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The library of essays of Proakatemia


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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen Covey
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

When coming to Proakatemia we are given full responsibility for our studies. Just like every other student in the world, one could say. Everyone can decide how hard they must study and how much effort they want to put into different courses. Although at Proakatemia, we decide what courses to take or do we even need courses. It is up to us how to organize our studies and calendars except for two 4h training sessions in a week. The coach is there to help and evaluate our choices and progress.

Usually, soon enough we face issues with the availability of our peers and realize that our calendar might be also fully booked. That’s the reality of well-connected people and an endless stream of opportunities. It’s not a problem when we just talk about studies, but as we go forward with our projects/businesses it’s important to have a way how to manage it. It’s not enough to focus only on things that generate money, things that just bring knowledge and take us closer to graduation or whatever comes our way,. Possibly there isn’t ever going to be a perfect balance, but we can try.

Recently while reading Stephen R. Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” I learned about Eisenhower’s Time Management Matrix. I have heard about this before but didn’t really understand it until now. It is divided into 4 parts:
Quadrant I – important and urgent
Quadrant II – important and not urgent
Quadrant III – urgent and not important
Quadrant IV – not urgent and not important
Quadrant I consumes people who are crisis managers. People who live their lives surrounded by drama and driven by urgent to-do lists. A feeling of urgency mixed with the importance of the matter creates an adrenaline-driven mindset. Usually, these individuals are problem-minded people who chase the next deadline. According to the author of the book, giving too much focus to this area of life will only grow and get bigger and bigger. Finally, it’s going to own and dominate us. The overwhelmed individual can easily find escape in quadrant IV. This again, according to the author creates a 90/10% imbalance. There is little focus on quadrants II and III.

Quadrant II is the essence of effective people. It’s where the magic happens, but not in a front of our eyes. That’s why it can be easily dismissed and considered not urgent. Most effective people spend their efforts in this area investing their time because they have a long-term vision. When we are able to think about the effects of our actions in the long term, and we are aware of our goals we can prevent different situations. These preventive actions start with as simple things as eating healthy, exercising, or taking care of our relationships with others. These are all the things we know we should be doing, but lack of urgency keeps them away. from our sight.
To stay in this area we must be proactive and opportunity-minded.

Quadrant III is about dealing with things that are urgent, but not important. An individual usually thinks that they are from quadrant I. While in reality, the importance of these problems is based on the expectations of others and even more on the priorities or values of others. Peer pressure, the need of belonging and pleasing others can all play a role here.

Quadrant IV is everything that distracts us and it’s neither important nor urgent. It can be as simple as social media, favours to random people that don’t benefit anyone. It usually serves as an unhealthy escape from the reality of other problems.

Whether we are entrepreneurs, students, or employees it’s our responsibility to find out what really belongs to quadrant II. Identifying these will really help to feed the opportunity and starve the problem. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the results come out of 20% of actions. In a business, it means spotting possibly the most crucial factors for company success and giving the most attention to them. Keep in mind that this rule is a starting point, not a hard fact. For a student, it could mean that sometimes we don’t have to read multiple books back to back and instead only study the essential chapters.
To find ourselves in quadrant II, in the beginning, we must take time away from quadrants III and IV. Highly effective people eliminate quadrants III and IV completely giving the most energy to quadrant II. Quadrant I cannot be ignored, but it will shrink as a proactivivity will start showing the results. Less crisis management, less urgency and more prevention. These steps cannot be accomplished without learning how to say “no”. It might be hard at first, but in the long run, it will create more appreciation for the times when we say “yes”.
To evaluate changes in our habits, we can use the calendar. It will clearly show where we spend time, are there unnecessary meetings, appointments and empty gaps filled with procrastination? Our own calendar is a great tool to check our actions and spark thinking about the values that determine our priorities.

With this, I would like to highly encourage not only Proakatemia teampreneurs but anyone who happens to read this text to think about what they want to achieve, what are their priorities and does their effort and time takes them closer to their goals. Let’s think about what is really important today and where we can create an impact in the long term while ignoring unimportant distractions.

Dynamic and entrepreneurial developer of new ideas. Focus on coaching and sustainable development.

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