Monday, 7 January 2013

Kicking it in 2013: Part 1

Never one to miss a bandwagon, I thought I'd get my blog back on with some goal setting. Goals, not resolutions, mind. Important distinction :) I wouldn't normally bother. For me, the 1 January thing usually feels a bit arbitrary (eg for work purposes, the start of the new financial year can be a more appropriate time to review and re-evaluate). But I do have lots of new stuff kicking off right about now, so it works for me this year. So here are some things I'd like to get a handle on in 2013:

Murrayfield: where my favourite goal posts of 2012 could be found :)

Goal one - be more organised

This is not a 'nice to have', it's an absolute necessity. I mentioned in my last post that 2013 was going to be a bit busy. Well, when I wrote that post I didn't know that I'd also be kicking off an MSc in Elearning (soon to be renamed 'Digital Education') this month. I used to be really good at organising my time. I worked full time while I studied for my LIS post-grad and also held down a part-time job. And I can't remember my social life suffering much. That was all down to time management*. Not sure what happened, but it's something I've got very lax about over recent years. Stuff has still got done - but I'm not sure quite how in some cases.

I'm aware that 'be more organised' is a bit vague (and about as far from being SMART as one could possibly get). I need to think it through a bit more (see goal four). Probably warrants a blog post all of it's own.

Goal two - knock my social media use into shape

Part of succeeding with goal numero uno, I think, will involve more focused use of social media. Erika Anderson - reacting to J. Maureen Henderson‘s recent post on Forbes, three reasons you should quit social media - lists three pretty sensible ways to do that:

1. Make social media serve you: decide what you want to get out of social media and use it only for that purpose.
2. Guard against zoning out: if you’re using social media for hours of daily pacification, you should probably turn off the computer and do something else!
3. Vet new tools before putting them in your toolkit.

I think I'm already pretty good at 1 and 3, but 2 is an issue for me.

Goal three - don't take things so personally

I kinda like this from Tony Dowling: "Everyone lies, everyone has an agenda and, ultimately, everyone will disappoint you" [the whole post: These things I know, is worth a read]. A bit harsh maybe, but managing your expectations of people allows you to deal with them better. Being aware that everything has a background and context, should enable me to be more open to the opportunities that present themselves, and more wary of potential slip ups. This is also about remembering that 'message transmitted is not necessarily the same as message received'! I need to ensure that the people I'm talking to (in whatever context) know what I'm talking about. I don't think I've been as good at that as I could be. There's also an element of being better at taking responsibility for myself and my actions. It's not someone else’s fault that I've failed at something. That one single thought can be so destructive. 

Goal four - make time for thinking things through

Another pearl of wisdom from Tony Dowling: "The only truth you can achieve is truth you achieve through intellectualisation". This one is inspired by a post from Phil Jewitt. I've had an ongoing struggle with being reflective (see previous blog posts :)). But, as Phil says: "you can’t do more with less. You can be smarter with less and do less better, but more for less just won’t go. Thing is, if you keep piling it on there is less doing time, but more importantly less thinking time; mistakes are made, things get forgotten, stuff won’t happen". If that means actually 'doing' less, then so be it.

Reflection is part of the assessment criteria for my course, so that's another reason to be giving it some serious attention! 

Goal five - begin designing my life

Know where I am, where I want to be and how I'm going to get there. There probably needs to be a plan. And bench marking and plotting of improvements and such. The new job is partly about using design thinking to make my organisation more creative and innovative and, inspired by this post from Tim Brown, I can see where it might help at a more personal level: "We can have a sense of purpose without deluding ourselves that we can predict every outcome in advance, for this is the space of creativity. We can blur the distinction between the final product and the creative process that got us there. We can learn how to take joy in the things we create. We can work within the constraints of our own natures—and still be agile, build capabilities, iterate. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, change our perspectives."

OK, I'm going to stop there. I think there are additional goals I want to add, but, with goal one in mind, I allocated myself a specific amount of time to write this post and I'm now out of time. Hence this is 'part one'.

* I got by on a lot less sleep back then. That may also have helped...


Milo said...

Best of luck with the new post Lesley, looking forward to hearing more about it. I hope they allow for transparency with the outside world.. surely an essential part of the creative process! The Msc also looks extremely interesting - all in all it's going to be a very exciting start to the New Year for you!

philjewitt said...

Hi Lesley, I think you have picked some wise goals to aim for. Thanks for the blog link and good luck with the studying and job in 2013.