Sunday, June 29, 2014

Organizationally Challenged???

I've always enjoyed summer break and long weekends because it gives me time to take a breath and reflect on all that's happening in my life/mind. Since deciding to join the ranks of bloggers and share my work online, I have seriously procrastinated in writing regular posts. Writing has never been my strong suit because it requires you to tame the sprawling web of thoughts, resist the urge to go off in a million tangents, and focus on one sequential idea after another. That is not easy for me, nor for many, many of the students I've worked with.

As my mind races in 10 different directions about the ways I could be spending this last 1/2 hour before bed, I am remembering a few students in particular, who just couldn't write a paragraph to save their life. Smart kids ... gifted kids ... I recognize now that it wasn't that they didn't know what to say, they just couldn't decide where to start. Making decisions, and prioritizing is often the problem. That's why procrastination works so well, because for some strange reason, having a limited amount of time forces you to make a decision; and suddenly half of the ideas that seemed so intriguing a few days ago, just magically fall off of the 'relevance' grid.

A few strategies I've found to get myself focused...

1. Make a list of everything I want to accomplish...from the least important, "buy more gnocchi from dollar tree," to the most essential, "finish 8th Grade Math Scaled Assessment." This process helps me to feel better about letting go of the nagging thoughts that are less important because I have at least allowed them to be heard. Usually after a couple of days I am less emotionally attached to them.

*Note - If a list is too hard to organize, use a WEB! A web has no beginning or end so there's less pressure to prioritize immediately. Items can be numbered later when you're ready to revise or make decisions about order.

2. Actually plan time to accomplish specific tasks. Once I begin to imagine myself doing certain things, like practicing Italian with my son, I get a better idea of how, when, and how long this task is going to take. I also begin to realize that some things like running errands or doing chores can be grouped together in smaller blocks of time so they get done more efficiently.

3. Prioritize tasks. What is the most important and urgent things for me to do? What am I feeling most motivated to do first? Planning time to do tasks also helps me with this step because if I cannot imagine myself completing a task at a specific time, then it usually drops off my immediate to do list.

Another great resource I have used...

"Organizing the Disorganized Child: Simple Strategies to Succeed in School" 

...lots of helpful ideas for home and school.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Pop-Up Sign-up form