Psychology of Personal Effectiveness All You Need To Know by smythesteven


									            Psychology of Personal Effectiveness
  All You Need To Know About How To
        Live Happily & Effectively
                 Timothy W. Starkey, Ph.D., ABAP
                               Chapter 7 ~Manage Yourself in Time
Miami Dade College
Psy CLP1006
Hialeah Campus
Room 1217
4:00-5:30 PM
Oct 1 - Dec 19 (2007)
305-279-0758 (Home)
305-338-1615 (Cell)
Hours 3:00 to 4:00 PM
M/W (Per Request)
     When we think about “effective” people, what typically comes
to mind are people who are very productive, who not only do most
things competently, but who do them in a timely manner.

      Effective people are typically well organized, and have learned
to juggle a lot of responsibilities at the same time, while still finding
time for rest, sleep, relaxation, and personal relationships.

     Success in our current world usually requires (1) an ability to
see “the big picture” and (2) the ability to follow-up with a sustained
focus on the critical details for getting it done.

What enables effective individuals to develop and maintain
competence and maximize their chances for success is that they
have learned how to separate what is important from what is
unimportant in their lives, and then to use their time wisely.

            Eight Strategies for Success
1.   Focus first on high priority items (the 80/20 rule)
2.   Group related tasks and do them together (e.g. if you have 3
     errands to run in a day, it’s better to do them all in one trip than to
     make 3 separate trips to do them)
3.   Get organized (make lists, create a realistic schedule and follow it,
     get rid of unnecessary papers)
4.   Break the job down into doable chunks
5.   Develop and use timetables
6.   Focus on one thing at a time (don’t let yourself be thinking or
     worrying about several different things at the same time)
7.   Finish it fully
8.   Do it when you think of it (don’t let yourself procrastinate)

            Common Sense Time-Wasters
There are probably more different ways to waste time that there are grains
     of sand in the world. As long as people have anything that they
     “have” to do (and don’t want to), there will be an endless supply of
     ways to waste time.

How many of you have actually started on your term paper yet?

What are some of your favorite ways to waste time or procrastinate?

Our textbook has identified some of the most common ways that people
     (e.g. students) waste their time (and put off getting started):
1.   Slow decision-making ~ they spend so much time going back and
     forth trying to make a decision that there isn’t enough time left to
     actually carry out the decision they ended up making.
2.   Worrying ~ worrying in itself is neither a productive nor a rewarding
     use of your time. Worrying never gets the job done; it just tires you
3. Trying To Do Everything Perfectly (The First Time) ~ set your sights on
      just doing a good job, not a perfect job. “Perfect” is the enemy of
4.    Working Against Your Body Rhythms ~ learn to respect the
      messages your body is giving you. If you’re naturally wide awake at
      night, but sleepy in the mornings, get your stuff done at night before
      you go to bed. Don’t try to get up at 5:00 AM and do the studying that
      you didn’t do the night before. And if you’re a morning person, don’t
      try to study until 4:00 AM because your efficiency is going to be too
      low at that time (if you’re used to going to bed a lot earlier). Make your
      study/work habits conform to your natural body cycles ~ not the other
      way around.
5.    Failing to Recharge Your Batteries ~ Effective people work hard, play
      hard, and know when to relax. Rest and relaxation are essential to
      keeping your energy level up so you can be more effective.
6.    Feeling That You Are Responsible For Everything ~ Is your personal
      motto “if you want it done right, do it yourself”? If so, you’re bogging
      yourself down with insignificant tasks that you could delegate to

