Putting first things first is something teens, as well as myself, find hard to do. Prioritizing and managing your time is super difficult especially in the life of a busy teen. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with friends and relax instead of clean your room or do homework? Putting important things first definitely doesn’t mean having no time for yourself or for your friends. You just have to figure out what things are urgent, and what things are important.
As Sean Covey says, urgent things aren’t necessarily bad. The problem happens when we put off important things for urgent ones, such as a phone call from your friend instead of that 100 point essay due tomorrow. There are many situations in which I think, “Well, this homework’s due Friday. I’ll just do it tomorrow.” This obviously is not the best way to go. Get it done so you have more free time the next night. Believe me, it’s much less stressful.
You might be the person that is loaded up on activities and has no clue what the start to putting first things first is and that’s okay. Start by keeping a planner. Write in it each week so you know what you have going on and can manage your time easily. Sean Covey talks about thinking mainly about your “big rocks” before you plan. These big rocks are the most important things you need to get done for the week. Write those down and simply work them into your schedule. It’s much easier to plan out your week then to scramble things together last minute.
The other half of Habit 3 is learning how to deal with peer pressure and to overcome your fears. This really applies to me because we all know school isn’t the easiest place to stick to your guns and be who you want to be. Ask yourself, “What do I want to put first?” Is it your family, friends, God? What stops you? Is it the girls around you telling you to try this or do that? Resisting peer pressure takes a large amount of courage, but in the end, it pays off in many different ways. You always have the choice – to take the easy way and fall into peer pressure, or to resist the urge to belong and say no. Respect yourself and your values.
Breaking out of your comfort zone takes a lot of courage, especially when you have the eyes of hundreds of teens watching your every move. I know in my own comfort zone, I feel secure because I know this is the safe path I can take. By staying in this zone, you’re passing up several opportunities. A perfect way to put this is the saying, “You’ll never know if you don’t try!” Show some faith in yourself and show others what you can do. Start living your life so you can look back with no regrets! I’ve always been in love with music and have always wanted to go somewhere with that. Being the shy girl that I am, I kept to singing in the shower and playing instruments in my room. Realizing that it’s a talent that God has given me, I don’t intend on wasting it. So, I’ve been practicing more, taking lessons, and playing more for my family and friends.
Take a step outside your comfort zone despite what others say about you. Put what’s important to you first and start living the life you want.
Alli Stone, age 15
If you’re interest in Sean Covey’s book, click here. You won’t regret it!