The Seven Habits for Attraction Leaders – Habit Three: Put First Things First

The Seven Habits for Attractions Industry Leaders

There are seven natural laws that can be applied both to our own personal journey as well as our professional journey:
Moving from Dependence to Independence

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First


Moving from Independence to Interdependence

  1. Think Win Win
  2. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  3. Synergize


At Interdependence

  1. Sharpen the Saw

Last month, we focused on the first two habits and today, we continue our exploration of how these habits apply to our professional journey as attractions and industry leaders.

Habit Three: Put First Things First

My wife tells a story about how when she was a girl, she loved white chocolate--I mean it was her absolute favorite. One day, she found herself in a situation where she had access to as much white chocolate as her heard desired. What happened? She ate it all...and then promptly got incredibly sick. The moral is this: too much of anything is too much. Moderation is what really matters. Small, bite-sized pieces.

We are the sum of our actions.

The decisions that we make every day, from what we choose to eat to which projects we choose to focus, which phone calls to take and which ones to send to voicemail, and even when to say YES to a project and when to say NO. Many of us also find ourselves sucked into more and more meetings-even when we aren't essential to the discussion. We find ourselves multitasking to the max, stressed out, and even getting physically sick.

At work, do you often feel as if you've bitten off more than you can chew or that you're not focusing on what's really important? I know that I used to often feel that way. A few years ago, while reading the Seven Habits book which included a DVD, I first saw this video. It changed my life.


Putting First Things First means that we focus on handing the most important tasks in the time that we have available each day. Below are some critical strategies that I use to stay focused on what's important:

  • I strive to keep a clear focus on what really matters-and I deemphasize time wasters. (I continue to struggle with this one... I love binge-watching shows on Netflix!)
  • I use my calendar and a special task list (called Toodledo) to structure my day. I tend to have more creative energy in the morning so I plan creative thinking and certain projects earlier in my day. In the later afternoon, I like to plan more analytical and task-oriented actions.
  • I plan out projects in detailed fashion. I go step-by-step so that I clearly understand each project's impact on my available time.
  • I don't allow myself to get bogged down in the thick of thin things. I avoid focusing on the negative and I try not to get sucked into unimportant crisis-whether family-related or work-related-when I am in my office or traveling on business.
  • I aim to live every day of my life to the fullest. I ask myself "Marty, what is the Marquee Event in today's plan?" and then I focus my energy there.

Next week, we will transition from the Independent to Interdependent paradigm.