86,400 seconds.

Maybe you have heard that number before. It’s the number of seconds in a day…

And they tick, tick, tick away.

If you are not careful they are gone…. and for many of us they are gone in a haze of Facebook status updates, instagram pictures and conversations on services like Skype. Whilst that may be fun and might conceivably helpbuild relationships this isn’t ultimately the most  productive or indeed effective use of time.

So what does one do about it?

I have been working on a program of improvement. Last year was really all about my physical fitness, and that isn’t going anywhere.  I am still dedicated to getting fitter, stronger and ever healthier. This year my major focus is on building my business and improving my productivity.

Not many people function at their peak for very long… I want to be one of them. This post starts chronicling my journey and thoughts.

Needless to say I started by reading some great books about productivity.

My recently read books include:

The One Thing

Getting Things Done

and the 7 habits of highly effective people.

In today’s post I am going to touch briefly on the 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Cover. If you haven’t read it, it is still a great book, despite being written almost 30 years ago.

Over the next few blog posts I am going to look more at these 7 habits.

From my understanding of it and according to Covey there are three levels we can be at:

  • Dependent, where someone supports us and tells us what to do… If we screw up then someone else is to blame.
  • Independence, which is really where I have been for most of my life… where I look after myself, decide what to do and am ultimately responsible for myself.
  • Interdependent which is you and I… where we work together.

As George Bernard Shaw said:

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

And of course George Bernard Shaw wasn’t the only one with some wise words to say about this idea of Interdependency…

Perhaps one of my favourite quotes is from Isaac Newton when he said:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Becoming more interdependent is one of my main ideas for 2015.

For today we are going to have a quick overview:

Of his seven habits the first three are really designed to help us get from being dependent to independent and the fourth to sixth are designed to help us become more interdependent and the 7th  is to ensure you stay there.

For me I think that the 7th habit is really integral in many ways to the first 6 and indeed you can’t really accomplish most of the others without sharpening the saw

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in Mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think Win/Win
  5. Seek first to Understand, Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw Principles

Covey then went on to write an 8th habit which is about going from being effective to being great and is about finding your voice and using it to inspire others to find theirs.

I would love to hear how you have been affected by the ideas in this book if at all in the comments.

In the next few blog posts I am going to cover Covey’s Seven Habits in more detail. If you want to be sure to not miss these blog posts, make sure you sign up for my mailing list on the right.