first things first

by Josh

You get up early in the morning, it is a fresh start. It is a good day. A good day to be alive and plow through some to-do lists.
But then you get that mail…

Today, I would like to tell you about a principle that I’ve come across in Dr. Steven Coveys “The 7 habits of highly effective people” (a must read).
It is a fairly simple one, quite self explanatory really, but a key concept for minimalists.

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To put first things first means to prioritize, to choose what you spend your energy on.

A good example, one that I come across frequently, is taking care of my health.
Health is my highest priority. As long as I am in good health, life is a good deal easier and much more fun.
All it takes is good sleep, good food, good company and good exercise.
So I watch out that I dont put sports (fitness≠health) or university or being cool above my health.

Of course, to apply this habit, you first need to figure out, what your priorities are.

Getting this principle wrong is the mother of all procrastination.
Putting first things second, or second things first.
Tim Ferriss has a poster above his desk saying

“Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?”

Are you?
What are your “first things”?