First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy by Stephen R. Covey

If you’re struggling to manage your time and balance your life, then read First Things First. In this book, Stephen Covey shows us that time management is not about time and it’s not about management. It is about choice and leadership.

The answer is not greater efficiency. The answer is not better multi-tasking and streamlining. The answer is not better scheduling. The answer is a dramatic paradigm shift from the what to the why—from activity to results.

First Things First will help you distinguish the important from the urgent; clarify your values, roles, and goals; nurture and build effective and rewarding personal and professional relationships; plan and schedule daily actions within the context of the big picture; and define your personal mission statement. (There is an entire appendix devoted to helping you clarify and define your personal mission statement.)

This is not a book to read and forget. Many chapters include assignments to make sure you put the lessons into practice. Once you experience the power of these lessons, you will never go back to to-do lists and post-it notes. I’ve been applying these lessons consistently for the past 6 months, and I’ve been more productive and felt more fulfilled during that time than in the previous 3 years.

The solution to your time management problems does not come cheap. It requires you to pay a price that involves looking at your life and your choices much differently than you’ve been conditioned to. But, in my experience, those who do, are happy they did.

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