O'Reilly logo

Stairway to Success: The Complete Blueprint for Personal and Professional Achievement by Nido R. Qubein

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

9

SET PRIORITIES

Wisdom ofttimes consists of knowing what to do next.

—HERBERT HOOVER

Knowing what your goals are is one thing. Knowing how to attain them is another. To reach the goals you’ve set, you must learn to direct your efforts in a systematic way. This calls for setting priorities and planning your actions around the priorities.

PROACTIVE VERSUS REACTIVE APPROACHES

What should take priority in your daily life? You can take either a reactive or a proactive approach. The reactive approach allows circumstances to set your priorities. The proactive approach allows you to set your own priorities.

In Chapter 4, you learned to perform situational triage to determine in what general areas you would direct your energies. You learned that effective people direct their efforts toward situations that they can influence, and that are worth influencing. Now you need to establish your priorities in dealing with those situations.

IMPORTANT VERSUS URGENT

Your choices can be weighed by asking two basic questions:

  • What is most important?
  • What is most urgent?

Important choices are those that move you toward your goals. Urgent choices are those that demand immediate attention. The fewer urgent choices you have, the more time and energy you have to focus on the important choices.

Urgent choices come in the form of things that must be dealt with immediately to avoid undesirable consequences. They’re best illustrated by the man who protested, “How can I concentrate on draining the swamp ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required