In this seven-week series, we are using the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by the late Stephen Covey, and applying it to the NDQ method and philosophy of building wealth.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
One of the keys to effective time management is not just scheduling tasks and crossing them off your list, but actually spending your time on the most important tasks. This takes a lot of discipline as it’s easy to get pulled into other people’s urgent projects or get caught up with putting out fires of our own making.
True emergencies do happen, but they are less disruptive if we keep our focus on the right tasks at the right time. Are we spending too much time on time wasters such as video games, binge-watching TV, or phone apps? Are we allowing co-workers or family members to distract us from getting our most important work done? Do we spend too much time reading and reacting to emails rather than get focussed time on important projects?
Plan your week and also set aside time to read email in batches, or schedule time to unwind and relax. But also establish chunks of time during the day when you are most effective to get the Big Rocks for the week done. You want to see each week that you are making progress on the activities and projects that will move you closer to your desired end. For me, that “end” is the beginning of early retirement. In order to get there, I have several aggressive goals to achieve which involve saving money, investing that savings into income-producing assets, and researching new methods of tax savings and household savings.
If I decide that on a given week, I will only eat meals that I make at home, I still have to plan out the menu and shop for food. During that week, I do not feel bad that I’ve chosen not to eat at restaurants. I choose not to feel deprived. I then focus on the savings. I will look at my food costs for the week and determine what I would have spent had I eaten a few meals out. I will then take that savings and add it to my monthly transfer to my investment account, a special money market fund that accumulates money to buy other income-producing assets.
What are your big goals? What does your “end” look like? Now plan out your week keeping those plans and dreams in mind. Focus on the most important parts of your life and you will find that you spend more time during the week on quality work rather than distractions.
p.s. Check out the new NDQ Guide: 500 Tips the guide that will give you actionable steps to jump start your savings and investing immediately.
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Using the 7 Habits® to Build Wealth ~ Habit 2: Being With the End in Mind®