Shirley Conan once said, “First things first, second things never.”
When I first heard this, I wasn’t sure what it meant. But, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. When I fully adopted this quote in my own life, it completely changed the way I got things done. Projects were getting done faster and I had more energy and sense of satisfaction.
What it means: This quote literally means that that we must always start with the first priority, as opposed to the second or third. We should never get to the second thing, because now that the first thing is done and off the list, what was the second thing becomes the first. Get it?
Why I love it: I love this quote because it’s about prioritizing and single tasking. It’s a well known, under utilized secret to high productivity. Focus and stay the course through 100 percent completion.
It’s time to live it:
- Don’t fall into the mistake of saying, “Let me take care of this one little thing before I start.” This would NOT be doing first things first. It’s the war cry of the procrastinator. Start with the first thing.
- Stay the course to completion. It can feel energizing to start a lot of projects, but quite draining to have a bunch of projects that are only half done. Stay focused at the task at hand and see how much energy you gain from getting it 100 percent complete and off your plate. You’ll feel like a million bucks!