Leadership Time Management Lesson

Of all the leadership skills college student leaders students learn right off the bat, time management has to be in the top 5. The time management lesson I teach students is to take their left or right hand and count off the top 5 things they have to take care; either at that moment or that week. If they have more than five then they know they are doing too much, and need to let go of something. I probably look pretty funny when I show them, but I always pull out on my left hand when the conversation starts to turn towards feeling overwhelmed.

I encourage you to try it and see how you feel.

I’ll give you an example:
Right now, my Top Five things are:
1) Take care of myself: drink water when I can and walk when I can.
2)Take the kids on an adventure
3) Support my husband by checking in.
4) Follow up from my twin club’s garage sale planning from last night.
5) Fold two loads of laundry.

5 things on your list for now. That’s all you need to do.


What is Motivating you to Transfer? A Quick Values and Motivation Exercise

If someone were to ask you today, what motivates you, what would you say? Is it money? Knowledge? Your family?

If someone were to ask you why you were going to college? Or, why do you want to transfer to the University? Would you have an answer for them immediately? Or would you need to think about it?

For some of you, making the choice, setting the goal, doing the work so you can transfer to the University is huge. There might be a family member or a co-worker who do not understand how much work you will need to do. I’ve seen students come from finishing their first semester at the community college to starting their first day the at the university. Some days were easy and some were very hard. It is one thing to earn your A.A or A.S. degree, but it is another thing to be applying to the University, following all the steps your TAG requirers, to making sure your GPA is high enough, AND having to finish your current classes.

So, on those days you think you can’t do it anymore, I want you to think of three words that will motivate you to keep going. If you don’t have those right now, let me help you with a little Values and Motivation exercise.

Quick Values and Motivation Exercise

The following list of words are values that can help you focus and keep you motivated to achieve the status of Transfer Student. I want you to pick three. For those students who have already transferred, I want you to pick three values that will motivate you to reach graduation.

As you read each word, think about how important that value is to you.
Write the word down or take a mental note. I want you to narrow it down to your top 3 values.


Do not see a value that is important to you? Go ahead and add it to your own list.

Now think about why those three words stood out to you. Do you find something you are passion about? Did you see something you strive to be?

Now take those three values (if you were able to narrow it down to three. You can have four or five if you need to) and find a place you can see them daily. Maybe you can post them on the kitchen fridge. Or maybe somewhere in your car. Or take a picture and make it be one of the screen savers on your phone.

When you need it the most, you will find the motivation you need to keep going. The nice thing about your values is they are always here for you, just some times we need to be reminded of what matters most to us. Now you have a simple reminder to why you might be extra stressed or super busy writing another essay, or solving another math problem. Because you value… (File in the blank)

*This exercise is adapted from the Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Development Curriculum.


Phi Theta Kappa Nashville Convention Workshop “Come Together” PowerPoint and Handout

I’m back from the amazing Phi Theta Kappa 94th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, April 11-April 15, 2012. It was awesome! Between staying at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center to hearing authors Amy Chua and Malcolm Gladwell speak, to sharing the weekend with 4 thousand Phi Theta Kappa students and their advisors, plus my mom, and to top it off, my college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter Beta Zeta Nu, Canaada College, Redwood City CA , brought home the award for 4th finalist for Most Distinguished Chapter out of 1300 chapters!! First time in the college’s history. I was so proud of our students and their advisors.

I attended the convention as a guest to co-present with their co-advisor Paul Roselli. Our workshop title was: “Come Together! How to Build Better Relationships Between Your Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the Associated Students.”
For those who attended (thank you!), for those who were unable to attend, here is our PowerPoint and Handout for you to download.
PowerPoint: Final PTK ASCC Breakout Come together
Handout: PTk AS Come Together Handout

Everyone, keep up the great work!


Facebook and Advising

Do you accept your students friend request? Often a easy question for some of us and not so easy for others. My advice for new advisors has always been “accept your students’ friend request after they have moved on, graduated, or transferred”.

A week ago, I started using my professional Facebook page, separate from my personal one, so that I could have access to my student government’s Facebook site. I also wanted to try out what it would be like having my current students as friends on Facebook.

So far, here is what I have learned:
-If you accept one student’s request, you kind of have to accept all of them.
-You have to watch how much you read into what they post.
-Try to focus on the status updates that are related to student government, clubs, and student life.
-Be careful how much you feel responsible for what you do see on Facebook. As I can tell, it is not part of our job to keep track of our students behavior on Facebook. The only time I see it relevant is when the behavior or comment is about something or someone in student government, or club, and it can effect the team dynamic.
-Don’t expect your students or make it a rule they have to be friends with everyone in student government on their personal Facebook page. In the working world, we are not expected to have all our co-workers as friends on our Facebook page.