5 Underestimated Habits of Highly Effective Students
When l was 11, l read the whole bookshelf in my primary 7 classroom. I was very well-known as the girl who always pulled a book out of her tray as soon as she finished her work.
My best childhood memories are reading books using the moonlight outside my window when l was meant to be asleep.
I simply couldn’t help it.
I was immersed in the world of Nancy Drew where l tried to solve cases before her, only to be disappointed. Let’s be honest. No teenager was as good a sleuth as Nancy Drew herself. It therefore was no surprise when, for my 14th birthday, my father bought me this book:
My father is my role model and l look up to him a lot. He doesn’t speak much but you can often tell from his facial expression that he does a lot of thinking and observes a lot. I am glad that he was able to see my love for reading because the book he bought, is the best non fiction book l have ever owned. It was my knowledge of this book that inspired me to write this post.
HOW DOES ALL THIS FIT TOGETHER?
As a student, l have always struggled to manage my time effectively and to develop consistent positive habits. In the summer of 2016, l decided that l couldn’t live my life being inconsistent. I had to make a plan. I had to come up with something.
With the help of Sean Covey, l came up with 5 habits that l could try and consistently use everyday as a student. I try my very best to follow them, however, l am human. Sometimes, l slip up just like everyone else.
I’d like to share them with you.
Responsibility can be looked at as taking ownership of a situation or a life event. Effective students will always take responsibility for their learning and theirselves.
For instance, if l fail a test and l blame it on my lecturer on making it too hard, l am not being responsible. The responsible thing to do would be to re-evaluate myself and see where l went wrong. It was my test. I wrote it. Therefore, l am responsible for any consequences that come from it.
Sometimes, situations arise where the blame is shared or where there is a logical reasoning for a certain consequence. This is understandable. As long as we try our very best to take our fair share of responsibility, we are exercising this habit.
From time to time, l have put the blame on others for certain situations. I know and l am still learning, that to be an effective student or person, l have to take responsibility for my actions.
PRIORITISE AND DISCIPLINE YOURSELF
Firstly, let us look at Prioritisation. It is most commonly defined as putting first things first. An effective student will always put tasks that are important to them and their future first.
If getting a degree is your end goal, you will have to prioritise whichever tasks will help you accomplish these goals over anything else.
If being an actor is your goal, you have to prioritise whatever you need to do to become just that.
This leads on to Discipline. I see discipline as having the strength to control yourself in situations. When prioritising, we must remained disciplined because, otherwise, this could lead to prioritising the wrong tasks. Everyone’s goals are different. It is important for all of us to identify our goals and prioritise our everyday tasks as we see fit, in relation to the goals.
Remember, it is your life so you make the decisions.
PLAN YOUR TIME AND YOUR FUTURE
As many people have heard me say, and as l will always continue to say:
” failing to plan is planning to fail “
Now, there are some people out there who will say they don’t plan, nor do they need to. That is absolutely fine. I can only speak by what has worked for me, or what l have witnessed working on others around me.
Effective students plan their time and their future. Now, l am not saying you have to plan every second of everyday of everything.
Not at all.
However, simply writing down on a piece of paper what you are doing daily or weekly, is a good way to ensure that you are achieving your own goals or simply doing what you need to do.
As a child, l absolutely hated planning. It wasn’t until l got older when l thanked my father for teaching me such an important skill. I find that planning for the future avoids me saying the phrase “l don’t know” when it comes to my everyday life and my future. Instead, if someone where to ask me what l will be doing in November, l can tell you because l do know.
I know that the future is uncertain. However, looking and planning ahead, will get you there faster.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
“Birds of the same feathers flock together”
Have you ever seen lions wandering around with pandas? Or crocodiles sunbathing with fish?
Well, l certainly haven’t.
The above quote, is one that l always try and remember in life. There is a difference when you spend time with like-minded people and when you do not.
I have lived proof of that myself.
Now l am not saying, don’t be friends with people who have different interests to you. By all means, do so. I, myself, have friends who have different interests from me. However, do be careful. Constantly spending time with people who are ridiculously different from you could result in you losing yourself and forgetting who you truly are. Sometimes, joining the bandwagon simply leads to regret. Again, l simply speak from experience.
LISTEN DON’T HEAR
Cambridge dictionary’s first definition of hear is ” to receive or become conscious of a sound using your ears “. It then defines the word listen as ” to give attention to someone or something in order to hear him, her, or it “.
To say my biggest pet peeve is when l am trying to speak to someone and they ignore me (i.e. hear) is an absolute understatement. All they are doing is receiving sound to their ears. They are not attentively listening. If someone tries to speak to you and your attention is elsewhere, simply tell them so politely. I’m sure the person would appreciate you taking the time to communicate.
It is very important, not only as students, but as humans, for us to really take the time to listen and understand others, before then trying to get others to do the same for us.
Think about it.
Why would you listen to someone who doesn’t want to listen and understand you?
What habits do you think make us more effective whether it be as students or people in general? Comment below and let me know!
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Lot’s of love,