“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Steven R. Covey

As I continue to ponder my perceiving nature, when and why I procrastinate, how perfectionism affects my writing, and, today, the role that priorities plays in my everyday life, I should mention that my goal isn’t to get a degree in time management or to become someone I’m not (a concept that itself would be interesting to explore further). I just want to make this year one of continued growth, and, for me, that means being more self-aware of what I do well, what I don’t do well, and what I can and want to change.

Setting priorities is high on my list of the latter. The fact that I rarely prioritize—almost never, in fact—has been a huge “aha” moment for me in the past few days.

No one “does” priorities better than Seven R. Covey, author of, among other bestsellers, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First.

“I find in interviews that most people will acknowledge that one half of their time is spent doing things that are not important, but that are urgent. They’re proximate, they’re pressing, they’re popular, but they’re not important. Smile about it. Say no to them.  Just say no. What difference does it make? I don’t even pick up the phone at home during dinner or during a family activity. I won’t even take it.” ~ Steven Covey

Just saying no to things that are not important means that we also must learn to disappoint people, but people-pleasing is yet another P word (a double one!) for another day.

This short video offers a visual metaphor for the importance of putting first things, or, in this case, big rocks, first:

How would you use Covey’s matrix to schedule your priorities? Where does social media fit? Email? Blogging? Finishing your novel? Submitting short stories? Attending a writers’ conference? Saying “no” to something else so that you can do your morning pages? These are all questions I am asking myself this weekend.

Tomorrow’s P Post: Planning