I usually just have a loose schedule in my head of assignments, a to-do list when things get crazy and my Google calendar for appointments.  To-do lists are what keep me sane.

Covey’s example of the man who needed to gain back his integrity inspires me. “Your integrity is at stake.” “So don’t make a promise and break it. Start smaller.” I need to take small steps to get a grip on my time.

I agree with Covey’s generation system. I am in generation two because I put appointments in my calendar and that helps me to plan for meetings and appointments.

What Covey says about those in the second generation is true of me. “Other people become interruptions or distractions that keep them from sticking to their schedule and carrying out their plans.” I get too task-oriented and end up criticizing those who are helping me.

I feel…dumb?…saying this, but this topic is challenging me. I am that guy that can’t get it together. My system is NOT working. I fear taking any steps because I have failed a LOT. I know that I should take Covey’s advice and start small, but I usually fail at small steps, too. My biggest time waster is sleep. I have sleep apnea and I sleep with a CPAP, but I still seem to need a minimum of 11 hours of sleep a day. It’s very frustrating to me. If I sit down to read, I can make it about 15 minutes before I am fighting sleep. Depending on the time of day, I can fight it off or not. I am having another sleep study soon and I hope they figure something out. But you can see how I am discouraged.

My first small step would be to simply stay awake all day for a week. I’m nervous to try, though. Maybe I need a smaller goal. I suppose, I could try taking an hour nap instead of the usual 5 hours. Isn’t that ridiculous? Having a grip, at this moment, means getting the sleepiness under control so I have a normal amount of time during the day to manage.

I am also not sure how to prioritize. I read everything and it overwhelms me. I appreciated your comments in your video post, but I can’t see the hope in this situation. I so like how your wife put the situation. It is God’s time and planning for interruptions is brilliant, especially with kids around.

I  think that everyone being in the 4th generation would produce an optimal amount of happiness in our world.

Fulfilling goals and sticking to values makes people happier. However, as Covey says, “for many people, the pinnacle third generation approach feels rigid, structured, and unnatural. The intensity is hard to maintain.” For this reason, I think that a fourth generation would be even more ideal.

English states, “Covey describes Habit 3 [Put First Things First] as the fourth generation of time management. “ “Mastering the first three habits moves us from being “dependent” on people and events around us, to a state of “independence” where we are in charge of our lives. We become effective in our private space. We have the basis for moving to the habits of interpersonal relationships. We must make habits of private victory before we can successfully mature to a level of interdependence (public victory).”

I want that independence. I want to be in control of my life, with God in control of me. Right now, I am living in chaos! English takes his thoughts straight from Covey. His last sentence reminds me again of the man who’s life was a mess until he took one small step and kept his promise to himself.

I hope that this isn’t being TOO open.
Covey, S. R., Merrill, A., & Merrill, R. A. (2003). First Things First (pp. 31 & 69). New York, NY: Free Press.

English, L.  (2004). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Information Professionals, Part 5. DM Review, 14(7), 18.  Retrieved February 14, 2011, from ProQuest Computing. (Document ID: 657582121).