First Things First

First things first is a simple saying to help you get your life in order.

Instead of rushing around in mindless busyness doing things that do not have to be done, you focus on the most important things first.

It's an elegant way of stating how an an organized, productive, efficient person goes about their lives.

It's also an easy way for you to get your life under control when it is not.

First Things First

Focusing on doing first things first is a way to avoid all the frustrations, irritations, annoyances and problems that happen to disorganized people.

Plus, you have the pleasure of your surroundings always being nice, neat and orderly.

My bedroom, picked up, nice and neat with the bed made
Eliminate Frustrations
  • Running late
  • Missing appointments
  • Super busy yet never getting anything done
  • Misplacing your wallet, phone or keys
  • Short of cash
  • Paying bills late
  • Tired
  • Anxious
  • Can't find what you're looking for

This is a totally unhealthy way to live. This is the kind of stress you do not need.

You don't have to deal with all this stupid nonsense if you focus on first things first and keep at it.

You cannot be disorganized if

  • Everything you need to do is done
  • Everything you have is in the correct place
  • Your life is running smoothly
  • You have plenty of time to think and plan
  • You can relax and rest as much as you need to feel good

From Steve Pavlina

Getting Organized

Favorite quote -

If you maintain a messy environment, it just means you lack the skills of organizing, which anyone can learn. Organizing can be broken down into a step-by-step process that anyone can follow.


How to Avoid Frustrations and Excess Stress

Get your life back under your control.  Focus on the simple things that make your life run smoothly so you have more time and more energy to live exactly how you want to live.

Keep Track of Important Items

If you cannot keep track of you most important items...keys, wallet, phone...you will always have excessive non-needed stress in your life.  You waste time and energy looking and fretting.

Admit it, you've lost your phone or had to help some poor dupe find theirs.  It's annoying and frustrating and a stupid way to live.

Plus you are a borderline airhead.

This is basic stuff here, yet far too many people still misplace these items and waste their lives frantically looking for them and sometimes even placing the blame on others. 

It's comical, sad and unnecessary.

Focus on these special items.  Dedicate special places for these items and keep them in these same places all the time.

My phone is in one of these places:

  1. My left front pocket
  2. On a small table next to my recliner
  3. Under my computer screen at work
  4. In the pocket of my truck
  5. On the console of my truck
  6. Placed on a table in clear view in my hotel room or different place I am staying

I don't have to think about the location of my phone because I know exactly where it is.  I never misplace it.  I never have to ask someone to call me to find it or help me look for it.

Organize Your Keys

Do you fumble around with your keys when you are trying to unlock your car or your house? You should be able to reach in your pocket grab your keys and unlock the door without looking at the keys and with your non-key hand full of groceries, a briefcase, suitcase, sleeping child or sexy woman draped all over you.

It's critical to not have too many keys, or a big key chain and keep them on a narrow band in logical order.

Your keys should have their own dedicated space in your surroundings just like your phone.

My Keys Are in One of These Places

  1. My right front pocket
  2. In a special holder on my bedroom dresser
  3. In a small pocket in my gym bag
  4. In my beach bag at the beach
  5. Placed on a table in clear view in my hotel room or different place I am staying

Most people just set their keys down wherever and then have to ask other people to help them look for their keys. 

The best is to keep them in your pocket when you are out and about. 

Keep Your Wallet Organized

Is your wallet overloaded with extra stuff? Is it too full to fit in your pants pocket comfortably so you have to take it out to sit down?

Big mistake.  It should fit comfortably, easily and securely in your pocket whether you are standing, walking, relaxing in a soft chair or hard at work in an office chair.

Do you normally pay with credit card or debit card and have a minimum of cash?

Another big mistake.  Carry some cash. You never know what it may be needed for. When I went away to college my dad gave me a $100 bill. He said to keep it hidden in my wallet for emergencies. Years later it did help me when I had car trouble. Having that money hidden away saved me from being stranded.

$100 is a good starting point if you have never carried a lot of cash. Closer to $1,000 is better.

Keep some small bills, 20's, 5's and singles in addition to a bunch of 50's. Cash is better than a credit card.  You are in control of your money.  No one knows how you spent your money.  It is easier to hide and easier to control.

Keep Your Car Gassed Up


Do you drive your car until the gas tank is nearly empty? I always fill mine up when it hits about half full. Keeping that tank nearly full is one of the best ways to look out for yourself. In winter you may need to keep it running if you run off the road in a blizzard. In the heat of the summer you can keep the air conditioning going.  If you are traveling or are in an unfamiliar area you may not know where the next gas station is located.

Plus it's less expensive and saves a lot of time standing at the pump.

Keep What You Need With You

Do you stuff your pockets or purse with things you do not really need and then not bother to take what is needed with you?

Concentrate on the essentials...first things first.  Reduce what you carry to the minimum, but also, carry what is needed. So, take your keys, wallet, pocketknife, cell phone, gum, mints and whatever else you need along.

Look For Ways to Save Time

Concentrate on ways to save time. Actively think about doing things in an organized way and look for ways to save time. This becomes second nature as you will concentrate on things that matter to you the most.

Most of your day to day chores can be systematized until you can do them automatically spending very little time.

Speed Up


Speed up how you do things. Chores, routines, work and activities can be done at a fast pace if you work at it.

Don't dawdle.  Hurry up.  Get moving. Chain your trips.  Do all your errands during one pass through town, efficiently going from place to place at a non-busy time.

Doing first things first will help you to speed up, get more done and have more time for what you really want to do.

Cut Out What You Hate

Do first things first and stop doing things that don't add value to your life. Think about what you really want to spend time on and cut back or out things that aren't for you.

I don't join groups.  I don't follow politics. I don't go to church or worry about religion.  I don't get involved with committees.  I don't work long hours.  I don't micromanage my kids.  I don't have a wife.

What I do have is a simple uncomplicated first things first type of life that makes me very happy.

› First Things First