First Things First

by: Stephen R. Covey (0)

The New York Times–bestselling time management book from the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  Stephen R. Covey’s 
First Things First is the gold standard for time management books. His principle-centered approach for prioritizing gives you time management tips that enable you to make changes and sacrifices needed in order to obtain happiness and retain a feeling of security. First Things First: The Interactive Edition takes Dr. Covey’s philosophy and remasters the entire text to include easy-to-understand infographics, analysis, and more.
  This time-saving version of 
First Things First is the efficient way to apply Dr. Covey’s tested and validated time management tips, while retaining his core message. This guide will help you:
  • Get more done in less time • Develop and retain rich relationships • Attain inner peace • Create balance in your life • And, put first things first   “Covey is the hottest self-improvement consultant to hit US business since Dale Carnegie.” —
USA Today
  “Covey has reached the apex with 
First Things First. This is an important work. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be helped by reading it.” —Larry King, CNN   “These goals embody a perfect balance of the mental, the physical, the spiritual, and the social.” —Booklist

Readers should note that this ebook edition differs slightly from the print edition and does not contain all the same materials.

The Quotes

It’s much more a matter of what you do and why you do it, than how fast you get it done.

We need to constantly be asking ourselves, “What is needed out there, and what is my unique strength, my gift?”

More than doing things right, it’s focused on doing the right things.

The Reviews

I'll try to describe this book in as short a summary as possible:It has some very great advice and techniques for time-management. It gives you a new perspective on your life and what you're doing with your time. It doesn't teach you to prioritize and shift around stuff you shouldn't be doing in the first place. It helps give you a broader perspective on what sort of things you're doing in the first place, and more importantly, what sorts of things you're not doing that you should be doing. It will have you think of yourself as a person fulfilling multiple roles, rather than someone who's drowning in a single-dimensional calendar that has no perspective on life and personal satisfaction.Now for the cons of this book that made me give it only 3 stars instead of the 5 that it would otherwise deserve:This book should be 75 pages tops, not 350 pages - Maybe 100 pages if a larger font was used. The author's writing style is very *very* painful for someone who doesn't come from a background of "faith". I had a tough time swallowing some of the material simply because instead of evidence, he kept asking for a leap of faith. His examples are littered with those such as (para-phrasing here) "I gave a lecture somewhere... the students were completely against my points. I asked them to look into their conscience. They started not being sure about their logical comebacks." These are the sort of arguments that a religious person makes, not someone who is trying to convince others to buy into an intelligent argument.The other problem with the book is the appalling use of the sort of jargon that only a pointy-haired boss from a Dilbert cartoon would use. I'm an engineer; about 1/3 of the way through the book, when the author was still promising of what was about to come in the rest of the book (yes, the first 1/3 of the book is self-promotion about the book) I reached a sentence along the lines of (para-phrasing) "this book will help you use your endowments in a synergistic way according to true-north principles, to think of third-alternative solutions." Each one of those horrible made-up expressions is used tens of times. The word "synergy" is used hundreds of times in the book. I was about to close the book immediately at that point and cut my losses. I would have, if it wasn't for the very concise testimonial from Larry King: "I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be helped by [this book]." Notice he didn't say the stuff is great writing. He just said it's helpful.I read the book to the end, and it certainly did help. I have changed how I manage my time and I feel indebted to the author for it. I highly recommend, if you feel like you're spread too thin in your life, for you to read this book. I also recommend to the author to get rid of most of the fluff in the book and come out with the Cliff notes. A similar book in management (which is about leadership, not time-management) is "Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the box". That book has a brilliant writing style and so far I haven't been able to put it down too often. If you're reading this book, you might want to look into that as well, for your self-improvement.

Where to start ?I finished the book and I certainly extracted some very good concepts I will apply to my life :- Quadrant 2- Big rocks- Integrity in the moment of choice- Perspective of the week / journaling- Roles & mission- true north principles / endowments: not very clear notions... a bit abstract. I would have preferred more concret examples.But as with many self-help books, you finish the book and think all your life will change, that you now have a system for the better. I'm not sure what will remain from this book a year from now. Certainly some of those concepts.... but the book lacks practical, immediate road map. It is a bit too idealistic.... I think this is a reason why most of self help book fails. They lack practical approach. They try to be too much all encompassing.Also this book is much much too long. It could be 100 pages long. That conciseness would help clarity. This is another problem i have with many self help book: we clearly see the pattern of the authors trying to fill as much pages as possible.I think the principles and system of this book will serve me as a background... for the foreground, I much prefer bottom up, concrete and precise approaches such as GTD. In fact, I find that Quadrant 2, Big rocks, Integrity in the moment of choices are perfect compliment to the GTD system.

I have to get a couple of things out of the way right now to make you understand why this book has been so important to me (and could be to you as well). First, I am definitely someone who shuns most self-help tomes--I think most of them are crutches for weak people too lazy to get their acts together or too clueless to embrace a little common sense. Second, my prior experiences with the Covey cult were less than satisfying, as I had a boss (now departed) who talked the Covey talk but did not (I now see) truly walk the walk. This book differs from the _7 Habits_ texts in that it really deals with taking the general Covey concepts ("principle-centered living") and giving them a practical sheen--in this case by applying them to time management. Learning to divide my activities between "urgent" and "important," planning my life around certain "roles" that I have to fill, and composing a "mission statement" (a much more realistic and helpful version of year 2000 New Year's resolutions for me)--these were the concepts that have really helped me organize my life as efficiently as possible (and I was already pretty organized). I highly recommend buying the book and then following up by getting a Franklin Covey planner, where you can take the lessons from the book and start building your time and life around them. I have loaned the book to several friends and students (I teach high school) and all of them have benefitted from it in some way or another. Buying _First Things First_ will be one of the best things you can do for yourself.And I can't believe I just wrote a positive review of a self-help book. Trust me on how helpful this book can be.

This book is well written and engaging. It caught my interest with how clearly true principles are expressed. Questions along the way help the reader do some introspection.Weak points:- It is only divided into four chapters.- No index- No Bibliography

I read this book 20 years ago. I was too young to really get it. Now that I’m older, this book is like gold. I can never hear universal truths enough. Some reviews I read before I purchased this said that the book is too long. I disagree. Everything today is too fast and too short. Universal wisdom needs to be explained at length to get it. Platitudes just don’t cut it. This book is certainly NOT full of platitudes. I recommend this book highly.

First Things First
⭐ 4.6 💛 1230
paperback: $0.25
hardcover: $9.95
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