Put In The Big Rocks First

Do you find yourself scrambling for time?  Do you often think, “I have plenty of time to do this,” then end up rushing at the last minute to finish up?   Do you frequently arrive late because you delayed getting ready but then time got away from you?

Steven Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, tells a story in one of his other books which appears in many places on the Internet.  (I took this version from http://food.unl.edu/web/fnh/big-rocks-first).

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A Cautionary Tale about Q-Tips

My mother called me the other day to tell me that she had 750 Q-tips and was hoping I would agree to take some of them off her hands.

Here’s how it happened.  My mother noticed  that the package of 300 Q-tips that she purchased at Walgreen’s quite a number of years ago was almost empty.   However, she was determined to buy a smaller package, since she and my dad use them up so slowly, and, like most of us in New York City, have limited storage space.

She went to Walgreen’s and saw a package of 500.  Too big!  At CVS, she found a package in the cosmetics area — 100 Q-tips for $ 2.49.  Perfect!

But they had Q-tips over in the skin care aisle as well, and there she found the package of 750 Q-tips.  (It was supposed to be a package of 500 but was marked “Get 50% more at the same price!”)  The price for this bounty?  $ 3.49.

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Practicing What I Preach

As a Professional Organizer, I live the advice that I give my clients.  I regularly donate unworn clothes and unused items; I efficiently process incoming e-mail and paper; I manage my time using an effective to-do list.

But even I’m not perfect.

That’s why I found it so satisfying last week to tackle something that had been nagging at me for a while — something that was violating TWO of my six basic organizing principles.

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Reduce Unwanted E-mail by Unsubscribing

Do you get e-mails from commercial web sites that you visited and inadvertently (or advertently) agreed to receive updates from?  Tired of slogging through all that unwanted mail in your inbox so that you can find the messages that are truly deserving of your attention?

Salvation is just a few clicks away.

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