Thursday, October 23, 2014

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Put First Things First

Putting first things first is about prioritizing. We all lead busy lives, especially in college, and there is always something in the wings competing for our time. If we don’t take the time to focus on what we really want, our time can easily be monopolized but all the “stuff” instead of “important stuff.” This means overcoming barriers, often times facing our fears, managing and organizing our time, and actually achieving our goals.

A useful tool for working on putting first things first is the Time Quadrant, which considers the importance and urgency of all the things that you have on your plate. Overall we spend our time in all four quadrants, but we should strive to live within our priorities and focus our time on the important and not urgent tasks. If it is not important to us, we should avoid it (although with bosses, supervisors and outside expectations, we all will have to spend some time here working on non-important tasks), and if it is important, we should avoid procrastinating to the point that it is urgent. Focusing on important and non-urgent tasks means that we have planned ahead, we are on top of things, we consider things in advance and we’ve learned how to manage our time and priorities.

For those of you who are not naturally gifted at prioritizing, there are some steps you can take to improve on this. First, utilizing a planner is a must. Each person can use their planner differently, but it is important to find a system that works. Once that organizer is in place, taking 15 minutes to plan weekly can make a huge difference. You should ask yourself what about the assignments you have coming up, what extra curricular you have scheduled, what your work week looks like, etc. But don't forget to schedule in personal time as well. Once those tasks are determined, block out time starting with the most time intensive tasks and then fitting in everything else. Finally, be ready to adapt. Things will come up and everyone needs to be able to make adjustments. You can never account for days that you may get sick, have an emergency or have something slip your mind; planning in advance always for this fluctuation.
Habit 1 says “I’m in control”, Habit 2 says “I know what I want” and Habit 3 says “I have the ability to get there.” It’s about taking the time to prioritize goals and then having the willpower to overcome fears and peer pressure that often create large obstacles.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{Meet the Staff: Josh Sankey}

Name: Josh Sankey

Undergraduate Major: Communication and Leadership

Who You Advise: Deciding Transfer students, Admissions Partnership Program Students, Allied Health

Favorite Past-Time: Spending time with my family

Advice to Students: Have fun and get involved outside the classroom! Seek help when you need it! We have a great resources for students on campus, you just have to ask! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Majors in Minutes

One week from today is Majors in Minutes. This event is a chance for you to learn about different majors on campus from students that are in them. You could be looking at changing your major, adding a minor, or just be curious about some of the majors UNI has.
 This event is set up like speed dating with seniors in a variety of majors on campus representing their major. When you come in, you sit at a table for a major you are interested in and every 8 minutes the bell will ring and you can either stay at that table or move to a new one. You can go to as many or as few majors as you want whether that be 1 or 17!

What: Majors in Minutes
When: Tuesday, October 28 7:00-9:00pm
Where: Maucker Union Ballroom

The event runs from 7:00-9:00 so you can come and go anytime between those hours.  
We hope to see you then!

Monday, October 20, 2014

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: The Habit

-Habits are auto-piloted, repeated actions fed by our thoughts and decisions, and are they lead directly into our character. Habits can be good (i.e. regularly exercising), bad (i.e. thinking negatively) or indifferent (i.e. taking your showers at night instead of morning), but all habits create who we are and in turn, how we live. The key to having the college experience you really desire is to understand your actions and take the time to develop good, effective habits to guide your life.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book written by Steven Covey and adapted for youth by his son Sean Covey about how to lay a positive foundation for building your future. The great news is that you are in your prime for learning and creating habits that will be beneficial for the rest of your life. 

The seven habits are:

  • being proactive
  • beginning with the end in mind
  • putting first things first
  • thinking win-win
  • seeking first to understand than to be understood
  • synergize
  • sharpen the saw

The first three are considered private victories, as they focus on self mastery and the next three habits are considered public victories as they are built on relationships and teamwork. The final habit is for intentional renewal which will replenish all other habits. The habits are meant to be sequential, meaning the first habit should be mastered (or greatly cared for) before the second. The justification for this is that the intrinsic habits must be experienced before the extrinsic habits can be tackled. Those who implement these habits will find a greater control over their lives, improved relationships, smarter decision making, more efficiency, happiness and balance. 

We will explore these 7 habits and how they can make you a more efficient (and happier!) college students across a series of posts. 

{Major Mondays: History}

History is a great major that most people don't know what to do with it besides teach. You spend time learning about past civilizations and cultures and have the opportunity to get more in depth by learning about specific regions or time periods. Students that enjoy learning about history could pursue a major or minor in history, a major in history teaching or a certificate in public history. Your classes would be located in Seerley Hall and you can take classes in U.S. history, European history and non-Western history. 

What do you do with a major in History? Students that major in history have strong written and oral communication skills. Due to this, most history majors pursue careers in law, government services, journalism, museum work, university teaching and may go on to Graduate school.

What classes would you take? All History majors take all three Humanities classes, U.S. History to 1877 and U.S. History from 1877. Most of the courses are history electives. Some possible courses include the History of Ireland, Ancient Near East, Medieval Civilization, Modern South Asia, History of Iowa and many others!

You can gather more information on their website here and view possible classes in the Academic Catalog here!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Begin with the End in Mind

Beginning with the end in mind means having a clear picture of what you want out of life. This understanding of where you want to end up is crucial for making the small steps to get there. Being proactive declares that you are in control of your life, beginning with the end in mind means deciding where you want to go. Now this path isn’t meant to be detailed or conclusive, but it should be a general direction based on your values and goals. 

This habit is important for you because you are at a crucial crossroads in life; the choices you make over your time in college will set the standard for the rest of your life. From the major you choose, to the friends you hang out with, to what you contribute to the community, to what your attitude toward life will be. These decisions will shape your future.Taking a moment to visualize and plan what the end will be can have exciting (and overwhelming) affects on the now.

The other important reason to being with the end in mind is because if you don’t make those decisions, someone will make them for you. Life will continue moving forward with or without a blueprint. Without that plan, you will find yourself making decisions based on your parents, friends, significant others or advisors. They may be fine decisions, but they won’t be yours. 

Beginning with the end in mind means being intentional and thoughtful, having a focus and a path, and creating a life you have always imagined.