View Full Version : First Things First?
12-24-2003, 05:43 AM
I read First things first last year. I tried to implement the system and found myself ending up with weekly planning + scheduled and A,B,C prioritized tasks. This is better than I was before :-)
Can anyone tell me how/why this is a good compliment or replacement to first things first?
12-24-2003, 08:15 AM
I suggest they're complementary.
(Disclaimer: I argue strongly that FTF is NOT the old Franklin ABC123 system. I realize Franklin merged w/ Covey. I realize that Franklin Covey probably now teaches using the ABC123 system as part of the FTF system--how could they not? But the original Covey FTF book doesn't make very much of the ABC123 system, suggesting it's one of several ways you can choose to prioritize activities in your day--if you prioritize them at all. I rant on this a bit b/c this question comes up periodically, and tends to degenerate into bashing the ABC123 system--perhaps deservedly so--without focusing on the real content of FTF. OK, /rant off/.)
FTF helps you focus on big picture: people, relationships, truly important goals. FTF asks you to focus on what's important in life and to make sure you're acknowledging those important things (people, relationships, goals) each week.
GTD, as presented, helps you handle the day to day stuff of life in a reasonably airtight system.
I, and others, combine the two strategies to sigificant benefit. I combined Covey's suggested weekly review w/ the weekly review items from GTD. So I think about key relationships and make sure I'm giving them priority. Sometimes that means I schedule an appoint to spend time w/ someone (more a la Covey); sometimes it means I add an action or project to my GTD list.
Some will argue against FTF, but I suspect their arguments--and DA's, if I read GTD right--are focused on the daily prioritization issue more than anything. I also think DACo offers some sort of seminar on "important things", which serves to make the point that nothing in the GTD model is (should be) inconsistent with FTF.
12-24-2003, 12:28 PM
I don't think that GtD denies FTF principles. It refers to various XX,000 foot levels of review. I have wondered whether DA didn't bother to go into more detail on the top-down stuff simply because it has been written in so many other books or whether he acknowledges the need but leaves it to the individual to decide how formal that piece of the system should be. I have read posts from people who are enthusiastically opposed to mission statements, etc., but then just about every organization applies a top-down - alignment of goals - control by objectives approach.
The philosophical difference that I can see in GtD is the realism that setting agendas exclusively top-down ignores the constant influx of new information and demands, the reactive nature of which can tend to render the agenda obsolete as soon as it is created. Rather, GtD advocates clearing the decks of the new stuff so as to clarify all items, both existing and the continuously-added new stuff.
The extent to which you can apply a top-down approach in the face of the barrage of new items is a function of how much control you have over setting your own agenda. I find that some days I have to be much more in GtD mode, while others let me work the priority-driven way (including ignoring my mail completely).
12-24-2003, 03:51 PM
Thank you for the thoughts. I just purchased the book and will give it a change :-)
01-20-2004, 10:34 AM
I read first things first a while ago and loved that book. In fact the author Merrill has a new book with an introduction by Covey that is also excellent. I just picked up GTD but began reading DAs newest book. to me they seem very complimentary, the Merrill books and the DA books.
Whenever you implement a personal system for dealing with the world of business and personal matters, you make choices about how little or how much of a given system you intend to use............. you make great progress if you choose to adopt any system to help organize your life