PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
For those of you who were wondering how Habits 1 and 2 were going to actually help you to become a healthy and successful person, Habit 3 is where the rubber hits the road.
Habit 3 – Put First Things First – is the physical creation that evolves from first being proactive and then deciding what life we inevitably want to live. Now that we know what is truly important, it is time plan our lives and expend our energy and time accordingly.
The old time management systems of to-do lists, checklists and schedule book are incomplete when it comes to putting first things first. Instead of focusing on things and time, we must shift our attention to results and relationships.
Central to this form of life management are the 4 Quadrants. The quadrants are defined as follows:
Quadrant I – Urgent and Important. These are activities that are crises and demand immediate attention. If you severely cut your hand and it is bleeding profusely, it is essential that you stop the bleeding NOW!
Quadrant II – NOT Urgent and Important. These are activities that will create positive results, yet are not an emergency at the time. Exercise, eating good food, planning your meals, meditating and seeing professional who not only prevent problems, but enhance health are Quadrant II activities.
Quadrant III – Urgent but NOT Important. Are activities that are essentially distractions in the moment that really are not important to our desired results. Responding to social media or responding to a phone call, when it is time to exercise is an example.
Quadrant IV – NOT Urgent and NOT important which is essentially time wasting procrastination. Watching junk TV or playing angry birds are PERFECT examples.
This is what the quadrants ARE. We all spend some time in all of them and that is fine. Whichever quadrant dominates our time will produce very different results from the others and that also applies to our health.
QI will produce stress, burnout, ever growing crisis management and constantly putting out fires. Is this not how most people manage their health? Most people go from treating one problem after another and inevitably the problems continue to get bigger over the years because the underlying causes were never addressed.
QIII is characterized by short term focus, the lack of any plan or goals, no follow through, disappointment in results and the feeling of being victimized. People living mostly in Q3 will often be heard saying, “I have tried everything and nothing works for me.” In reality they have not really committed to anything and done a bunch of things half way at best due to constant distraction.
QIV is usually mixed with QIII activities and produces total irresponsibility and dependence on others and institutions for basic survival. Luckily this is not common.
QII on the other hand produces individuals and families that have a vision for their health and wellness, are balanced, disciplined and over time tend to have fewer and fewer crises. The people who truly focus on moving towards their vision of health typically get sick very rarely and are often considered ‘lucky’ by the folks living in the other quadrants.
So, as you can probably guess, the key to being a highly healthy person lies in shifting as many as your Q3 and Q4 activities into Q2 activities. Obviously we all have crises (Q1) from time to time and they must be handled on the spot. As we said earlier however, the more time spent in Q2, the less Q1 will be required in the future.
Your homework for now is to look at how you spend your time and categorize it into the quadrants. BE HONEST with yourself! Nobody will see this but you. Then start to replace the unimportant with non-urgent important stuff. It will take some discipline, but the results will be worth it.
In the next article we will continue with Habit 3 and will go deeper into Putting First Things First a part of your weekly routine.
Speaking of Quadrant 2 activities, our 19th Clear Day has been officially booked for Saturday, April 12 at the Boys and Girls Club in Cornwall. Ask for an application at the office to see if you are ready for this full day intensive event designed to take your health and life to the next level.
We also have several special workshops booked for the spring including for the first time my Nutrition Workshop. Learn how to eat in a way that optimizes nervous system function, reduces pain, boosts energy levels and helps fat loss.