Required Reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

A pair of peers invited me to be a founder member of a work-based reading club.  We all love reading, even the guilty pleasures that can leave one blushing in the lunch room.  However, since we are work-based reading club, we decided that jointly we should read books and discuss them.Book Cover

Wait, read books that are motivational, or otherwise good for you at work.  The first book we picked was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Like most people, we are over-scheduled and busier than the 24 hour limit to our day allows.  We’ve already cut sleep, family time and some essential life activities.

We’d like them back.

The title is enticing, isn’t it?  Just read me, and in 7 easy steps, you’ll become effective and productivity metrics will be green!

The habits are really quite easy to understand and follow:

  • Be Proactive
  • Begin with the End in Mind
  • Put First Things First
  • Think Win-Win
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the Saw

On the surface, all of them make sense and are easily understood (at least, I think that they are.)  Yet, actual execution is challenging.  It’s really hard to switch from Reactivity to Proactivity.  To find the extra minutes to plan rather than react is what gets so many of us in the situation in the first place.  After all, our schedules are full of crazy things like Work and Family.

Rather than being an actual solution, I found the book to be a great refresher of things that I already knew but haven’t had a chance to practice for a long time.  I found myself reading one habit at a time, pausing inbetween to collect my thoughts, and reflect on changes that I could make.

The book club hasn’t actually meet even once yet.  The members are finding the same thing that I did, and want to get together after reading a single habit.  I like the idea because it will help reenforcing the ideas and implement them.  It will also keep us from getting too lost in any one habit.  There were several times when I was thinking:  YES! That describes me and my situation exactly!

I’m glad that I read this one.  It’s even better that I’ll have some friends to discuss the ideas and a group to hold me accountable for the changes that I want to make.

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