First Things First for a Wedding or a Party

by Robbie Schlosser · 1 comment

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

First Things First, by Stephen Covey

First Things First is Habit #3 in Stephen Covey’s earlier book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Whether I’m preparing to entertain at a wedding or a party, I re-read this book often, and I’ve followed Covey’s advice since 1994.

It takes effort.  I take time daily to “Sharpen the Saw” (Habit #7), that is, to reflect, recharge, and renew myself.  I think about what I doing, where I’ve been, where I’m going, and how it all matters to those I care about most.

Writing helps, and these days I’m writing for at least 30 minutes nearly every morning, to clarify my two main challenges.

  • Challenge #1:  Deciding what the first things are.  Not what’s most urgent, but most worthwhile.
  • Challenge #2:  Making them first on my agenda.

Last Monday I wrote this:  It’s 6:10pm, and I’m writing by candlelight.  All the electricity in the neighborhood went out about 20 minutes ago, and I have no idea when it might resume.  I’m feeling like 150 years of civilization just got cancelled.  A mixed blessing, I suppose.

I’d hoped to write early this morning, but instead began following up last weekend’s wedding and party engagements with Thank You notes and other paperwork.  Then instead of pausing to write, I checked the weekend’s email and my social media activity.

The rest of the day went similarly.  I tied up lots of loose ends but failed to write.  Until now.

I ought to put first things first and begin the day writing and reflecting.  Writing helps me explore fresh ideas and it focuses my mind — two good things anytime, especially at the start of the day.

All those details I worked on instead of writing could have waited another 30 minutes.  Or I could have begun my day 30 minutes earlier.  Hey, what an idea!

Writing also helps several other daily routines.  Whatever I write about fuels my next blog post, which I can rewrite, format, and schedule.  Then I can record a 1 or 2 minute video to introduce or summarize the post, and attach it.

What I’m talking about is getting into a “working groove”, being productive without having to pause and re-schedule the same details every day.  I do a little each day, and I hope seeing good results will keep this first things first habit strong and efficient.

How do YOU keep first things first?  Any secrets?

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Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

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Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


How do I keep first things first? I try to write a note of my priorities, then, try to figure out which ones are the most important and sort them from the easiest to the hardest. The easiest are will be the first ones because that would take me a shorter period to accomplish than putting the hardest to accomplish.


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