Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a perfect day

Pencil tips
photo by Dvortygirl
When thinking about how to better manage your time, it's critical that you know how you'd actually like to spend your time in the first place. We all have obligations, but we may have some control over how we go about checking things off our to-do lists.

Try this: 
Think about your typical day. Make it a work day, whatever that means to you (a day you go to the office, a day you have the kids, a day you set aside to write, a day you have class). How would you most like to "tackle" your agenda on that day; and what self-care activities would bookend your to-dos?

On a typical work day, I'm in the office for about 8 hours. During that time, I meet students, attend meetings, facilitate workshops, manage a team, create communication pieces, plan events, and of course follow through on "other duties as assigned." When I'm not in the office, I want to spend my energies focusing on my home and family. My ideal day (within the constraints of my somewhat traditional 9 to 5 career) looks like this:

5:30am Yoga and meditation
6:15am Prep for the day
6:30am Wake, feed and play with my son
7:30am Commute
8:00am Student appointments
9:00am Catch up on email; define my action plan for the day
10:00am Work and planning meetings with supervisor, team or colleagues
12:00pm Eat, write, blog, check-in at home
1:00pm Open office hours for impromptu student meetings
3:00pm Wrap-up, return calls, prep for the day ahead
4:00pm Commute
4:30pm Catch up with husband and son, attend to housework as necessary
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Evening routine with son (read, clean toys, bathe, prep for bed)
8:00pm Downtime with husband (read, watch television, knit etc.)
10:00pm Bathe and prep for bed
11:00pm Sleep

That's my perfect work-day, again within the constraints of a 9-5 job. It doesn't always happen. Some days, I'm called upon to respond to the unexpected needs of my supervisor, team or students; some nights my toddler fights going to bed. But knowing how, in an ideal world, my day should look, provides a certain amount of structure and routine. I also think it reflects my values - it shows that at the core I'm a wife, a mom and an educator. I don't make time for friends on a typical day. Yes, my friends are important but at this stage in my life I really have to calendar them in, because meeting folks for an impromptu drink after work isn't realistic. But things might be different for you, given your needs, values and responsibilities. And that's okay. It's not about what's right or wrong- but rather how you simply want to define your daily life.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

are you open to success?

photo by DannyBen

As any coach or advisor should, I write a great deal about goal definition and action planning. It's because you have to know what you want to make it happen. However, I also believe you need to leave room for the unplanned and unexpected.

I've always struggled with this concept. I feel inherently more at east when I have accounted for every detail. But I've realized that over-planning can be an obstacle to success. My few regrets often resulted in turning a blind eye to the opportunity that came out of left field.

In an effort to not let such opportunities pass me by in 2012, I've intentionally chosen the word "Open" to define the year. I'm open to new experiences, new ideas and new paths. I choose to be "open" to what the universe throws my way.

It is this approach that gave me the courage to:
  • Join a Visionary Mom Team.
  • Request mentoring from A Daring Adventure's Tim Brownson.
  • Conceptualize the type and movement workshop that I'm set to co-facilitate this spring.
  • Say "yes" to work projects that have opened unexpected doors.
  • Explore a personal/professional development experience that I've been afraid to tackle until now and
  • Cast my career net high and wide.
What about you? What might happen if you were truly open to what the world has to offer? What would happen if occasionally you said, "yes" even if you didn't know where saying so might lead?

Friday, January 11, 2013

components of a robust online educational experience

Online education improves as educational technology evolves. Today, a robust online course or program might include: 
  • Live interaction with faculty and students: Through Skype, webinars, and other video "chat" mechanics,  there is finally an opportunity for students to interact with their faculty and classmates in real time. 
  • Personalized communication and student portals: As client relationship management (CRM) tools are introduced into higher ed, we'll will find more and more schools creating personalized web sites for their students.  
  • E Portfolios: An online space to house work for exhibit and review is becoming a norm in both traditional and web-based classrooms. 
    The fear as online education evolves is how it might contribute to "predatory" educational practices.  The age of the internet allows for programs to go live without review, accreditation, etc. As such, it's critical that the learner is aware of his or her specific goals and researches their options before jumping into an online program. That said, many well established private and public institutions are integrating online education into their curriculum and I expect such ventures will create wonderful opportunities for self-directed and/or remote learners to pursue higher learning.

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    what i really think about online education

    Had you asked me ten years ago what I thought about online education my response would have been lukewarm at best. So much of learning, whether in a traditional classroom setting or even if more experential in nature, requires a certain amount of engagement between teacher and student, student and student and/or student and subject. And, quite frankly, the degree of engagement I felt was necessary for real learning to take place couldn't exist given the limitations of educational technology. But things have changed. Radically changed. And, as such, my feelings about online education have changed. And I think today's learner can, in fact, receieve a rich and interactive experience though online learning. 

    Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to research and explore some of the exciting educational opportunities available online (have you heard about MITx?) and I'll be looking for your feedback and experiences.

    So grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. We all have a lot to learn.