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on 14 February 2001
Dr Covey appears to have worked out life to a mint here - how to organise every second of your life to what you want to do, and how to make decisions based on what you set yourself. He starts from the roots - and tells you how to lead yourself to form your character, with a singular mission in life based on your values, which form the secondary base of the leadership principles he describes. It's a complicated process which needs all 368 pages to explain, and a lot of effort to start the ball rolling if you are serious about your life. It seems you might as well call this book 'how to live'. But - one problem - doesn't what you value in life (the base upon which his life leading strategy lies upon), change over time - so what you achieve from using this book will depend upon when you start using it. Or do your values only change over time if you have not set yourself values to stick to? It's very complicated.
But enough philosophy - this book is definitely worth a serious look. It teaches how to live with honesty and integrity, out of which personal worth is produced. Just don't think about it too hard.
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on 6 July 1997
Join the human race by establishing a life based on your principle and not by the clock of someone else. This book serves as a handbook for anyone choosing to leave the treadmill behind--finding your true mission in life and living it fully. I wish the whole world would buy this book and read it. I'm ready to start living and stop existing, if you are too, then add this one to your shopping cart today!
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on 5 April 2000
Another excellent work by Stephen Covey. First Things First (one of the '7 Habits') is time management with a difference. It looks at what is really important in your life and helps you to identify and work on more of those areas, rather than doing things that matter least more efficiently.
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on 7 April 2011
I bought the Audio CD abridged of First Things First. It has some great ideas. When these are presented as visual or audio metaphors they communicate well via the medium of audio because you can picture them. For example he says four things inhabit the space between stimulus and response - conscience, self awareness, creative imagination, independent self. This is a statement that I will not forget. On the other hand, some of the wordy passages are tough and he is really into counting things, 3 of this, 4 of that and 7 of the other which is a bit wearing after the 5th time in as many sections. The CD is really fast-paced without any breaks. I tried to listen to it on the train, but had to stop and mull awhile every 7 minutes or so, at the end of each section.

The content is a 'must' for procrastinators. It will help you work out what you really wish came first for you, as opposed to all the things you assumed and which if you are like me, you keep putting off. however first things first, so go get the CD.
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on 9 October 1996
First, let me say that i'm a mexican citizen so please do not be so hard about my english, any way i'll try to do my best.

i like to be an honest human being, so about "FIRST THINGS FIRST" it was a gift i got from a friend in San Antonio tx., and
even knowing that i have not ended the book yet because my job, in the first chapters i had readed i have found many ideas
to increase my succes as well as my productivity in the office, but the most important thing i have found is the real meaning
of the word "share" and this is because i'm starting to learn that i do have to have time for my family as well as for my profession

i do not know whats going to happen when i finish of read this "CLEVER WAY TO SHARE THE MEANING OF LIFE" but i'm sure that at the
end there is only going to be one word to "STEPHEN R. COVEY"............THANKS A LOT

ARTURO ARMENTA V.
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The strength of the abridged audiocassette is the conviction in Dr. Covey's voice. It will convince you that this is an important subject.
The weakness of this audiocassette is that you will learn the principles behind Quadrant Two Time Management, but not how to do it. As the audiocassette will tell you, you will need to buy the book, study it, and then start doing it. I thought this was so substantial a weakness that I graded the book down two stars for this limitation.
If you are pretty sure you want to use this method, go directly to the book. If you are not sure, listen to this audiocassette. I found a copy in my local library. Perhaps you can, too.
The time management technique here is intended to be a fourth generation of that method of getting more accomplished. The main different is that the goals here are to achieve more balance in your life by having you focus first on doing what is most important to you that will make the most difference. You will plan weekly, and reiterate your planning to learn from your experiences of the prior week.
Quadrant 2 is the area where activities are important, but not urgent. These activities are often overlooked, or are pushed out of the way by urgent activities, including ones that are unimportant.
The time management process is designed to handle all elements of your life, personal life as well as work. An analogy is used to putting big rocks, gravel, sand, and water into a jar. If you start with the big rocks, you can get everything in the jar. If you start in the opposite order, you'll never fit the big rocks in.
You are encouraged to develop a personal mission statement (because seeing meaning to life gives us more optimism and perserverance), consider all of your life roles, locate the highest payoff areas for those roles, make principle-centered decisions, exercise integrity in your moments of choice, and continually reevaluate how you are doing.
After you listen to this work, consider how well balanced or unbalanced your life is. Then think about what your habits are that cause you to have such imbalances. Next, start changing those habits to better ones.
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on 2 January 1997
WHILE COPIES OF COVEY'S _SEVEN HABITS_ were still conspicuous business accessories on public transportation and at latte shops, the people who were changing the world had moved on to the book that cracked the shell on the third habit: putting first things first.

Everyone who has heard the phrase "time management" could suggest prioritizing. Covey, Merrill and Merrill dare to entertain, "How do you do that? How do you know what's first when your plans are buffeted by circumstances, business and people you love-whom you've already put 'first?'"

Excellence is not required by their success formula. You are guided in choosing how driven you want to be by your priorities, and you'll know what (or who) is suffering when you decide to read junk mail.

If your reluctance in addressing time management stems from (1) not wanting to lose yourself and your life in order to finish your list, or (2) no one can help you because you choose to wear more hats than the people who usually offer advice will allow, then _First Things First_ is the FIRST, and possibly only, book you need to read.
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on 22 July 1997
Stephen Covey has teamed up with two extraordinary authors to produce an exceptional book. Learning to put first things first by evaluating your own life and scheduling your priorities rather than prioritizing you schedule is point only slightly less sensational that giving regard to the compass over the clock. I highly recommend this book to any and everyone that has taken the time to read this summary or even heard about the book from a friend. We ought to teach this stuff in our public schools.
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on 24 June 2015
Always nice to have a Kindle version of a Covey book for my phone or tablet. However, the only complaint I have about this book is that despite the 'interactive' tag, it omits a large chunk of the 'interactive' exercises in the original hard/paperback editions, those parts being arguably the best part.
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on 8 May 2005
This is a very thick, dense book, full of words and more words.It is supposed to teach the reader how to get more time for doing those things we all want to do - how to be better organised; if only someone applied the same rules to their book!
Getting the main points out of this abundance is not easy -everything is laboured to death and so the progress is slow, with time spent discussing other non-productive ways and reasons for their limitations - Do I care?
A person or average intelligence would get it from a few bullet-point statements but the book goes on and on - and on...
But that isn't even the worst of it. Reading this book has been one of those 'I could kick myself for buying - let alone reading' experiences.
The complicated nature of its presentation would logically suggest that if this 'method' needs this amount of detail and instruction it is definitely not going to be suitable for anyone who is really busy and really short of time.
There are lists to make , matrixes to fill in, percentages, evaluations...
There are phrases such as win-win agreements, self-directing, accountability, goals, mission, abundance mentality...
Not forgetting the 20 point evaluation of your week!(and no, it isn't 1-10 score system either)
My conclusion: following principles outlined will not make any more time. To get it all 'right' would be very hard, maybe even impossible. Definitely stressful!
Life's complicated enough but after reading this book you'll realise just how much more complicated you could make it!
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