I sat down the other day to take a look at the coming weeks ahead of me, and as I begin to determine the things that I needed to do, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. The past 4 months have been a blur! I’ve been running from one thing to the next, and I haven’t had the time to look at my priorities because I had said “YES” to everything! I’ve been here before, and I’ve vowed to not get stuck here again.
I’m sure you can identify. There are times, or what we call “seasons” where things just get out of control!
When I look back on one of the most influential books from my past, I’m drawn to Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This book radically changed my thinking, yet here I am again, trying to remember what are the most important things in my life.
Covey challenged us with 7 Habits that help us to learn to find our priorities:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First things First
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
The descriptions of each of these Habits in Covey’s book will challenge you to re-think everything you do! I’m pulling my copy back off of the shelf.
It’s so easy to forget, especially when life gets busy, when time gets short and when urgency dominates your life and schedule.
I’ll look at it again. I’ll remember what things were like when I was in control, instead of when I was controlled by everything else. I’ll remember the value of prioritizing my time and saying “no” to things, not because they aren’t good things, but because I have other things that are more important to me.
What about you? Do you know where to start? Here are a couple of simple steps:
1) Set some goals, based on what is important to you.
2) Reorganize your life so you can achieve these goals and move towards accomplishing them. Make sure your goals are reflected in your daily schedule.
3) Communicate to others what your priorities are. Create some accountability and some safeguards.
4) Evaluate often. Check to see if you are on track. If you’re not, make the changes needed.
By walking through this process, you’ll remember why this is so important.
This is where I’m starting today.
*More on 10 Famous Covey Quotes