Habit 3: Put First Things First

Habit 3: Put First Things First (Work First, Then Play)

  • Principles and Concepts:

    • Reactive vs. proactive responses
    • The freedom to choose
    • Choose your weather
    • Responsibility, choice, accountability, initiative, and respect



    • Common: I spend time on what's most urgent.
    • Highly Effective: I spend time on what's most important.



    • Focus on your highest priorities.



    • Eliminate the unimportant.



    • Plan every week.
    • Connect with mission, roles, and goals.
    • Schedule the Big Rocks.
    • Organize the rest.


    • Stay true in the moment of choice.


    Results (I am disciplined and get the most important things done.)

    Some results I might expect from living Habit 1 at a higher level are:

    • Increased organization and productivity.
    • Fewer crises.
    • A reputation for follow-through.
    • More life balance and peace of mind.


    Books that reinforce Habit 3:  Put First Things First

    Lower Elementary

    • Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
    • The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
    • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
    • Alejandro's Gift by Richard E. Albert
    • Jamaica's Find by Juanita Havill

    Upper Elementary

    • The Week Mom Unplugged the TVs by Terry Wolfe Phelan
    • Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
    • The TV kid by Betsy Byars
    • Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter