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Monday, December 7, 2009


No Daily Dozen issue has added more to my success than the principle of priorities. When I discovered that I needed to change my approach to my dad and my career, I started by asking myself three critical questions:

What is required of me?

Any realistic assessment of priorities in any area of life must start with a realistic assessment of what a person must do. For you to be a good spouse or parent, what is required of you? To satisfy your employer, what must you do? (If you lead others, then the question should be, What must you personally do that cannot be delegated to anyone else?) When ordering priorities, always start with the requirement question and give it careful thought before moving on to the next question.

What gives me the greatest return?

As you progress in your career, you begin to discover that some activities yield a much higher return for the effort than others do. (Anyone who hasn’t discovered that probably isn’t progressing in his career!) The next place to focus your attention is on those high-return activities.

What gives me the greatest reward?

If you do only what you must and what is effective, you will be highly productive but you may not be content. I think it’s also important to consider what gives you personal satisfaction. However, I find that some people want to start with the reward question and go no further than that. No one can be successful who doesn’t possess the discipline to take care of the first two areas before adding the third.

From "Make Today Count" by John Maxwell