Monday, January 15, 2018


By Mary Kennedy

I was so struck by something my exercise instructor said, I decided it would be a great topic for a blog.  She said, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." A wonderful quote by Stephen Covey. 

A deceptively simply, insightful piece of advice, but how often do we follow it? How often do we let a goal slip through our fingers because we get pulled in too many directions, distracted by the everyday minutiae of life?  Why can't we keep our eye on the ball, our eye on the prize?               

But wishing isn't enough. We need strategies.

What if it were possible to follow Stephen Covey's advice, every single day? Think of all the obstacles you could eliminate. No more procrastination, no more second guessing yourself, no more false starts, no more wasted time. You wouldn't be at loose ends when you start your day because you would have a blueprint right in front of you. It would be simple. No more dithering about, wondering what to do. You would just do THE MAIN THING.

Here are two tips I give my clients.
1. Prioritize. This is a snap, now that you know you are going to be focusing on "the main thing," no matter what it is. It doesn't matter whether it's writing a novel, following through with a daily exercise plan or organizing your paperwork. Prioritizing--or keeping your eye on the prize--will pay off big-time.                         
2. Remember to keep an absolute YES list by the phone. This is an important adjunct to place to Covey's strategy. If someone calls you with a request (no matter how tempting or worthwhile), you simply must decline...unless it fits in with THE MAIN THING. You can't let yourself be distracted if you are serious about concentrating on the main thing. Say yes to things connected to the main thing, say no to everything else. Yes, I know personal emergencies come up and life takes some twists and turns, but for the most part, your day is predictable. How you spend your time is up to you. At least your "free" time.
I'll give some more hints in future blogs, but I think less is more for the moment. So try to prioritize and keep a Yes list and see how it goes.  (And I'll do the same.) Until next time...

Mary Kennedy

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