Exclusive Interview: Stephen Covey on His Morning Routine, Blogs, Technology, GTD and The Secret

Exclusive Interview: Stephen Covey on His Morning Routine, Blogs, Technology, GTD and The Secret

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

It’s such a thrill to share with you this interview with one of my heroes, author Stephen Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame.

Covey, of course, is one of the inspirations of this site, and has informed all of my writings (including Zen To Done) that talk about getting important things done, not just everything on your to-do list.

Besides The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, some of his other best-selling books (which I highly recommend) includeFirst Things FirstPrinciple Centered LeadershipThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, and his most recent book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

He’s also started up his own website, Stephen R. Covey: The Community, which is a community of his readers, with exclusive articles, video and audio, as well as forums, blogs, and tools for those trying to live the 7 habits.

The 7 Habits include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win/win, seeking first to understand, synergizing, and sharpening the saw. His 8th habit boils down to “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” Indispensable reading.

I was able to connect with Mr. Covey through email, and in this interview I tried to keep the questions to a minimum (he’s a busy guy), avoid repeating too much of what’s already available in his books, get a little more personal, and give you guys (and myself) a little insight into someone who has found a way to live his life according to his principles.

I hope you enjoy this interview!

Zen Habits: For a lot of people your books are so full of mind-blowing and life-changing ideas, that they get overwhelmed. They want to start, but don’t know how to. What would be the best first step they can take to make a positive change?

Covey: Listen to your conscience regarding something that you simply know you should do, then start small on it—make a promise and keep it. Then move forward and make a little larger promise and keep it. Eventually you’ll discover that your sense of honor will become greater than your moods, and that will give you a level of confidence and excitement that you can move to other areas where you feel you need to make improvements or give service.

ZH: To give us some insight into your life, what is your typical morning routine on a work day, that incorporates some of your principles into your everyday life?

Covey
: I make an effort every morning to win what I call the “private victory.” I work out on a stationary bike while I am studying the scriptures for at least 30 minutes. Then I swim in a home pool vigorously for 15 minutes, then I do yoga in a shallow part of the pool for 15 minutes. Then I go into my library and pray with a listening spirit, listening primarily to my conscience while I visualize the rest of my entire day, including important professional activities and key relationships with my loved ones, working associates and clients. I see myself living by correct principles and accomplishing worthy purposes. One of my favorite quotes is, “The greatest battles of life are fought out every day in the silent chambers of one’s own soul.” (David O. McKay) Much of this listening and visualizing work is very challenging, so I win the private victory when I have made my mind up and commit to live by correct principles and to serve worthy purposes.

 

**To read more about this interview, click here!**

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