Finding balance in your work and home life is difficult, especially for professionals working in a small office or home office. They wear many hats and can easily find themselves stretching themselves too thin. Perhaps the right tool to address these issues is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, published in 1990.
The 7 Habits, written by Stephen Covey, has sold over 10 million copies, was named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century, and continues to be relevant to business professionals wishing to balance their personal and professional life. It might be the first time that many professionals heard of creating their own Mission Statement.
The book is broken down into four major parts. Part One covers an overview of the seven habits. Part Two covers the first three habits and three principles related to each, including the popular Habit 3, Put First Things First and the principle of personal management. Part Three covers the next three habits and principles. Part Four brings it all together in the seventh habit of Sharpen the Saw and includes the Four Dimensions of Renewal.
The core lessons in the book as many see it, that resulted in the publication of the book First Things First, is to divide your tasks into quadrants to handle each according to how important and how urgent they are. Covey’s primary lesson that we often miss in our lives is that there are important tasks that are not urgent which we overlook daily in our lives (quadrant two).
The quadrants as outlined by Stephen Covey are:
Important and Urgent (crises, deadline-driven projects)
Important, Not Urgent (preparation, prevention, planning, relationships)
Urgent, Not Important (interruptions, many pressing matters)
Not Urgent, Not Important (trivia, time wasters)
Recent editions of the book include an afterword “Questions I am Often Asked” which is a great resource for how to share the book with someone you know, why there are seven habits, and why he chose his career in leadership and management.
The book is a great introduction to effective time management for individuals that do not want to miss what is important, but not urgent in their lives. Anyone looking to manage their to do lists should read this book.
In addition to Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits being translated into many languages, his company has translated the sentiment from the bestselling book into additional bestsellers including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
Recommended Stephen Covey books available at Amazon.com:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
First Things First
The author of this review was not provided with a free copy of this book for review by the book’s author or publisher.