The 5 Choices

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The time management experts at FranklinCovey share their five critical techniques for avoiding distractions and paying focused attention to our most important goals and tasks in our daily lives: This book “fits a real need in these turbulent, but opportunity-rich, times” (Steve Forbes).

Every day brings us a crushing wave of demands: a barrage of texts, emails, interruptions, meetings, phone calls, tweets, blogs—not to mention the high pressure demands of our jobs—which can be overwhelming and exhausting. The sheer number of distractions can threaten our ability to think clearly, make good decisions, and accomplish what matters most, leaving us worn out and unfulfilled.

Now FranklinCovey offers powerful insights drawn from the latest neuroscience and decades of experience and research in the time-management field to help you master your attention and energy management through five fundamental choices that will increase your ability to achieve what matters most to you. The 5 Choices is time management redefined: it increases the productivity of individuals, teams, and organizations, and empowers you to make more selective, high-impact choices about where to invest your valuable time, attention, and energy.

The 5 Choices—from Act on the Important, Don’t React to the Urgent, to Rule Your Technology, Don’t Let It Rule You—will not only increase your productivity, it will also provide a renewed sense of engagement and accomplishment. You will quickly find yourself moving beyond thinking, “I was so busy today, what did I actually accomplish?” to feeling confident, energized, and extraordinarily productive.


INTRODUCTION

FEELING BURIED?

Jaivon opened his eyes with a start as the plane shuddered beneath him. He looked around and realized it
was just turbulence . . . and that he had fallen asleep again.
He had been dozing on and off for the last hour, trying to stay awake so that he could continue
working on his notes. “I’m not supposed to be on this plane at all,” he thought angrily. “I should be at
home with Kalisha!” They had gotten married just a few months ago and were in the process of moving
into a new home. This trip had come up unexpectedly.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Kali had taken some time off from her job to organize the move
and he had done the same thing, but one of his company’s largest accounts needed some emergency
technical help, and he was the best one to provide it. “At least no one is texting me right now,” he
grumbled. “There’s at least one advantage of flying a red-eye.”

As he slid back into his crowded, stuffy middle-row seat, he thought about the past few weeks—one
crisis after another. As one of the lead developers in a small but growing software firm, his schedule was
hectic. He had also recently taken on more team leadership responsibilities, so now he had more people to
satisfy. If it wasn’t questions from the sales team, it was issues from his developers. So many decisions to
make! His email, instant messenger, and text messages were filled with questions that, apparently, only he
could answer. His life felt like this middle seat—crowded—and the problem was only getting worse.
He was originally excited about the company and its prospects when he took the job two years ago.
Their product was a cool bit of software, and it was the kind of programming he liked to do. With
Kalisha’s work and his job, they had begun to look for a place where they could finally make a home and
maybe start a family. “But at this rate,” he thought, “we won’t be together enough to raise a family at all,
much less begin one!”

Kali’s job was busy also. She was in retail and managed a couple of boutique clothing stores. Because
they were open into the evening, she usually came home late. And even then, there was often work to do
—checking on the next day’s schedules when people called in sick, following up on inventory, and so
forth.

As Jaivon rolled all this over in his mind, he began to feel something he hadn’t felt before—despair.
“Will this ever end?” he thought.

Does any of this sound familiar?

While this might not match your situation exactly, our guess is that some of it rings
true. When you picked up this book, you probably did it for one of two reasons:
1. You are looking for some new ideas about how to be more productive. You may actually be
managing pretty well, but you want to improve. You want to manage your time better, to get more out
of each day. You may want to make more of a difference, to progress in your career, to have more time
for those people who are important to you, or to achieve some really important goals.

2. You feel buried every day, and you want some serious help. You may, however, feel more like Jaivon
—struggling to stay above the growing pile of things to do and the demands and decisions coming at
you all day long. You may feel out of balance and that you rarely have time for yourself. You may feel
that your health and relationships are suffering and that your primary goal is just to get through the
day in one piece. You know if something doesn’t change soon, you just might explode.


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Author

Kory Kogon ,Adam Merrill , Leena Rinne