A Plan for Focus

Yes, January 1 is the time of year when we consider doing things “better” than we have in the past. Seeing what I can do better; yes, I do this with over rated ease. Whether due to my critical “Why did you do that?” Italian up bringing or a simple lack of confidence, which I can’t help to think stems from the same pessimistic familial attitude, I live my life always looking to do better.  On that note, I do find reflection extremely helpful, but going forward, I plan to turn the negativity  I overly associate with what I should have accomplished, with an optimism for the possibilities of a focused future.

Let my calendar be my guide. Limited time, truly the one known variable we all share. However, this year I plan to change my “there’s never enough time” attitude to a “this is the time I have and I will use it wisely” attitude by filling in my google spreadsheets calendar with not only scheduled classes but also items from from created short purpose based lists, as suggested by Peter Bregman. My lists are in the form of Desktop stickies with the following titles:

  • Resource Management & Development,
  • Reading Advocacy & Promotion,
  • Info Fluency Instruction,
  • Curricular Development & Support,
  • Library Space: Physical & Virtual
  • Personalized Learning Programs
  • Professional Learning and Sharing
  • Documentation/Data Collection

I plan to try my best to NOT plan on getting other things accomplished when my time is best spent attending to student needs,  in my case during lunch and enrichment periods.  Because I like the idea of having everything work related in one place, I plan to use the same Google spreadsheets calendar for after hours work related items, such as learning opportunities and planning times.  My hope is that using my calendar effectively will not only serve as a focusing tool, but also as a way to document what it is that I do!

Just do it. Do what I “need to do” first & fast, especially if it makes someone else’s life easier. For me these tend to be the paperwork and detail type items that I avoid like the plague! By getting these done from the start, there will be more “quality” time for spend on what I think is important! Just realizing that this bullet and the next are also a time thing..obviously something I struggle with!

Schedule Necessary time for planning in advance.  Winging is not effective and makes others feel uncomfortable. Repeat. Repeat.

Some things are best accomplished at the moment of inspiration, but others aren’t I realize that this one doesn’t quite fit with the whole calendar mentality thing above, however, through past experience, if I don’t get it done when I’m inspired to do it, such as writing a blog post, it never gets done, takes longer or doesn’t get done well. Since I do a lot of thinking while driving, I plan to record my thoughts on my phone, listen to them when I get to work and if they require time, fit them on my calendar, even if it means moving something else to another slot. However, that being said, I plan to not let other people’s inspirations determine how I spend my time and I won’t expect my inspirations to determine how others spend their time! Yes, my job by nature often requires on demand needs which don’t fit into the whole calendar scenario. However, if these needs can equally be met in the future, schedule them. The same goes when my needs require other people’s time, request to schedule it, whenever possible.

Write it down better yet on one of those purpose lists I mentioned above! This school year also marks the year I turned 50 which along with the wisdom and experience that number exemplifies, it also means that I forget stuff-a lot of stuff! Along with writing it down goes “putting it down” where it goes! I ode to not become my mother by spending my time constantly lo0oking for stuff!

Keep it all in perspective. Yes, this is especially difficult when you believe in the power of education and the value of your chosen profession, because it totally rocks!  It’s even more difficult when your PLN is plain old amazing and keeps moving at a leaps and bounds pace! However, I need to truly know that I can only do what I can do and although I won’t give up on what I see as important, I do need to be realistic about my limitations whether personal or professional, by working with them, not against them.

Proceed with confidence and don’t let your emotions lead or get in the way Enough said.

Train your mind to think about the outcome. I will do my best to schedule more time and energy on those things with a larger student learning outcome and less time and energy on those things that don’t.

Schedule social learning: Twitter, Feeds etc.  Another time management item! Plan a set amount of time for each, in your calendar each day. When doing so, keep a tab open for Weebly editing and my latest http://www.wanna’ share Smore, so that I can add to these worthy of sharing with LHMS Community. Plus don’t freak out about all you’ve missed if you don’t get to it!

Plan your driving time effectively. Have audio books and podcasts lined up. Listen to NPR News for part of the ride each day to keep up with current events.

Reflect on what you’ve accomplished each day because there’s power in the positive!

I am somewhat remiss about not writing a New Year’s post about advocacy and the need to concentrate on all things that work to show my value with respect to student learning.  This IS a necessity, especially evidenced by our professions’ shameless dwindling numbers. However, on a more personal level, I do believe that by planning for focus, I will be more effective at what I do and what I do is all about students and learning.




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