Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reading further into Sean Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, I have found that my communication skills are not up to par. I become really frustrated when I am trying to talk to someone and they think they already know what I am going to say. They do not listen; they just sit there and pretend to listen. When I finish talking, they respond to what they "heard", which does me no good. Even though I am aggravated by this poor listening, I frequently and unconsciously do the very same thing. I need to be a little bit more open-minded when I am listening to people, so I catch what they are really trying to communicate.

I, like everyone else, crave to be understood. Often times, life would be so much easier if my parents used the "mirror" listening Sean discusses in his book. When I tell them things, I feel like I am talking in a different language, because they just do not understand me. I hate repeating myself, and I usually don't have the patience to try to explain it a different way. My mom also has a problem with probing. The fact that she asks so many questions is not as annoying as the way she asks the questions. She asks looking for a specific answer, and so she does not listen to the answer I give her. When she does listen, she listens selectively and often twists what I say. I think my whole family could benefit from a lesson in communication.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time Management :/

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, a book by Sean Covey, encourages adolescents to take control of their lives and futures. This book identifies problematic situations and different types of peoples' responses to these situations. Also, at the end of each section, Sean provides "baby steps" to assist teens in dealing with issues or changing their bad habits effectively and responsibly.

One area of my life that needs dramatic improvement is the way I manage, or rather fail to manage, my time. This relates to Habit 3, putting first things first. Sean advises to identify your big rocks, the most important things you want or need to accomplish. For me, identifying my minigoals for the week is easy enough. The hard part is following through by working to complete these goals in the time I have set aside for them. I know that I will eventually get around to doing whatever it is that absolutely has to be done. I allow myself to procrastinate, to do other less important things first, and I force myself to stay up late to complete the big rocks. In the end, it costs me valuable sleeping time. As soon as I can attain the will power to accomplish the important goals first, I will become considerably better at managing my time.