By Shelby Imes
Some say February is the month to fall madly love, but by bringing Franklin Covey’s 5 Choices workshop series to JMU, The Dux Leadership Center made February the month for productivity. Brought to life by Dux’s power duo, Associate Director Michael McCleve and LEAD Team Consultant Matt Harrell, the three-week time management program aimed to give participants the tools to lead an organized and productive lifestyle.
“Students live in the moment. They don’t take time to reflect or organize their [lives],” said Harrell. “By seeing the importance in that, that’s when you really become more productive as a student and as a person.”
Centered around five pillars of productivity, the first two installments of the workshop encouraged attendees to reflect on what roles they play in their own lives, narrow down what priorities they most value, and start making conscious decisions with their time on a daily basis.
“I definitely felt like school and like the job that I have that comes along with school was taking over,” said Jess Keck, a graduate student in the college student personnel administration program. “Even the three weeks of being in [5 Choices], I feel like I’ve done so much better at balancing my different roles and not letting one specific role take me over.”
By classifying personal priorities into categories of varying importance (labeled Q1-4), attendees were able to develop a formula in which to schedule their day-to-day. Matters in the Q2 category, the category for “extraordinary productivity,” included not only work and school, but self care as well– which came as a surprise for some attendees.
“Before, I almost felt guilty about like sleeping, and I felt guilty about taking day trips to the gym,” said junior communications major Maddie Stannard. “Michael was just like, Maddie, sleeping is a Q2, that’s priority. You need it… It just feels so much better knowing that I don’t have to feel guilty about like, taking care of myself.”
The final installment of the 5 Choices program dealt partially with physical methods of organization, and aimed to help students develop a planning system that works for them. To streamline their thoughts and daily planning, participants were encouraged to choose between paper or digital platforms of organization.
“I definitely saw a significant change within my own life. I started really utilizing my planner,” said sophomore CIS major Sanjida Alika. “Call me old fashioned but you know, I prefer paper.”
In addition to the effective plan that 5 Choices provides, the program wouldn’t have been as impactful at JMU without the Dux Leadership touch. During each installment, the room was filled with laughter, collaboration, and personal growth; Madison 206 turned into a place where attendees felt free to be open in admitting their setbacks, and enthusiastic in sharing their own methods for success.
“As you keep these commitments, it’s about the learning,” said Associate Director Michael McCleve on the final week of 5 Choices. “It’s about what you’re discovering about yourself.”
For more about Dux Leadership Center and its upcoming conferences and workshops, visit info.jmu.edu/dux/.