference between what people wanted and what they apparently needed in their lives.

Many were achieving more and more goals As a result, I began to question some of the fundamental paradigms and the ways I had been thinking. I began to realize the answers weren't in these three generations of time management.

They were at the fundamental paradigm level. They were in the very assumptions by which we determine and approach what we're trying to do. People in the first generation tend to be flexible.

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They're able to respond to people and changing needs. They're good at adapting and working things out.

They work on their own timetable and do whatever they feel they need to do or seems pressing at the time. But things often fall through the cracks. Appointments are forgotten; commitments are not kept. Without an empowering sense of lifetime vision and goal setting, meaningful accomplishment is less than it could be. People in the second generation plan and prepare. They generally feel a higher level of personal responsibility to results and commitments.

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Calendars and schedules not only serve as reminders, but encourage better preparation for meetings and presentations -- professionally and with family, friends, and associates. Preparation increases efficiency and effectiveness. Goal setting and planning increase performance and results. But the focus on schedule, goals, and efficiency enthrones the schedule. Although many in the second generation sincerely value other people and relationships, this schedule focus often leads them to act as though others are "the enemy.

They insulate or isolate themselves from others, or they delegate to them, seeing people primarily as a resource through which they can increase their personal leverage. In addition, those in the second generation may be getting more of what they want, but what they're getting does not necessarily fulfill deep needs or create peace of mind. The third generation makes a major contribution by tying goals and plans to values. People in this generation achieve sizable gains in personal productivity through focused daily planning and prioritization.

The results of this generation seem very promising. In fact, for many people, the zenith of "time management" is this third generation. They feel that if they were deeply into this generation, they'd be on top of everything.

But this third generation has some serious flaws -- not in intent, but in unintended results created by incomplete paradigms and vital missing elements. We want to look at these flaws in depth because this generation represents the "ideal" for many and the goal toward which many in the first and second generations aspire. Let's consider some of the underlying paradigms, or mind-sets.

These paradigms are like maps. They're not the territory; they describe the territory. And if the map is wrong -- if we're trying to get to some place in Detroit and all we have is a map of Chicago -- it's going to be very difficult for us to get where we want to go.

We can work on our behavior -- we can travel more efficiently, get a different car with better gas mileage, increase out speed -- but we're only going to wind up in the wrong place faster.

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We can work on our attitude -- we can get so "psyched up" about trying to get there we don't even care that we're in the wrong place. But the problem really has nothing to do with attitude or behavior. The problem is that we have the wrong map. While these paradigms underlie the entire traditional time management approach, they're emphasized by the third generation.

The primary paradigm of the third generation is one of control -- plan it, schedule it, manage it. Take it a step at a time. Don't let anything fall through the cracks. Most of us feel it would be great to be in "control" of out lives. But the fact is, we're not in control; principles are. We can control out choices, but we can't control the consequences of those choices. When we pick up one end of the stick, we pick up the other. To think we're in control is an illusion.

It puts us in the position of trying to manage consequences. In addition, we can't control other people. And because the basic paradigm is one of control, time management essentially ignores the reality that most of out time is spent living and working with other people who cannot be controlled.

Efficiency is "getting more done in less rime.

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We get more done. We reduce or even eliminate waste. We're streamlined. We're faster. We're leveraged. The increase in productivity is incredible. But the underlying assumption is that "more" and "faster" are better. Is that necessarily true? There's a vital difference between efficiency and effectiveness.

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You may be driving down the highway, enjoying great traveling weather, and getting terrific mileage. You may be very efficient. But if you're headed south down the California coast on Highway and your destination is New York City -- some three thousand miles to the east -- you're not being very effective.

In addition, how can you be "efficient" with people? Have you ever tried to be efficient with your spouse or your teenager or an employee on an emotional jugular issue? How did it go? I only have ten minutes scheduled for this interview. Just take your emotionally broken and bleeding self somewhere else for a few minutes while I finish this 'to do' item I have here on my schedule.

To value something is to esteem it to be of worth. And values are critically important. Our values drive our choices and actions. But we can value many different things -- love, security, a big house, money in the bank, status, recognition, fame. Just because we value something does not necessarily mean it will create quality of-life results. When what we value is in opposition to the natural laws that govern peace of mind and quality of life, we base our lives on illusion and set ourselves up for failure.

We cannot be a law unto ourselves. The traditional time management focus is on achieving, accomplishing, getting what you want, and not letting anything get in the way.

Other people are essentially seen as resources through which you can get more done faster -- or as obstacles or interruptions. Relationships are essentially transactional. But the reality is that most of the greatest achievements and the greatest joys in life come through relationships that are transformational.

In the very nature of the interaction, people are altered. They are transformed. Something new is created and neither person is Controlling it. Neither could have anticipated it.

It isn't a function of efficiency.

It's a function of the exchange of understanding, insights, new learnings, and excitement around those new learnings. To access the transformational power of interdependent synergy is the ultimate "moving of the fulcrum" in terms of time and quality-of-life results. Time management deals with chronos, the Greek word for chronological time. Chronos time is seen as linear and sequential.

No second is worth any more than any other second. Working with icons 3: Spacing and layout 3: Introduction to user experience 2: Getting inspired: Wrapping up what we've learned in this section.

The ultimate cheatsheet: Dive into HTML. Our main tool: Brackets text editor 3: What is HTML? The structure of an HTML document 5: Starting to fill the structure 7: Images and attributes 4: One more thing: Formatting with CSS.

Getting started with CSS 4: Starting to make our webpage pretty: Colors 5: Classes and ID's 5: The CSS box model 7: Building a simple layout Polishing our blog post 9: Relative vs. Absolute 4: Getting started with the Chrome Developer Tools 6: The killer website project. The 7 real-world steps to a fully functional website 6: Download the 7 steps here. Starting to put the 7 steps into action 6: First development steps Setting up the fluid grid for responsive web design Building the header - Part 1 Building the header - Part 2 Building the header - Part 3 Building the features section - Part 1 Building the features section - Part 2 Building the favorite meals section - Part 1 Building the favorite meals section - Part 2 Building the how-it-works section - Part 1 9: Building the how-it-works section - Part 2