First Things First

Author: Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

This was another helpful book from the pen of Stephen Covey. It was a little slow for me at first but there are some great practical tips in here is manage time. I enjoyed the “Time Management Matrix” Tool:

  1. Important and Urgent

– Crises

– Pressing Problems

– Deadline- Driven projects, meetings, preparations

  1. Important, Not Urgent

– Preparation

– Preventions

– Values clarification

– Planning

– Relationship building

– True re-creation

– Empowerment

  1. Urgent, Not Important

– Interruptions, some phone calls

– Some email, some reports

– Some meetings

– Many proximate, pressing matters

– Many popular activities

  1. Not Urgent, Not Important

– Trivia, busywork

– Some phone calls

– Time wasters

– “Escape” activities

– Irrelevant mail

– Excessive TV

Simply put, most people spend far too much time in quadrants 3 & 4. We also spend too much time in quadrant 1, not that those issues are unimportant, but because we don’t manage our priorities well. The goal is to gradually focus more and more of our time and energy in quadrant 2, thus reducing the amount of energy necessarily directed to quadrant 1.

There are some great insights in here and recommend this book.


Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert/Coach