Have you ever had a to-do list longer than your grocery list? I know I have. It’s especially hard on those days when you walk into the office and immediately have to pick up the phone that’s been ringing, and fix the error message on the copier as you walk by, and maybe five other things before you even get the chance to get your coat off. Days like these have a tendency of pushing you to your limit, and it’s days like these that leave us emotionally exhausted. So what do we do to live with this?
What my team did was adopt Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We spent two days in a training learning about ourselves, our teams, and how to work more effectively with ourselves and each other. We learned in this training the 7 habits we can practice that will lead our lives down a less stressful path while maximizing our productivity. A couple of the habits I use every day are Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, and my team often uses Synergize.
I’m practicing being proactive by keeping my goals in my foresight while focusing on the tasks that will get me there. In my position as a project coordinator, this helps me plot out what my day-to-day tasks will be while still looking ahead to the end goal. This helps me better be able to begin with the end in mind because when I start a task I make sure I know why I’m doing this in the first place. By keeping in mind where I want to be in the future, I’m able to work together with my team day to day and let our vision of the future guide our daily decisions.
My team synergizes by working together on multifaceted projects, each of us bringing something unique to the table. Some of us have more relationship building skills and others are more analytical. We pride ourselves in cultivating these strengths and delegating tasks to the person whom we know will excel in that area. We are better teammates and more effective employees when we are able to do the things we enjoy.
The 7 Habits has, so far, impacted the way I work. I pay more attention to what is necessary compared to what is just a distraction. With the help from my team, we have been able to create processes that eliminate distractions which increase our productivity. With a director who cultivates a culture of efficiency and effectiveness, we are marching into the future with our new habits.
Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic ([Rev. Ed.].). New York: Free Press.
Kori Montgomery is an Office Associate at the Alber Enterprise Center located at The Ohio State University at Marion.