Should you be reading this blog post?
Is it now first thing in the morning? Or are you on your lunch break? Have you finished the workday and you’re waiting for the clock to strike 5?
Here’s the real question: Are you reading it when you should be doing something else?
Don’t get me wrong, I want you to read it right now. I want you to enjoy it, take something from it, and move on with your day.
But I want you to be reading it now only if now is the right time to be reading it.
Doing the right things at the right time is one of the keys to success.
Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most powerful prescriptions for success, and an approach to work and life that will have a profound effect on your life if you let it. His third habit is Put First Things First.
It sounds easy, but it’s actually a very difficult thing to do.
We get caught up in our procrastination, our perfectionism, and our fear. We sit around and watch TV when we should be doing something else. We drag our feet, blame, gossip, and make excuses so that we don’t have to face ourselves.
Instead of putting first things first, we chase small, inconsequential things that don’t move us closer to our success. This helps us pretend that we’re being productive and making progress.
Other times we pursue things that are fun and maybe even healthy or educational, but we’re chasing them at the wrong time.
The road map to success is highlighted by knowing what has to be done, when it has to be done, and doing it.
So, back to the original question: Should you be reading this blog right now?
If not, what specifically should you be doing in order to make you more effective than you’re being right now? What can you be doing to increase the probability of your own success?
It’s useful to keep this in mind: Your success will never come in one giant leap; it happens when you do the right things at the right time—when you Put First Things First—day in and day out.
Some days it will be very difficult; other days it will be easy. In either case, it has to be done. But you should understand very clearly: Putting first things first is one of the key habits that makes the difference between people who get what they want and people who don’t.
The bottom line question you have to ask yourself is, “Which one of those people am I?”
A very successful friend of mine has an email signature that includes the following reminder: “Take care and always remember Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now?”
It would serve us all well to ask that question of ourselves frequently as we go through our days.