November 13, 2006

Work harder, study more OR being more effective?

Greetings Pre-Cal 40S! From your BOBs, it appears you are really working hard and feeling that to be more successful, you need to "work harder", "study more", and "exert extra time and effort". My sense is you may be doing that now; I wonder if you think you could be more effective in your efforts? I know from lots of experience (60 years worth) that habits can ensure my reaching my goals or not. And often, I've tried harder, and reviewed more, but not really effectively. Given that, I think I've found 7 habits, that if I've worked at them, have helped me be more effective! Have you seen these 3? Do you think these habits can be of value to you too? Or are these a habit for you already?

I think this short autobiography is a good introduction to Habit 1.
by Portia Nelson
Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost.... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in.... It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

Habit 1: Be Proactive®
Take responsibility for your life.


Does this cartoon say it all for Habit 2?

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind.®
Define your mission and goals in life..


Finally, Habit 3: Rocks, Pebbles, Sand, Water—And Calculus is which?

A time management specialist was asked to give a presentation on her specialty. She decided to do a demonstration. First she asked her assistants to bring a big bucket and put it on the table in front of the audience. Then she asked for large, grapefruit-sized rocks and filled the bucket with them.
"Is the bucket full," she asked?
"Yes!" said the crowd, but she asked for more to put in anyway. This time her assistants brought in pebbles. She poured the pebbles in the bucket and it held a surprising number in the space between the big rocks.
"Now is the bucket full?" she asked.
"Yes!" "No!" "Yes!" "No!" said various persons in the crowd. Some people were uncertain; some were getting suspicious. The time management specialist asked for more. This time the assistants brought her sand. She poured sand in the bucket and it filled the spaces between the pebbles.
"Now is the bucket full?" she asked.
"No!" they answered. By now, everyone was suspicious. So she asked for water and poured in quite a lot. Now no one could think of anything else that could fit in that bucket.
"What does this process demonstrate?" asked the time management specialist.
One member of the audience spoke up: "No matter how busy you are, you can always fit in one more thing."
"I can see how you might think that was my point, but it is not," said the specialist. "I was trying to show you that if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all!"

Habit 3: Put First Things First®
Prioritize and do the most important things first.

What do you think?

And by the way, these come from 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.


  1. WOww ! .. ths is great ! , the thigns said here are very true!This sounds like a very good speech, reminds me of Mr. K's awesome speeches during class, it just makes you feel like you HAVE to and MUST work harder, I mean , well I'm not sure if everyone feels that way, but yes, it makes me sure feel like that, I guess it's called motivation? A very good one at that.

    I loved the first and I liked the second habits.

  2. Hi Lani!! thanks for all the comments on the blog... your time spent is much appreciated... this comment is especially helpful... learning about all of the habits that will actually help us learn and retain things other than just "studying harder" as we try to do... i totally agree with oliver.. this is great!! thanks again!!

  3. Hey that's really cool what you posted! My habits are extremely bad so reading this made me realize that it is my life and i do have to take responsibilty for it. like oliver said what you posted reminded me of mr.k's speeches. i love the alice in wonderland picture of the cat. the cat is very smart! actually my brother has that book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. i just haven't read it yet..... but i'll definetly read it now. and like lisa said your time spent is highly appreciated having read our posts and commenting and even posting some up yourself. thanks!

  4. I'm glad Habit 1 and 2 really resonated with you. I'm wondering why you hadn't mentioned Habit 3. Is it because it seems more challenging? To me, it is a far more difficult habit! If and when I remember to think of all I do in terms of "the time quadrants" for Habit 3, it really helps me to be more effective.

    I'm afraid I seem to fall in the "Yes Man" at times these days as hard as I try to prioritize. I know that it keeps me from being as effective as I would like. I need to focus more on prioritizing now. Where do you fit?

    And can these quadrants help you in your calculus studies? Where does the blog, practice tests, study groups, and reviewing your notes fall?

    Ashley, I'm glad you are thinking of reading the book. One of my favorite pages (and I have many) in the "Teens" book is the last page. I wonder how it strikes you?