Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Oh my goodness I'm finally done. Sort of.
I read with intensity the first three chapters of this book, read with determination the second three and skimmed the last two just to be able to say I had finished.
Here's the skinny on this famous self-help/improvement book:
HABIT 1 - Be Proactive
I loved this chapter. All about choosing what you do with your life and not letting life "happen" to you. It was very helpful in crystallizing my decision to leave my job.
HABIT 2 - Begin with the End in Mind
This was also GREAT. The idea is to think of your life from the end...what would you want said at your funeral? What do you want your legacy to be? Are you moving in that direction today? What can you do to start?
HABIT 3 - Put First Things First
Very useful. Mainly about time management...the key takeaway for me was to prioritize those things you need to do that are "important but not urgent." The author talks about the fact that most of us spend our days tending to things that are urgent (whether important or unimportant) and end up neglecting the important non-urgent things (like building relationships).
My favorite sentence, "The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." HUGE for me to learn how to do!
HABIT 4 - Think Win/Win
This is where I started to drift. Very repetitive. The title really explains the whole concept.
HABIT 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Great concept...VERY repetitive chapter! The idea here: listen first, talk if/when necessary. A good goal for me. : )
HABIT 6 - Synergize
I hate the word synergize. It conjures up all sorts of business-speak conferences and Tony Robbins-type events. I really couldn't tell you what this chapter is about...sorry!
HABIT 7 - Sharpen the Saw
Basic concept: It takes many many hours to cut a tree down with a dull saw. Spend the time to sharpen your saw regularly and you'll save yourself time in the long run. Talks about renewing yourself Physically, Mentally, Socially/Emotionally and Spiritually.
All in all?
The book highlights some key principles which will undoubtedly help you in your personal and professional life if you are able to internalize them and put them into action. I would recommend it if you find yourself in a slump and in need of some motivation personally or professionally. Just be ready to do some skimming or you're going to be reading this one for a while!