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First Things First Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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What are the most important things in your life? Do they get as much care, emphasis, and time as you'd like to give them? Far from the traditional "be-more-efficient" time-management book with shortcut techniques, First Things First shows you how to look at your use of time totally differently. Using this book will help you create balance between your personal and professional responsibilities by putting first things first and acting on them. Covey teaches an organizing process that helps you categorize tasks so you focus on what is important, not merely what is urgent. First you divide tasks into these quadrants:
- Important and Urgent (crises, deadline-driven projects)
- Important, Not Urgent (preparation, prevention, planning, relationships)
- Urgent, Not Important (interruptions, many pressing matters)
- Not Urgent, Not Important (trivia, time wasters)
Most people spend most of their time in quadrants 1 and 3, while quadrant 2 is where quality happens. "Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things," says Covey. He points you toward the real human needs--"to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy"--and how to balance your time to achieve a meaningful life, not just get things done. --Joan Price --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
This is the latest time-management book from the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The key concept of the book is Quadrant II. Quadrant II are those activities that are important but not necesarily urgent. They argue that most people spend most of their time in Quadrant I (urgent and important) and Quadrant III (urgent, not important) but that it is more effective to spend more time in Quadrant II. Quadrant II is where we plan, think about the best way to do something, prioritize, reflect, etc... and thus provide the best structure for carrying out our plan. A previous reviewer put it well when he said that this is "quality" time. The second part of the book, which is its heart, explains exactly how to use Quadrant II organizing. Its about translating your mission, roles and goals into your plans for the upcoming week and then reviewing that week in order to learn from it.
I found section two very helpful from a technical standpoint but the most interesting part of the book is chapter 3, "To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy". It is here that Covey and company give us their conception of human nature and the good life. To live refers to our physical needs which are for health and wealth; to love refers to our social needs which are to be in healthy relationships; to learn refers to our mental needs to learn, develop our capacities and grow; and to leave a legacy refers to our need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and to make a contribution. In my opinion, this is a pretty good outline of the basic categories of human need. They then list the four human endowments (self awareness, conscience, independent will, creative imagination) which we need to use in order to satisfy our needs.Read more ›
In First Things First, Covey discloses powerful time management techniques. What makes this book different from typical time management books and programs is that Covey shows you how to see the whole picture rather than tiny fragments of our lives.
Before reading and applying the techniques in First Things First, I would always lament
"I have too much to do---and not enough time to do it."
"I can't balance my personal life with my business life."
"There is too little of me and too much to do."
"I don't feel in controlof my life."
"Why do I feel so empty all the time."
What you won't find in this book is another daytimer program or another clock. Covey explains why it is more important to know where you are heading instead of how fast you are going. You won't find the old theory of working harder, faster, smarter and more, more, more. It's about effectiveness, not efficiency. And most importantly, it really works.
Thank you Dr. Covey!
This is not an easy book to read; in fact, it could possibly induce a mild coma in the careless reader. At the least, it should come with a warning about operating heavy machinery afterwards. The difficult style is a result of having three authors. There are places in the book which begin "Stephen:" or "Roger:" or "Rebecca:" Other sections of the book bear no such introduction, insinuating the three are speaking in chorus; and then, there are passages which appear to have been authored by various acquaintances of theirs. This disorienting method of writing severely detracts from the already fragile quality of information in the book. If you are writing a book and need two people to help you write it, you need to either change subjects or find a different partner.
The book is not completely lacking value though. Chapters, Four through Eight, offer a decent time management system for those individuals who need to start somewhere; and Appendix A is an excellent resource for drafting a personal mission statement. Otherwise, the core information is hopelessly out of date by twenty-five years. The authors might be shocked to learn some of us are already using "sixth-generation paradigms" and are looking for something better. Really! Besides, if you are busy counting paradigms, you do not need to read a time management book much less write one.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is outdated with its references to Vision and Mission Statements. The flow charts and reader activities are distracting and it is not a simple/quick read. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2008 by Gift Receiver
This book makes a great addition to The 7 Habits. First Things First is as the title indicates a book about time management. But more than that, about people management. Read morePublished on June 30 2004
I started reading through this and thought to myself: "are there actually people out there that have complicated their lives to the point of needing something like this to... Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by Brian S Landreth
This is a good book, yet it over reaches a little bit and could be a bit shorter to make the point. Yet, Covey and Merrill go a long way to help people sort out the priorities in... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004 by Joseph J. Slevin
What I like about Dr. Covey is that he can take such a basic concept, one that we all know we should do (but don't don't) and then beat it to death to drill it's importance to... Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2004
There are a couple of major problems with this book. First of all, the author devotes a significant amount of space to explaining the importance of leaving a legacy, but fails to... Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2004
I found this book a waste of time. This was a poor rehash of 7 Habits. 7 Habits I think is important reading and I have read it 7 or 8 times over the years. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003
This book makes a great companion to Covey's highly acclaimed "7 Habits", unquestionably, one of the very best self devlopment books of all time. Read morePublished on July 4 2003
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