7.   Getting Stuck Waiting ~ one of the worst wasters of your time is
     having to wait for other people to do what they’re supposed to to (e.g.
     members of your team for a group paper don’t get their part done
     soon enough for you to do your part, waiting for the doctor and he’s 2
     hours late, being stuck in traffic). Pick your team members well, don’t
     join a team that has some heavy-duty procrastinators on it (who may
     be counting on you to write the whole paper for them), call the
     doctor’s office ahead of time to see if he’s on schedule, take a book
     you have to read with you when the wait is unavoidable, do your
     shopping when the stores are empty.
8.   Starting Your Day Off On The Wrong Foot ~ how you begin your
     morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If your mornings
     typically are spent in chaos, full of last minute rushing, stress, and
     aggravation, it takes a good deal of energy to put this behind you.
     Streamlining and de-stressing your mornings can only add to your
     effectiveness and your productivity. Organize for your mornings the
     night before: check out the clothing you’re going to wear, make sure
     the right books & iPod are ready to go, make sure the car has plenty
     of gas, eat something for breakfast (even if it’s just a candy bar),
     organize whatever morning chores you have to do before leaving, get
     up early enough so you’re not rushed if something goes wrong
     Six Steps To Overcoming Procrastination
1.   The Bits and Pieces Approach ~ break the task down into smaller
     pieces and tackle one small piece to get you started and give you
     some momentum to do the rest of it. Looked at as a whole, the task
     can seem overwhelming.
2.   Get Organized ~ make “things to do lists”, create a realistic schedule,
     do it when you think of it, make sure your work environment is
     comfortable and conducive to concentration, block off escape routes
     (turn off the TV and the cell phone, unplug the ear plug from your
3.   The Five Minute Method ~ pick the part of the task you hate the most
     and work on it for just five minutes. After 5 minutes, stop, congratulate
     yourself, and ask yourself whether you’re willing to give it another 5
     minutes. If not, work on some other part of the task for a while.
4.   Don’t Wait For Inspiration (or Divine Intervention) ~ “Genius is 1%
     inspiration and 99% perspiration”; just go ahead and start even if
     you’re clueless about what you’re doing; the idea is likely to come to
     you while you’re preoccupied with actually doing it.
5.   Reward Yourself ~ give yourself a little treat whenever you finish a part
     of the task, particularly if it’s a particularly unpleasant one.
6.   Viewing Mistakes As Valuable Feedback ~ sometimes we
     procrastinate because we’re afraid of making mistakes. But by
     procrastinating, you’re leaving yourself even less time to do the task,
     and hence will be even more likely to make mistakes. Actually, in
     many subjects (e.g. higher mathematics) you learn more by making
     mistakes than by not making them. Mistakes should be seen as
     valuable feedback about an error in thinking or execution… and
     studying them can be invaluable for avoiding them in the future.

                        Test Anxiety
• There is an optimum amount of anxiety to have before an exam… like
  Goldilocks’ soup, it shouldn’t be “too much or too little”.
• If you suffer from chronic “high test anxiety”, there are a number of
  things you can do to reduce it: “anticipatory anxiety” and “during-the-test
• The goal is not to try to get completely free of anxiety (that’s impossible,
  except in the case of sudden death); the goal is to get your anxiety
  level down to a mild to moderate level that will enhance your
  performance (e.g. increase concentration).
• Before the test, practice active relaxation, use cognitive restructuring,
  and visualize success.
• Get a good night’s sleep before the exam.
• DON’T mill around with other students before the test begins. This will
  only increase your anxiety level.

1.   Information in earlier or later questions can tip you off to the right
2.   Alternatives that are highly implausible are likely to be wrong.
3.   If two answers are equivalent or basically the same, then both are
     wrong (can’t both be right if there’s only one right answer).
4.   Correct answers are more likely to be more detailed, longer, and
5.   5. Beware of the all-inclusive words. Wrong answers are much more
     likely to include words like “always”, “never”, “every time” etc.
6.   Look for the greatest similarity in terminology between the question
     and the answers. The answer most similar to the question is more
     likely to be right.
7.   Be aware of grammatical inconsistencies between questions and
     answers (e.g. changes in verb tense, singular or plural nouns).
     Exclude answers that would be grammatically incorrect.

8. When questions have alternate answers that include dates or numbers
    that are ordered, avoid picking the first or the last. The correct answer
    is usually somewhere in the middle between the two extremes.
9. If you have no idea as to the correct answer, and there are no hidden
    clues anywhere in the question, select option C. For some reason,
    Profs seem to favor the third position for the correct answer.
10. Don’t be afraid to change your answer. It’s a myth that your first guess
    has the greatest chance of being right. Several studies have shown
    that regarding answer changes during tests, wrong-to-right changes
    outnumber right-to-wrong changes.

End of Chapter 7


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