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First Things First Summary – Stephen Covey

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
1 MINUTE READ
by Stephen Covey
First Things First is an action-oriented time-management manual, filled with frameworks and exercises to help you do more of what matters and less of what doesn't - by the author of the #1 book on this list, Stephen Covey. (384 pages)

Note: This First Things First summary is part of an ongoing project to summarise the Best Productivity Books and Best Self Help Books of all time.

Note: This First Things First summary is a stub. I'll write a full summary later. For now, you'll find enough meta-data here to help you decide if it's worth reading the book.

First Things First Summary

This publisher’s blurb comes from the Pocket Books 2002 paperback edition of First Things First

“In the first real breakthrough in time management in years, Stephen R. Covey and A. Roger Merrill apply the insights of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the daily problems of people who must struggle with the ever-increasing demands of work and home life.

First Things First shows:

  • Why your previous attempts to manage time failed
  • What the connections are between time management and money management
  • How to delegate without losing control
  • How to rediscover your power and passion
  • How to lead your life, not just manage your time.

With the wisdom and insight that made The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People a bestseller, First Things First will empower you to define what is truly important; to accomplish worthwhile goals; and to lead rich, rewarding and balanced lives.”

First Things First Contents

First Things First has 15 main chapters (in 4 sections) and 3 appendices…

Introduction

Section One: The Clock and the Compass

  1. How Many People on Their Deathbed Wish They’d Spent More Time at the Office?
  2. The Urgency Addiction
  3. To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy

Section Two: The Main Thing Is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

  1. Quadrant II Organizing: The Process of Putting First Things First
  2. The Passion of Vision
  3. The Balance of Roles
  4. The power of Goals
  5. The Perspective of the Week
  6. Integrity in the Moment of Choice
  7. Learning from Living

Section Three: The Synergy of Interdependence

  1. The Interdependent Reality
  2. First Things First Together
  3. Empowerment from the Inside Out

Section Four: The Power and Peace of Principle-Centered Living

  1. From Time Management to Personal Leadership
  2. The Peace of the Results

Epilogue

Appendices

  • Appendix A: Mission Statement Workshop
  • Appendix B: A Review of Time Management Literature
  • Appendix C: The Wisdom Literature

Best First Things First Quotes

These First Things First quotes come from The Art of Living's ever-growing central library of thoughts, anecdotes, notes, and inspirational quotes.

Read More: 5 Books Like First Things First

Enjoyed this First Things First summary? You might enjoy the rest of the books on these lists of the Best Productivity Books and Best Self Help Books of all time.

And in the meantime...

Here are 5 top books like First Things First...

Books Like First Things First: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey (FREE Summary)
Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a perennial masterpiece on leading a happy, productive and purposeful existence and an unmissable stop for any pilgrim of personal improvement - by educator, author and speaker, Stephen Covey.
Published 1989 // 372 pages // Rated 4.1 over 623,800 reviews on Goodreads
Books Like First Things First: Goals!
2. Goals! - Brian Tracy (FREE Summary)
How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
Goals! was the first book I ever read on productivity and probably the most readable and complete guide to goal-setting ever written - by sales legend and time-management master, Brian Tracy.
Published 1989 // 291 pages // Rated 4.2 over 14,200 reviews on Goodreads
Books Like First Things First: The Effective Executive
3. The Effective Executive - Peter F. Drucker (FREE Summary)
The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
The Effective Executive is THE timeless classic on leadership and management; on getting the right things done - by the dean of business and management philosophy, Peter F. Drucker.
Published 1966 // 208 pages // Rated 4.1 over 32,700 reviews on Goodreads
Books Like First Things First: The Slight Edge
4. The Slight Edge - Jeff Olson (FREE Summary)
Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness
The Slight Edge is a short, punchy, practical guide to the why, what and how of using simple daily disciplines to achieve breakthrough success - by serial entrepreneur, speaker and author, Jeff Olson.
Published 2005 // 168 pages // Rated 4.3 over 21,900 reviews on Goodreads
Books Like First Things First: The Compound Effect
5. The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy (FREE Summary)
Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
The Compound Effect offers a concise, practical guide to mastering small choices that determine big outcomes which dictate the course of your life - by best selling author, publisher and motivational speaker, Darren Hardy.
Published 2010 // 162 pages // Rated 4.2 over 39,400 reviews on Goodreads

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Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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