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The Big Five Technique

by David DeFord

Is your typical day like mine? Between interruptions, emergencies and phone calls you have trouble moving closer to the completion of your important work.

Stephen Covey calls this, “Majoring in minor things.”

We often get so involved in minor tasks that we neglect the critical ones—the ones that will move us toward achieving our major goals.

Frequently, external sources keep us centered on minor things, but often we do it to ourselves. We dive into the short, simple, brainless tasks because they are easier and make us feel more productive. The longer, more difficult tasks sit, awaiting our attention; all the while growing in importance.

How can we move the most important tasks to the top of our priority list? How can we remind ourselves to focus on the work that will provide the most reward?

For a few months I have changed my approach from a standard “to-do” list. I now use a method I call “The Big Five.”

At the end of each workday I list the five most important tasks I need to accomplish the next day. I make sure that each of the tasks moves me closer to one of my written goals. Since most tasks can’t be completed in a day, I often list the amount of time I need to spend on the large tasks. Or, I may break the task down into a small enough bite that I can complete the bite that day.

Then, throughout the day I review the list. I may let the phone ring at times, and I may not check email for a few hours so I can devote the time I need to accomplish the items on my Big Five list.

For instance, if I’ve set a goal to have my next book to the printer by the end of the quarter, I need to spend an hour or two per day writing or editing it. I put that task, “1 hour editing”, on my Big Five list. Or, I may be more specific and list, “Edit chapter 12”.

You can focus on your most important work by following this simple procedure.

If you try it, I would love to hear your feedback. Also, if you have other methods of focusing on major tasks, I invite your contributions. In a later issue of this e-zine, I will share your ideas with everyone.

Please send your feedback to ddeford@ordinarypeoplecanwin.com

Also, for more tips on how you can successfully set and reach your goals, read my book, Ordinary People Can Achieve the Extraordinary—A Practical Guide to Goal Achievement. You can order it from Amazon.com at:

Related Quotes

"Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswerving singleness of purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader." Paul J. Meyer

"There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it." Ronald Reagan

"Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives." Anthony Robbins

"When you develop a game plan to get what you want, you will develop a belief that you can get it." Zig Ziglar

"By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be." Mark Victor Hansen

Related Offerings

David DeFord has written the book you need to accomplish all that you seek in your life.
Ordinary People Can Achieve the Extraordinary-A Practical Guide to Goal Achievement will help you bust past the inevitable obstacles. In the past, you became discouraged and quit chasingwith your dream.< your dreams.
Now, you can press past these roadblocks and reach your chosen destinations.

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  • The best way to select your goals
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  • Free e-zines to instruct and inspire you
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  • How giving back to your community helps you deserve abundance
Order it on Amazon.com at:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity -- principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

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