Thursday, November 6, 2008

Put First Things First

For my English class, I have begun reading the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. It is a sort of self-help book to assist teenagers in getting a hold on their hectic lives. So far, the habit that really hit home was Habit 3: Put First Things First. As most of us well know, the modern teenager is swamped. Between cheerleading, band, schoolwork, family, and friends, there is no down time! In Habit 2, I decided what the most important aspects of my life are. Habit 3 teaches me to prioritize and manage my time. This habit also talks about will-power, your ability to say yes to the important things, and won't power, your ability to refuse less important things and stand up to peer pressure.

In Habit 3 Covey speaks of the four time quadrants in which we spend our time: the procrastinator, the prioritizer, the yes-man, and the slacker. He believes that Quadrant 2: The Prioritizer is the quadrant we should aim for. Important, but not urgent things make up this quadrant. Activities of a prioritizer might include being with friends, relaxing, exercising, planning ahead, and doing homework on time. People who live in this quadrant have it all together; they are in control of their lives. I, an overly busy perfectionist, tend to live in Quadrant 1: The Procrastinator. Characteristics of a procrastinator include addiction to urgency, thriving under pressure, stress and anxiety, burnout, and mediocre performance. I am a prime example of a person living in Quadrant 1, putting off my English assignments until the night before they are due. After reading this habit, I think that Sean Covey's tips for spending more time in Quadrant 2 will really help me.

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