Seven Habits of Highly Effective Interns

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional
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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Interns

This blog was written by Lacey, our campus ambassador from Minnesota State University in Moorhead.
First of all, if you haven’t heard of the 7 Habits/you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s book… get on it! Here’s a summary of the 7 Habits he discusses in his book:

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First**
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

When I first learned about the 7 Habits, Habit 3 really stuck out to me. Planning and prioritizing has always been a huge part of my life (any college student can relate) but was I really prioritizing well?

Covey tells us that it’s important to establish what’s important versus what’s urgent, and plan our to-do lists accordingly. It’s really eye opening when you write out your schedule and realize that you’ve been exerting energy on tasks that are unimportant. Interns, this is why professionals always talk to you about “work-life balance.”

He emphasizes this idea using a rock scenario. In the book First Things First he describes a story that one of his associates experienced on a seminar:
In the middle of the lecture the presenter pulled out a wide-mouth jar and placed it on the table, aside to some fist-sized rocks.
After filling the jar to the top with rocks he asked, “Is the jar full?” People could see that no more rocks would fit, so they replied, “Yes!”
“Not so fast,” he cautioned. He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, “Is the jar full?”
This time the students replied “Probably not.”
The presenter then reached a bucket of sand below the table, and dumped it on the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once again he asked “Is the jar full?”
“No!” the students shouted.
Finally, he grabbed a pitcher of water and filled the jar completely, asking to the public what they could learn from that illustration.
One of the participants answered, “If you work at it, you can always fit more into your life.”
“No,” said the presenter. “The point is, if you don’t put the big rocks in first. . . would you ever have gotten any of them in.”
Are you prioritizing well? Is your life balanced? Check out this video for an example of how to balance your life using “rocks.”:

Make sure you check out Covey’s book too!