Before talking about the books lets discuss about the author first, Stephen R.Covey has inspired millions with the power of universal principles. Covey was the author of acclaimed books, including international bestseller, the 7 habits of highly effective people, which has sold more than 25 million copies in 40 languages throughout the world.
I have made a video Related to 7 habits of highly effective people, if you haven’t watch that video, do visit my YouTube channel Seeken.
Today’s book summary is about First thing first by Stephen R. Covey, in this book covey want us to understand the importance of important work and urgent work, we usually don’t give enough time, care to the things which are important, here in this book author teaches us about time management with shortcut techniques.
First thing first shows you how to look at your use of time totally differently. By understanding this book and using its technique you will learn to manage your personal and professional responsibilities, and also learn to balance them properly, in this book Covey teaches us an organizing process, which helps us to categorize tasks, so that you can focus on things and work which are important, not urgent.
The author asks us to divide tasks into 4 quadrants.
First quadrant, Important and urgent, here you need to put work, which are important as well as urgent.
Second quadrant, Important, not urgent, here you need to put work, which are important, not urgent.
Third quadrant, Urgent and not important, put work which are urgent not so important.
Fourth quadrant, not important not urgent, here basically those work will come, which are time wasters. So these work needs to be ignored.
And after dividing, author says most people, utilize their most of the time on 1st and 3rd quadrant, he also says, doing more work faster is no substitute for doing the right things. He says to do the work which is important, he makes us understand about the actual human needs- he ask us to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy and how we must manage and balance our time in order to achieve meaningful life, and just not to focus on getting things done.
Let’s discuss 4 quadrants in detail.
Important and urgent work, here all those work will come which is important as well as urgent, example, exam tomorrow, friend gets injured, late for work, project due today, car breaks down etc.
All work which are important and urgent also, This work are Procrastinator.
Important not urgent, these work are your main priorities. Example your plan your goal, exercise, your relationships, your relaxation etc.
Urgent not important, here all those work will come, which are urgent but not so important, so this can be done later, such as unimportant phone calls, interruptions, other people small problems, peer pressure. These work is also known as YES MAN.
Not important nor urgent, work under these section can be ignored, because all work which comes under this quadrant is time waster, like watching too much tv, endless phone call, excessive computer games, mall marathons, time waster, these work are also known as The slacker.
I would suggest you to finish your toughest work first and then go the other work, when you are done with your topmost priority work your entire day will go smooth and stress free.
Now let’s discuss some important lesson from the book First thing first.
Lesson 1- Forget what’s urgent and focus what’s important
Here author wants us to understand, that ever work you do can’t be always important and also urgent, if it would be like this, our lives would have become so easy, but things are very different, hence we need to accept the fact and also learn to prioritize our work properly, the time we spend with our family with our loved ones and doing exercise having alone time for some time is important but it is not urgent as compare to meeting with clients, and work.
Hence what we do, we neglect our important time and choose to finish the urgent work first.
After few years or after some time you will realize how neglecting important work, is so regretful. Hence understand the importance of important work, and try to manage and balance your personal professional responsibilities properly.
Lesson 2 – imagine your 80th birthday to make a decision
Here author want us to understand, the importance of knowing where you want yourself to be in future, where you see yourself in 5 to 10 years. Knowing where you want to be in 5 to 10 years makes aligning today’s decisions with future a much easier task than when you’re just drifting around. Sometimes you might have to take a slight curve, but you’ll always know how to get back on track.
Whenever you want to make a decision, here’s a great question you can ask yourself, which makes your deciding lot more easier and the question is, WHAT WOULD MY IDEAL 80TH BIRTHDAY LOOK LIKE?
Do you see your 80th birthday with your friends family? Or do you say your business partners your staff around you? Or you just see yourself with one person you love the most?
The goal the dream you want to see yourself accomplished when you imagine yourself at the age of 80, are the dreams and goals for which you need to start working from now onwards, from just now.
Hence start working on your goals from today, this will lead you to your better future.
Lesson 3 – Accept success comes from interdependence and cooperation, not independence and competition
There is a saying if you want to walk fast walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together.
Here author wants us to understand, the lifestyle of urgency and doing work fast is mostly a result of seeing ourselves as independent and in constant competition with others. The only way to overcome it is to understand that we all depend on one another and can only get success when we cooperate.
For example, no business either small or big can form just by one person, it requires team, people, and combined effort makes a company an organization, hence we need to understand if we want to achieve something big in life, we need to depend on others and need to cooperate.
Whether you want to build an empire, or want to improve your love life, your relationship, or want to learn more or just want to survive, for everything you need people to help you support you.
The time you overcome competition, mindset, is the time you understand the importance of the win-win situation, which will result in short as well as in long-term benefits on your way to keeping your first thing first at the top of your priority list.
This is one the best book, it will help you to manage your time and work properly, by using quadrant technique you can prioritize your work, I personally advice you to maintain a journal or diary, where you can prioritize your work by using 4 quadrant technique and also understand the importance of teamwork and importance of important work.
I have made a video for this book as well where I have explained time management quadrant technique in more detail if you want to see both videos, the 7 habits of highly effective people and first thing first by Stephen r. Covey, you can go to my YouTube channel SeeKen, where I have summarized both topics.
You can buy the book from the given link at the cheapest price: