Communication, communication, communication

Our business team meeting was as ever fruitful, filled with the unspoken and overflowing with frustration. However, this time, it felt positive at the end. It finally felt like a step forward. Through-out our discussion we weaved our way through points that we have been avoiding as a group (although as an individual, I’ve been perfectly aware of these from day one and communicated these many times – but this comes onto communication, the theme of this post) and pragmatically discussed through them. What was the most interesting for me, as I tried to take a neutral, challenging and objective stand point, was that many of the things the team initially rejected in the beginning, especially things I put to the team, in terms of lack of quality in the end product, the team seemed to come full circle in the end and agree that these were lacking.

Points covered within our post-Motorola discussion of the sustainability project were;

  • Communication in the last project was the main issue; we are heavily reliant on Facebook. Meetings are poor productivity wise, due to the lack of engagement and atmosphere we conduct them in. This is a complete lack of understanding and listening within the group.
  • We don’t use our Motorola’s. We see them as things we have to do for our assignment and hence they are completely superficial. Moreover, once we have done the pre-Motorola, we don’t look at it again and assess at the end whether, we’ve achieved our goals. Nor, do we usually complete a post Motorola, assessing our end product.
  • We don’t experiment with different ways of working and we simply repeat similar mistakes, with the soul of aim of completing the project, instead of focusing on how to complete the project in a quality way.
  • We don’t have a middle assessment or break projects down or break roles down or set deadlines, consequently we have a mad rush at the end to pull things together. It isn’t until the end we realise, things we’ve missed, extra research that should have been done and difficulties certain members have been happening.
  • Lack of engagement within projects comes from the fact, many members only get a very superficial understanding of the project and consequently, they can’t penetrate deeper and explore different ideas, as they aren’t aware. Moreover, this leads to a complete lack of understanding with the direction of the project, as members don’t understand why the project ends up going in the direction it goes in.
  • We don’t brain storm in the beginning as a collective, so the project becomes a mish-mash of individual member’s ideas that aren’t developed as a team. Hence the different elements within the project can come across as disjointed. Moreover, certain members feel completely overloaded.
  • We focus on individual contributions instead of the unit contributions; hence issues of blame and such like can come to the fore.

This was a huge step forward in regards of the team identifying problems and developing productively. ; Especially in regards to the issue of communication. We don’t communicate within the group, we don’t communicate ideas, difficulties, we don’t hand over effectively from one section of the project to the end and any forms of communication we do have, are ineffective and inefficient.  , Consequently, each section Research, report and presentation, ends up completely disjointed. We need to consider a productive way to diffuse the knowledge into each, so that understanding isn’t lost. Also, we simply focus on the quality of the visuals of the presentation. As the visuals for our presentation, as always were good, as a team we deem this as good quality. But in fact, I think our presentation was quite poor. We didn’t manage to summarise the report or present our implementation plan; it wasn’t a pitch. As our presenter wasn’t involved in any other area of the project, you could tell when he was presenting the whole, he didn’t really understand a lot of it or was re-interpreting bits, which became misleading to the audience. Once again, effective communication is here, not just within the team but to our wider audience; both are lack. The final delivery of a pitch should be a collective effort and the script should be presented back to the team beforehand for review or even to an outside for feedback.

Waber (2013) considers that the crutch of any successful team and business is the act of meeting face to face, something we try to do once week but we are yet to have a full meeting with every member there. He considers “physical touch promotes closeness which leads to better co-operation and higher performance”. The point of his simple, but insightful article is that whilst when we are greeted with failure and a failing team, we often opt for drastic, physical solutions; in fact small changes can make the difference.  He puts forwards two crucial elements that can unite a business towards performance; increased interaction and dressing the uniting part.

In terms of reflecting and applying this, the most successful teams I’ve been a part of have worked together, met a lot both professionally and socially and viewed themselves as one unit. This bonding came from simply spending time together and instead of looking at a problem, from the view point of a group of individuals; they viewed it as a unit. We also had a leader, me, who really pushed forward communication. I held weekly, often more, meetings to check in and discuss. I relied on these meetings to communicate information and I had a secretary within the group. Someone impartial, who ensured the meeting, went ahead productively. But when assessing the failures of the team, I immediately considered that poor communication was at fault and the team, which was huge and sprawling, relied on tech communication.

A similar situation is happening here, we are too focussed on Facebook, which you can chose to read or not and forget that communication, isn’t just about communicating information and putting forward your ideas and views. It is about developing an effective communication strategy, one that engages all team members and offers the opportunity for feedback and discussion. It is also about feeding off the team in front of you; you can gauge interest levels, motivation and whether the team is actually backing the direction of the project.

Within most forming teams, constant meetings can seem like a bind and unproductive; meeting for meetings sake, especially if the meetings don’t work in terms of engagement. But initially in the beginning formation of a team, I think face to face meeting is crucial. Utilising that time together might be more time consuming in the short term, but in the long term it actually saves time. In Enactus and Gateshead Council for example, the teams are now so established and work together in such a manner, that the amount of meetings needed is reduced and communication over Facebook can occur effectively in the interim. But each team still has regular meetings, whether there are things of importance to discuss or not. Sometimes, meetings are just airing frustrations and updating on our individual work load, with no real sense of urgency; a check in.

Waber’s (2013) other assertion is about dressing the part. Enactus was very focussed on this. In our informal meetings, we dressed down and like ourselves. But in our proper meetings, we dressed smart casual, in business attire and we held our meetings within formal surroundings. We felt professional and business like; consequently, we were more productive and professional in our conduct.  As our team progressed, we eventually opted to wear the colour blue as a uniting uniform. We owned matching tailored shirts and when we went to events, business competitions and meetings, we wore these items to not only set us apart and make us identifiable, but to unite us as a team. There was something very team like and professional about walking into an environment, with a visible uniform. We noticed the change from the fact in uniform we rarely said, “I’m part of Enactus Newcastle”; in fact the response became “we are Enactus Newcastle”. Even as individuals, we referred to ourselves as a “we” and not a distinct unit of the team.

Whilst I don’t believe our team would go for the uniform idea. I do think increasing the amount meetings we hold face to face and we could utilise a uniting factor, by creating a team name with an identity. Instead of approaching the task “what do we have to do”, instead with an identity the question should become “what does Team…. Want to achieve within this?”

Amy Anderson (2013) puts forward other relatively small ideas that could enhance our communication within our team. She puts forward the age old truth that “success in business is greatly impacted for better or worse by the way in which we communicate”. Consequently, assessing our current communication as a team and individuals, it isn’t difficult to see why our productivity and success is limited. In short, our team will not improve, unless we really look deeply at the ways we are communicating and their effectiveness.

Within her article she makes some startling assertions backed by research from Dr Lund, that 8% of communication is based on what you say and 55% on your facial expressions and 37% is based on the tone of their voice. As someone, who takes a lot of time to reflect, before they speak, so usually my words are very considered, I was shocked by this result. Moreover, my body language is very telling and I’m an extremely expressive person. Sometimes I find myself, turning away, crossing arms and becoming completely disengaged if I am approached in an aggressive manner or instantly shot down, when I think something I’ve said deserves a bit more value. I’m not an angry person or aggressive, but what I’ve come to realise about myself, is that I’m very passive aggressive. I can be this way even within the workplace. I clench my jaw, I twist my hair, I pout and I become visibly un-cooperative, I’m no longer listening out of principle. This sounds completely childish, but I know myself and I know when to snap out of it.

As I’m aware of this tendency, I work very hard to try and look at things from the other person’s point of view and attempt to control my body language. To take emotions out of it and to constantly recite the mantra “it’s not personal, it is business”. Gradually, I’m becoming much better at this but I still have my moments, one of which was yesterday within an interaction with a member of our group, where I could simply disengage completely. Instead, I managed to rationalise her comments and realise that the key to the problem was miscommunication within the team; it was not a personal attack. We are both looking at the same issue but from two stand points with two separate insights. In terms of something personal to take forward, I need to consider my body language and the way I communicate in a group and less focus on what I’m saying.

Anderson (2013) develops other communication advice that could be invaluable if applied within our team. Our meetings are often disorganised and people are itching to leave. As Anderson (2013) suggests, within communication (and within meetings), you should set expectations of what you wish to gain out of the communication, which is stated at the beginning and clarify if you have met them at the end. Applying this to our meetings, this involves setting goals and objectives at the beginning of the meeting, not only to guide but to communicate what we need to do with in the time so everyone’s expectations are realistic. We also need to clarify at the end, if we met the goals and objectives, to ensure that our meeting time was efficiently used.

Another point from the article, was the idea that interaction is a two way street. It is not just about letting everyone speak and communicate their points, whilst they all fall into a vacuum. It should be about listening and digesting people’s points. As a team, we are very good at talking and expressing ourselves, which is of course a good thing. But we don’t listen to each other; hence a lot of valuable information, potential ideas and team decisions are lost. We spend a lot of time as a group being confused, lost and not moving forward. Within our team, I spend a great deal of time asking questions and listening to others, especially within our team meetings. I prefer to take a back seat role instead of being so dominant. There are a lot of dominant personalities within the group, so another strong female will only make our meetings more unproductive.

This leads me onto, Anderson’s (2013) final bit of advice; adapt communication style varying to situations. As a team and individuals, we need to adapt to others, within our communication strategy. This comes down to even within our presentations, we don’t communicate effectively or efficiently what we are proposing and pitching. We don’t step it up professionally, as we are simply presenting to our coaches. If we considered our style and our audience more, our communication could be more effective. Moreover, we could take steps in assessing what our key messages are and structuring our communication around them.

The session enabled the team to not only review our past performance, current communication within the group and to reflect on this progress so far, we were also able to strip down Anderson and Waber’s articles and apply key learning from their key points to our future activity as a group. Therefore, as a team we made several positive steps forward for the future, in terms of pragmatic plans;

  • We will take a step back before each project launch initially to refocus and assess our performance from the last project, before storming into the next business project.
  • Before our project launch meeting, individually, we need to go away and make sure we understand the project brief and come up with potential ideas. At the project launch meeting, we will have this in a class room environment and we will facilitate a brain storming session. The planning before the meeting should ensure that our ideas and points are developed; we will go round the room listening to ideas and evaluating and feeding back as a group. We hope that ideas may be developed within the group, provoke contributions, to ensure engagement within the project. This will allow give the whole team the means to really consider the pre-Motorola as a useful tool in planning.
  • We will have more meetings and break them down into beginning, middle and end meetings before delivery of the project so we can be reactive and engage. This middle meeting is crucial to re-assess progress and to check in with everyone’s status. This will also be another face to face form of communication, reducing the confusing occurring due to Facebook. The increased meeting will increase our face to face communication time, which in turn should further bond us as a team.
  • The project manager will be responsible for controlling meetings, facilitating discussion and ensuring we achieve the objectives of the meetings. They will set out what we need to achieve as a team by the end of the meeting. This will mean team members will have more realistic expectations of the time needed and communicating the goals, means progress is more tangible.
  • We will use the Motorola’s more as tools, to use them to help the projects and the weekly reading will be developed to help the project.  The pre-Motorola will be an essential planning tool and mode of reassessment through-out the project. The post Motorola and the pre-Motorola will be effective in terms of reflecting on performances of a past project, especially in regards to the issues we have with communication. Have the communication strategies employed been more effective, efficient and how did they impact on the final product of work.
  • We will consider changing our attire to be more professional when we are working on the business and projects. Moreover, we will also consider uniting ourselves under a team name, creating an identity. Our meetings will be approach more professionally with attitude, preparation and we will select a better environment to enhance this.

These really pragmatic solutions are a step forward to try and ensure the project development becomes more efficient and effective. These solutions are not major changes, they are utilising things we already do inefficiently within the time and giving them more structure and thought.

On an ending note, we were given the feedback as already mentioned that a lot of what we are doing focuses on ensuring the delivery of the project and not on the quality of the project. Firstly, I don’t think we have any controls there to monitor the quality but also I don’t think we can run before we can walk. I think our first priority has to be delivering on the project, as we are yet to fulfil a project brief completely, although last time was an attempt. Secondly, once we start actively completing the projects and delivering, we can then start to look at how to improve. Delivering a project and fulfilling the brief as a team, is surely the first objective here. Consequently, improving our communication, which has repeatedly been labelled as a huge weakness and was responsible for the failure of the last task, is the first step in delivering a project successfully. Once this has been achieved, we can plan how to deliver a successful project.

Online article references

http://www.forbes.com/sites/amyanderson/2013/05/28/successful-business-communication-it-starts-at-the-beginning/

http://www.ftpress.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2087653

 

 

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Is reflection even important? Reflecting on…..Reflection.

Rodgers (2002:845) defines reflection as a “complex, rigorous, intellectual and emotional enterprise that takes time to do well.” I never fully realised the importance of reflection as a tool, until I found myself maturing with age and thinking about my younger years. I used to see it as a waste of time, I was already onto the next task, the next emotion, the next challenge; I never stood still for long. Consequently, I made the same mistakes often on repeat and never felt I got the full experience out of an experience. Things sometimes felt rather meaningless.

Now, reflection is the calm in the storm, it is stopping still, regardless of your surroundings and taking in your past route and evaluating it, before looking ahead and considering how to proceed. It is not just a tool, but an essential asset within learning.

I’ve always been a reflective person and have used reflection in my personal life as much as I use it professionally and within business. As I’ve grown with age and acquired and sought out knowledge, I’ve been able to explain the reasoning behind some of the conclusions within reflections and been able to act on my conclusions. I’ve also changed my original view of reflection, which usually took two forms. I either reflected on a situation only negatively, using it as a tool to pick a part what I should have done and not using it as a “transformative” tool. (Ryan 2001). I consequently, found the process as uncomfortable, unproductive and merely, dwelling on the past in a negative way.

My second use of reflection was a method of shifting blame and accountability onto others. It was often quite easy to ignore my own short comings and look at other’s work, considering how they have impacted on my own learning or progression. Especially within team learning situations. I’d reflect on their contributions, with the formulated mind-set that I’d already done the best I could and couldn’t change.

I now perceive reflection as a method to challenge and change. Of course, it involves picking up on the negatives but it also involves increasing my self-awareness (Hills 2002), but also understand why and how I have been successful, which leads on to discovering my strengths; a positive and rewarding experience. Furthermore, understanding why outcomes have happened is crucial to long term business planning. In such a difficult and unpredictable business environment, the one consistency that I hope to hang on to, is knowing how I will react in situations. This enables me to make plans and contingency plans, but most importantly, realistic, actionable plans that aren’t idealised.

Such transformative action (Friere 1972) leads to empowerment to make the change (Giroux 1988). In short, reflection is a central ingredient to empowerment and success. Businesses, changes and successes don’t just happen randomly in life, it is the ability to understand why things have happened and to potentially replicate them that becomes an essential tool. It is also about understanding failure. Understanding my failures and team failures, is no longer a negative experience. It is a diagnostic, journey of discovery, which can uncover a whole host of factors relating to internal and external factors. Moreover, reflection involves an all senses engaged approach. I reflect based on what I see, hear, experience, feel and say and it involves all five senses interacting. It involves being engaged fully in what you’re doing.

Bain et al (2002) suggests an impressive reflective frame work that I will take forward; reporting, responding, relating, reasoning and reconstructing. Why I consider this as a good framework, is because it structures my reflection. As someone who does it as a routine, on almost all situations that occur. Where I feel, I fall down, is in the reconstructing element. Once I’ve identified, considered it, understood and added it to my knowledge bank, I don’t feel I utilise the knowledge effectively and efficiently. Whilst I may consider, what I would do differently, if the situation occurred again, I don’t manage to always relate that to a transformative action; as in “I will do….”. I also, get rather bogged down in the details and the meanings of things, which I do within business and my life in general. I often lose sight of the end goal and lose a sense of purpose. I end up feeling, that I understood the event, but not always how this new understanding may be applied productively. Such a structure, will do exactly what is it literally supposed to do, it will change my reflections from a mesh of ideas, thoughts, theories and concepts, into an organised journey through my thought process, clearly evidencing appropriately my conclusions and comments.

Using the construct, I will use the prompt of “reconstruct” at the end, to put the reflection into some sort of future construct and defining exactly what I have learnt from the experience; an actionable step forward. This final layer of reflection will add to the notion that my reflection has a deeper purpose (Ryan 2011). It will enhance my ability to not only having the ability to deconstruct my ideologies and understanding their foundations, but as an empowered learner, who is not just capable of change but is actively changing and demonstrating how. (Mezirow 2006)

Monday Morning Blues

Monday Morning Blues

The thing I love most about a Monday morning, is that for me, it the time to set all my targets and objectives for the coming week and plan for when it all needs to be done. This strangely fills me with excitement, I love challenges and having a lot to do.

It is also a time for reflecting on the past week and seeing how I did in relation to those tasks. Usually, I can see that my targets were a little bit unrealistic….but why not reach for stars in personal achievement?

So one of this week’s targets was to arrange to go to a presentation skills workshop (finally). I’ve been saying that I need to do this for the past few weeks and conveniently not doing it. But now it is arranged. So I can expect the usual fear, being made to do presentations, exploring why I hate them and why I try to avoid them. This session though, I’m hoping will provide a little more on the technical side. I’m known for my often overwhelming hand gestures. I don’t use my hands much when I talk, but as soon as I get on stage, I’m practically doing the YMCA. I am also far too reliant on my notes and I cling to them like my life source.

So next week 21st, I am attending. I also picked out some other sessions, I might quite like to go to. It has been a while, since I’ve completed reports, so I’m going off my previous knowledge from years ago. A refresher might be useful. I’ve also suggested that my team should have a look at the other sessions, as I think they could really benefit the team, making everyone have a certain level of knowledge that can be brought back within the team to make our project work better.

Another aspect of this morning, which relates to my Daria picture, is I collected my Insights Profile this morning. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything, that sums me up better, than these ten sheets of paper. It had an element of hard hitting honesty, but every single thing, I agreed with. I will go into these in deeper reflections later, but my take away message (typical for me to discount all the positive and jump straight into the negative analysis) was this idea of “aloof” and “unemotional”.

Ironically, the profile, said that would be the bit I honed in on and would question and reflect on the most, which obviously I am doing. There are many aspects of my personality that I have tried to change in order to work better and the profile was good at showing some of my weakness, that possibly come to the fore when unchecked. However, some of the negatives, due to my self-awareness, I’m able to realise this is within me and I can act in a different way. Again, I will go into more detail at a later date. But this element of aloof and unemotional, remains a concrete block of my personality. I’ve asked for feedback on it previously and it is something that no matter how hard I try, is commented on. My parents used to always comment on my controlled, unemotional nature as a child and growing up. I just have full control of my emotions and I don’t really “feel” things too much. Maybe the right phrasing is I separate feelings away……I always feel they are burried away. But I don’t think that is always a bad thing.

But the aloof element, I try so hard to be inclusive and to speak, so I’m always blind sighted when it comes up. A recent ocassion was when I went on a date, with my current boyfriend Jackson, whom I really liked. It was our first proper date. I spent the whole time, just being me and making a huge effort. However, Jackson has since commented, that I came across disinterested, aloof and like I wanted to be elsewhere. It is strange, that I can feel so differently on the inside and yet, portray the complete opposite unintentionally.

Consequently, this makes me question, what I’m bring perceived like now? My friends and people who know me, embrace my aloof nature and I’m known for being quirky. I guess, they accept me as I am, so I never have the opportunity to consider if it is an issue or not. I remember another occasion when I was in Enactus Newcastle. I’m not really into business/work and socialising. I portray a different side with the people who I know and keep them separate. Hence I don’t really socialise professionally….a downfall I know as networking is key. (but i HATE networking with a passion….i always feel so awkward.) But within Enactus, I “thought” I was socialising but I event got feedback, from my lovely friend Sophie (the much valued voice of brutual honesty – in fact I’ve learnt more about myself working along side Sophie, than anyone else), that I didn’t put enough effort in with the social side, seemed detached and uninterested, which was compounding the view I was aloof. I corrected my behaviour and put ALOT more effort in and reaped the rewards, but it felt very much, I had to really not only compromise, but be someone else, for a while to get them onside.

Why I’ve picked Daria here, is when I was growing up, she was the cartoon character I identified with the most. Awkward, detached, abit weird, not concerned about being liked, socially ridiculous…..and I used to watch it as a teen and think, that is me and feel a sense of acceptance. The older I get, the more frustrated I get, that THIS is how I’m perceived.

The more it is said negectively towards me, the more confused I am by it, the more impossible it seems to change and the more I worry it will effect me in the long term within my business.

But hopefully, I can take the questionnaire as a whole and learn from it.

“Imagination is more important than Knowledge” – Einstein 1879

I’ve pushed forward the importance of self awareness in previous posts, but today I’m more concerned with self actualisation and who do I want to be. I’ve been asked to set five personal objectives to maximise my effectiveness in learning, which involves considering things I’d like to achieve. I’ve just read seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey and I have used that as a starting point of inspiration.

  • Taking Steven Covey’s ideal that “interdependence is a higher value than independence” (3), I would like to learn how to be more interdependent as I think I could benefit from the synergy from within a team. I’m naturally very independent, so I see this will be a challenge.
  • To take on two completely new challenges this year – Levinthal and March’s proposition of exploitation and exploration within learning. I’d like to do a little bit more of the exploring, as I think you learn best when thrown in at the deep end. Also, I don’t believe you should comfortably sit inside your comfort zone, otherwise you shy away from challenges, where as if you always challenge yourself, it seems the norm.
  • To public speak, pitch and present as much as possible. – this is an area I wish i could improve on always and practice makes perfect. I want to understand why the whole thing terrifies me so much, where in reality I know I’m ok at it and prepare well for it.
  • To keep on reading and learning in the way that I do, head in a book, trying new things, challenging myself, starting projects, developing opinions and being a do-er. But in order to make this truely “effective”, I need to stop being so secretive about my learning. I come from a competitive background and I like to have the upper hand…..this will be to the detriment of the team and isn’t a team player. I need to bring back this knowledge into the team and reap the rewards in the long term.
  • To learn to take days off, put my phone away, turn facebook off and clear my mind – to engage in something I love, for the benefit of the long term learning.

In terms of defining my current status of learning and considering am I effective. I think I’d like to think I was but in reality, I know I’m an all or nothing type girl. I’m either completely in control or out of control and never inbetween. Luckily, I’m most in control! But I have picked up a lot of ineffective learning habits, things like being distracted by technology and my need to learn, can send me off on unrelated tangents. I also sometimes jump into research before having a clear goal of what I’d like to learn or the point of the reading is.

Steven Covey’s book was an empowering revelation and I push everyone to read it. He put forward so many interesting challenges which I really reflected on and considered within my own learning. The first interesting quote that I took to heard is “where we stand depends on where we sit” and it sums up perfectly my learning and this whole experience. I sit in a different place to the others, potentially due to age, motivations, experience but I am ten years older than them so the way we look at situations and tasks is completely different. We must harnass that more as Covey advances, this is not a difficulty, this is a blessing and two interpretations….or due to the amount of people, many more.; if only they were empowered or motivated to contribute.

So an effective learner is……

  • Proactive, full if initiative, recognises ability to make things happen….
  • Decisive – decide or be decided upon, staying till and doing nothing is ineffective.
  • Begin with the end in mind – Now this is something, I will take to heart, clear goals and focus in regards to learning. Should also enhancing my efficiency.
  • Empowered
  • A time manager – makes time to reflect, make decisions, to prioritise and set goals. Time is spent on urgent things AND long term things. As I’ve got older, this has become a crucial routine. I couldn’t function or learn without this process.
  • Interpersonal – win/win and creating a mutual benefit within teams. This a tough one within my current team, but in thinking of the sitting Covey quote, I need to be more understanding and constructive; I need to start giving feedback instead of just receiving is happily. Take responsibility for others learning as well as my own, like I’ve done in previous teams.
  • Seek to understand and then to be understood – This should be our team mantra! Value the differences.
  • Synergise – Trailblazers and pathfinders; hopefully this might happen via our learning. I’d like to think that, I’d love to be proud of the team.
  • Sharpens to saw – Time out, reflecting, resting. Well another challenge and this is my biggest barrier to effective learning and being effective in general. I’m a workaholic. I don’t take breaks, I like to manage multiple projects, I push myself as hard as I can, i set unrealistic targets for myself and i don’t really ever rest. I’m one of those annoying people who struggles to “relax” and hates to sit and watch the TV, because there is so many other amazing things to do and experience. But in the long run, this means that I can overstretch, my productivity can be poor, my motivation can be a difficult one to muster and i can feel frustrated because I “feel” like I’m working so much harder than everyone else. When in reality, it is my choice to do so and I’d actually work a lot better and more effeciently, if i knew when to stop. So, how have a tried to tackle this, well making sure I work alongside my degree, gives me a chance to switch off, getting a good night sleep, always walking to and from anywhere I go – is a crucial switch off time, never working at home – my place to relax and trying to set a realistic work schedule. I might like to work till 12pm every night, but I should stop at about 8 to wind down to be more effective the next day. However, many times, I end up being in library on a day i just can’t focus and stringing it out, where in reality, I need a day off to reflect and rest. The two hours worth of work i have achieved in 12hours, probably wasn’t worth the slog.

I feel the Steven Covey book gave me the empowerment, motivation and reflection to consider carefully my objectives. There are so many more things, as you can probably tell, that I would like to achieve, but I think these are the most important in this instance. Moreover, my imagined version of myself is more motivating than the knowledge I currently hold about myself.