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Chapter 5. It's About Time > Getting Your Priorities Straight - Pg. 51

It's About Time 51 Doing What's in Your Face People often neglect their long-range plans and ambitions or current priorities because they spend too much time responding to what's urgent or pressing. Suppose that your two top priorities in life right now are to get physically fit and to spend more quality time with your family or friends. But no matter how important those goals are to you, your daily actions don't reflect them. You have high hopes of exercising at least a few days a week after work, but you keep getting waylaid by last-minute crises that pop up on the job. You want to go on an outing every weekend with the kids (or friends) for a healthy dose of fun and maybe even some culture or education, but you don't plan enough ahead to make it happen. Or you become sidetracked by household chores that have to be done by Monday. Getting Your Priorities Straight Unless you plan in advance and put some organizational and procedural systems in place at home and work, you'll spend all your time responding to the pressing needs of the moment and will never get around to doing the things that relate to your true priorities and long-term goals. You may say that developing that sideline business is a priority, but you never seem to have time to work on it in the evenings. You may say that searching on the Internet for old friends you've lost touch with is a priority, but every time you get online, you only have time to do your business for the day, not to search for them. Stephen Covey, author of several books, including The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , has contributed some of the best common sense ideas regarding the issue of time and losing sight of what's important. He sees the activities we engage in on a daily basis as falling into four catego- ries: