Reflections

2019 Intentions: The Finish Line

With a new year (and new semester), comes a time for planning and organizing what lies ahead. The new start to a year offers us space to reflect and take stock. Whether you decided to take a networked sabbatical or are in a digital detox right now, I know that being away from a screen the last few weeks has given me time and space to think about 2019. Now, I didn’t completely unplug over the holidays (podcasts & connecting to family/friends, duh!), but I did make sure to live in the analog by writing in a journal, reading real books, sketching ideas, and living the beach life.  It was nice to break from all things connected, as it gave me space to have a think about what’s on the horizon.

Typically the new year encourages many think about t how we want to use our time (or even take more of our time back) and improve ourselves in 2019 (here’s a list of 50 things to be your best you, if you’re still thinking about it). For me, I am saying goodby to new years resolutions and my #OneWord statements, and hello to goals and intentions! For 2019, I’m in training (metaphorically & literally) to see a few projects cross a finish line. I’m treating this year like I do for the races I run. There’s a finish line (a.k.a. completion) and I’m putting a concentrated effort to seeing my life projects, work initiatives, and personal goals reach the end before 2019 times out.

These are ALL THE THINGS I want to FINISH. This includes projects and initiatives I want to accomplish, wrap-up, remove, test out, delegate, abandon, perform, and sunset. In my professional life, I have new things I want to create, to do this I will need to finish current course re-design contracts, multiple research projects, team grants, and collaborative creative works. In my personal life, I am looking forward to racing in the #RunProject series, saying goodbye to my 30’s, learning new songs to sing/play on ukulele/guitar, personal digital audits & data deletions, writing/editing fictional stories, learning from the masters, planning travel adventures, #adulting stuff (wills, investments, and business opportunities… oh my!), and, oh yeah, Uncle Sam says I’m eligible to apply for citizenship – so there’s that.

So, as you can tell I have just a few things I want to see cross that finish line this year. To accomplish this I’ll continue with my the semester, monthly, and weekly planning in my #GetToWork book AND with daily tasks via Todoist. But this definitely calls for a long-term strategy that maps out how I’ll reach these goals. Good thing I am not alone with my big, audacious goal setting in 2019. In listening to a recent episode Quarterly Strategic Planning (from The Radial Self-Trust podcast channel hosted by Katie Linder), reading about other ideas on quarterly plans, and having a think about what I need to get done, I decided to make the time to organize what needs to get done in chunks (my version of quarterly personal planning) this year. By breaking up these projects, I can prioritize work and the time/attention it needs for completion.

Here is how I started with to map out my “project training plan” to reach the 2019 finish line goals & intentions:

  1. Create a vision or master plan: write down everything that has been pending, needs to be finished, and left incomplete.
  2. Outline domains or themes for your visionary ideas: categorize your intentions into buckets to group your project planning and figure out how you will start to craft your goals and prioritize this work.
  3. Identify goals (you know the SMART ones): outline actions and items that identify a project, initiative, or item is consider to be complete/finished.
  4. Select ways to track and measure your progress:  create systems to account for progress on these goals; this can be done daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly time periods
  5. Design systems and strategies for success: identify time in your calendar where you’ll most likely work on a particular task, dedicate space(s) for focus/creativity, find accountability where/when needed, and add incentives/rewards built into this structure for each goal accomplished.

A few of my 2019 goals/intentions have specific timelines and some of these are already set in motion — especially the ones that require accountability from others and set deadlines. Now I’ll just need to add to my “Finish Line” Spotify playlists (e.g. Brain Food, The Social Network, and Alternative 90s) to enhance productivity. I welcome recommendations for more music. Always.

#AcWri, #AcWriMo, #AcWriSummer, #HEdigID, Higher Education, highered

#HEdigID Chat No. 5: Renew, Refresh, Reboot, Restart Your Academic Writing with Janet Salmons (@einterview) #AcWri

Hello Summer! This year, I am committing to my own projects, design, developments, and ACADEMIC WRITING (#AcWri)! That’s right. I’ve opted to NOT instruct any courses during the summer term. This is a first since I started my faculty career (Fall 2014). This is also an intentional choice. Things are building up and projects need to be completed. I decided this summer will be dedicated to completing ALL THE THINGS! This includes research projects in-progress (data collection, cleaning, coding, and analysis) and getting these to the right publication outlets and avenues.

So based on these goals and writing objectives, I’m thrilled to kick off this summer with a timely Higher Ed Digital Identity (#HEdigID) Chat:

#HEdigID Chat TOPIC: Renew, Refresh, Reboot, Restart Your Academic Writing

This Friday, June 8th the #HEdigID chat will be moderated (MOD) by Janet Salmons (@einterview) to sort out these forgotten or neglected academic writing (#AcWri) projects. This ALL DAY conversation will be hosted on Twitter with the hashtag: #HEdigID and via this OPEN Google doc: http://bit.ly/hedigid5

Do you have goals to get working on a writing project this summer? Are you changing your career goals, and this requires getting a few publications out the door? OR, if you have a writing project you’ve pushed to the side or you have neglected — then this #HEdigID chat is FOR YOU (and me).

“Academic writing includes more moving parts than other types, meaning we have more excuses for setting aside an unfinished piece of work.” ~ Janet Salmons

With a number of things to consider (e.g. updates to your literature review, methods for analysis, or even outlets to publish), you might just need this #HEdigID chat to get you to return to your own writing piece. Whether you are feeling excited or overwhelmed with your own academic writing, come join the online discussion to share what YOU hope to accomplish for your summer writing goals.

Here are the QUESTIONS you will see appear on Twitter and in the Google doc for your responses TODAY (June 8th) for this #HEdigID ALL-DAY digital chat:

  1. Please introduce yourself. Feel free to include: Where are you located? Where you work and/or your role? What you’re writing and working on these days? AND/OR Tell us your favorite place to write! #AcWri #AcWriChat
  2. Tell us about a writing project that you have left behind, let go, or let die. How long ago? What got in the way or prevented you from finishing this #AcWri project?
  3. Describe what kind of writing project are you trying to revive. What is this #AcWri project? Thesis/dissertation? Article? Chapter or book? Report or other professional writing? Please share!
  4. Is it time to revive this writing project? Reflect on your #AcWri purpose, in the context of your goals, do they match? E.g. Should this journal article now be a white paper report and/or blog post? Have you thought differently about a book chapter or book idea format?
  5. Let’s talk about updating this writing project: Is your literature review AND/OR your data out of date? What writing tasks, obstacles, and research will you need to work on to UPDATE this #AcWri piece?
  6. Does your writing PRACTICE or TOOLS need some updating to help you be productive with your project? What areas of writing practice support do you need? What #AcWri suggestions do you have for writers to be effective with their writing process?How will you commit to rebooting this academic writing project? What strategies and ideas do you have to be accountable to this #AcWri plan? Please share SUGGESTIONS and IDEAS for staying on track with this writing project revival!
  7. Final Thought (FT): What is one new SPARK or REASON you are inspired you to return to this academic writing project? What will drive you to prioritize this #AcWri project and commit to finishing it this time?

Converse with us? Join in discuss these questions and more! How to participate:

  • Tweet your response with the hashtag: #HEdigID

  • Share more in this Google Doc: http://bit.ly/hedigid5

  • Use these questions to draft your own personal reflection and response (e.g. blog post, video, audio, drawing or offline discussion)

  • Lurk and learn!

 

Update June 12, 2018:

ARCHIVE of the Tweets from this #HEdigID Chat

Follow-up blog post from the #HEdigID MOD, @einterivew: Keeping Writing Projects Alive

#3Wedu, Podcast

Wine Forward with #3Wedu

This past weekend brought a number of women from around the world together for the Women’s March on Washington. I was inspired by local movements, shared messages, and photos curated from this global event. That being said, I hope that this is just the start of how we move forward in 2017. In the world of work, we know there is still much to do, such as, narrow the gender pay gap, place women into leadership/CEO positions in our organization, and change the perspective/reality of men who are disinterested in “jobs typically done by women.”
logo_wine-forward_complete-color

Image c/o WineForward distributors. 

In order to “wine forward,” we should look in both directions. On the past #3Wedu episode, We reflected on 2016 and discussed our goals for a healthy 2017. Now it’s time to take action and wine/move forward with purpose!

51718-fast-forward-circular-button

Fast forward button by Thomas Harmel

In the upcoming #3Wedu episode this Wednesday (1/25) at 3 pm PT/5 pm CT/6 pm ET we will discuss our experiences from the Women’s’ March on Washington, we’ll share some readings/books we’ve enjoyed over the past month, and we’ll talk about how we plan on moving forward from the ick factor of 2016 — specifically as we strive with purpose and power towards  our academic, professional, and personal goals.

Join us Wednesday, January 25th for wine, banter, and more here:

This blog post is cross-posted on The #3Wedu Podcast Blog. Read more there!

Career, Reflections, Workplace

What’s Your “Ideal” Job?

Have you ever been asked to describe your “ideal” job? Sometimes this comes up in a traditional job interview.  Or perhaps you had someone (a teacher, family member, or friend) just ask you about your career goals. Have you thought about what sort of work drives you? Do you know what sort of “job” you are looking for in your field that best fits you? How does work design impact what you do daily? What inspires you in your day-to-day work? How do you prefer to function and perform?
2644552954_2051baec90_o
These are questions I have asked my students for years. We spend a lot of time in the world of work. So, it’s a natural to want to know about goals and purpose as a student discusses courses in an academic advising appointment. And it is even more intentional as I have worked with undecided majors and first-year students (undergraduate and graduate) to help with their career exploration journey. This semester I am instructing LTEC 3010: Personal Development (a scaled up version that I promise to blog about soon), where we dive into these specific issues (follow #LTEC3010):
  • Determining avenues to find a job and planning your career
  • Preparing for the workforce: job search, interviews, resumes, applications, etc.
  • Getting started at your new job: dress, etiquette, digital identity, etc.
  • Being productive: Managing stress and time effectively, & working with others
  • Developing your career: Finding support, connecting to professional organizations, strategies & challenges for moving up the ladder, and seeking out mentorship experiences.
I typically ask my students what their “ideal” job and/or career entails — however until recently I haven’t flipped the tables on myself. After a recent prompt from someone, I decided to list what MY “ideal” interests are for the world of work — specifically targeted towards learning and development.
In general, I am interested in understanding how to build and support the complex learning spaces we work in, specifically, as we consider the connection between formal to informal learning (found among K-12, higher education & the workforce). If I was on a formal job hunt, here are a few items I would be scanning for in the job posting descriptions for, specifically to uncover the culture of an organization:
  • The opportunity to research the challenges/barriers that higher ed faces for our learning landscapes, which includes pedagogy and design of online, blended, and F2F learning. In particular, the issues encounter with HE faculty and staff development, systemic challenges, and student access. Those organizations who are aligned with a similar research agenda, i.e. new ideas of learning, learning delivery, and approaches to educational models impacting us now and in the future, would entice me to apply.
  • The ability to apply research into practice. This means continuing to be active in the field of learning and teaching, through course instruction and/or training & development programs for formal and informal learning. The idea of creating and delivering curriculum to various campus stakeholders who share similar emerging ideas for learning and research is exciting to me.
  • The opportunity for community building and network development to enhance the work of our segregated professional learning organizations that support HE faculty, practitioners, and administrators — specifically distributing knowledge, resources, and issues across these sections of our institutions. I would love to be part of an organization with a broader vision that can offer  t; offering an avenue for social sharing/learning; considering these contributions beyond a space or place (i.e. conference, event, etc.) to allow for on-going dialogues; being a central hub to cross-pollinate ideas and deal with issues
  • Being encouraged to collaborate and support design thinking as a process for innovation within a team across our higher education organizations and/or institutions. In working with a number of talented and thoughtful folks, I have learned the value of incubating ideas to solve problems and work on shared projects. We need to apply this nimble sort of thinking to our learning organization. We need to value both the process and not just the final product, in an environment that values and encourages sharing.

Those are my general thoughts for my future focus for work, and here are a few practical/personal preferences* for my world of work. Here are a few “must haves” for my ideal job:

  • Shared vision with the organization; appropriate cultural fit that supports the above ideas and goals
  • Balance between shared projects and individual assignments
  • Opportunity to continue current research projects and/or contract instructional assignments within higher education and/or learning institutions
  • Flexibility for my work environment, i.e. ability to work within an office and the allowance to be a distributed team member (telecommutes/remote work)
  • Open & available for traveling to consult, work, train, etc.
  • Preference for project-based work vs. a set schedule of hours per day/week, while offering regular updates and progress reports as required
  • Being both challenged and supported on assignment projects and contributions
  • The culture of learning is embedded to the work functions; learning is not just something we talk, research, or do — the organization lives its mandate for all employees (i.e. professional development, mentoring, coaching, etc.)

*Note: I am sure I have other preferences (wants & needs) for a job — but let’s just start with this list and see what is out there first.

Can you describe your “ideal” job? If so, please share!

Reflections

#OneWord2016: Focus

With a couple of weeks away from blogging, fewer messages posted in 140-characters or less,  and really unplugging from most things digital over the winter break — I have finally selected my #OneWord2016 to direct my resolution-less new year:

Focus

4546017269_92cfdf070b_o

Flickr image c/o Mark Hunter

My previous #OneWords the past two years were now and simplify, so word focus seems to be on track. Over the past few weeks, I have taken time off “the grid” for some R n’ R. This practice helped me to turn down the noise, and dedicate my time to particular interests and people in my life. I have formed a steady practice with this developing habit, which includes putting my phone on silence, removing notifications, checking email less, and reading less of ALL.THE.FEEDS!! By designating time to specific digital tasks and directing my attention to specific projects, I am able to participate in a type of deep work and by removing the distractions. Not only has this focused practice improved my productivity and decreased my procrastination tendencies, it has also made feel more balanced and pleased with my personal/professional progress.

habit

Moving forward in 2016, I will continue this focused habit. There will be an increased amount of focus on the important things — and this is not just work/research related. Focus on friends, family, and loved ones. Focus on learning fun things. Focus on being curious with my inquiry. Focus on what is going on the now now now. Focus on new opportunities that are ahead. Focus on health and well-being. Focus on contributing to my community. Focus on the things that matter.

What’s your #OneWord2016? Tell me about it.

#TBT Blog

#TBT Blog Post #3: Resoluting. #oneword2015

In honor of the new year, I thought I would see how I resolved to do better in the past. I still agree with my earlier sentiments, as I will stick with reasonable goals and good behaviors for 2015 (like I have been working on in 2014). I typically have a few projects on the list, and over arching objectives for each year (and semester… and month). That being said – I have been more of a fan of the #OneWord idea to motivate and encourage the year ahead.

Last year my #oneword2014 was simplify. The purpose was not to have goals, but rather consider my process and space of where I worked and lived. I think I reached this objective, and I have trimmed down my life clutter. This year,  my #OneWord2015 is NOW to remind me to always be present. It is important to remember the past and, of course, plan for the future; however  it is often a challenge (for me, at least) to be present and in the moment — so I will use the word NOW to remind me.

By taking on the word now, I hope to be more thoughtful, and on-task with projects, research, writing, and teaching. I think it is critical to direct my attention to those who I am collaborating with for work, and family/friends in my life. The word now will serves as a mean to act intentionally and be present with those around me more. I also see the word “now” as a way to be. It is important to focus on what is directly in front of you, and to not always look down the road. There is much to be said to be content with what is happening and going on in my life. As a planner and with possible change (life, career, location, etc.), I know this will be a good challenge for me for 2015. Maybe I should have reverted back to my 2007 resolutions… wish me luck!

——

#TBT Blog Post #3:

Resoluting. [Blog post from 7th January 2007]

I am not one for resolutions. They never last. Goals are better. However this year I was inspired by Jeff’s Cheapest New Years Resolution post on his blog… or rather I wanted to create/post a few simple (yet clever) resolutions. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Catch up on missed “Lost” episodes (season 3).
2. Initiate more high fives.
3. Listen to one new song a day.

So far, so good. I watched the re-cap episode of “Lost” last night. I high-fived co-workers while watching Team Canada crush Russia to win the gold medal last Friday at the office. And I have enjoyed numerous new tunes on Pandora.com (thanks Jeff) to help with my listening pleasure.

Small and attainable objectives. It’s where it’s at, folks.

#AcWri, #AcWriMo, Dissertation

#AcWriMo Discipline: Dissertation Boot Camp Here I Come!

In honour of my #AcWriMo November Goal #1, I decided to apply to the UNT Eagle Dissertation Boot Camp that is happening this week (November 21-23). To date, my word count for the month is 19, 344; however I need to dedicate more of these words to my dissertation drafting.

BootCampGraphic

Image from UDaily post from University of Delaware.

After approval from my faculty advisor and support from my supervisor, I applied to this 3-day boot camp to SHUT UP AND WRITE.  I just received my official acceptance to the program from Dr. Joseph Oppong, the Associate Dean for Research and Professional Development in the Toulouse Graduate School:

 Dear Student,

Congratulations, you have been accepted to attend the Eagle Dissertation Boot Camp! It will be held in the Willis Library Forum (first floor area). The boot camp is designed to provide you 3 days of interruption-free, stress-free, no-excuses-just-do-it writing time for your dissertation. To help you prepare so that you optimize your output here are some packing tips.

Be sure to clear your calendar for the whole of the boot camp. You need to commit to attend the entire workshop. You will not be excused to teach or attend class. Arrange transportation and childcare so that you are free to attend each day.

This is your notice that you are enrolled in Boot Camp. If you cannot attend this session let me know immediately. If you cancel within 3 days of the event you will be considered a “no show” unless you situation truly is serious. If you “no show” you will not be allowed to participate in the next session and your advisor will be notified. We have limited funds, space, and resources and you must commit to coming or give your seat to someone else.

Please bring a laptop, a mug (coffee/tea available) and/or water bottle. If you don’t have a laptop, you can check one out from the Library, but, bring a flash drive to save your work. MP3 players and headphones are recommended if they help you concentrate, or if you find nearby conversations distracting. Work tables, lunch, and snacks are provided.

No lateness, please. It’s distracting for the other campers…

Here is the line up this week’s dissertation boot camp – so don’t expect a whole lot of tweets, email responses, social network posts,  or interaction from me as my Interwebs use will be limited from Thursday (11/21) morning onward:

Boot Camp Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
8:00-9:30 a.m. Formatting Workshop
9:30-10:00 a.m. Roll Call, Welcome, Introductions, Breakfast
10:00-11:30 a.m. Writing
11:30-12:00 p.m. Wellness Activity
12:00-1:30 p.m. Writing
1:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:30 p.m. Writing
3:30-6:00 p.m. Optional Writing Time or Optional Individual Consulting
9:00-10:30 a.m. Writing
10:30-11:00 p.m. Wellness Activity
11:00-12:30 p.m. Writing
12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch with Advisors
1:00-2:30 p.m. Writing
2:30-3:00 p.m. Self-Assessment and Discussion
3:00-6:00 p.m. Optional Writing Time or Optional Individual Consulting
9:00-10:30 a.m. Writing
10:30-11:00 a.m. Wellness Activity
11:00-12:30 p.m. Writing
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30-3:00 p.m. Writing
3:00-6:00 p.m. Optional Writing Time or Optional Individual Consulting

Each day includes:

  • several blocks of writing time
  • scheduled, limited time for web-browsing
  • tip sheets
  • wellness breaks
  • a lunch conversation with fellow campers (box lunches provided)
  • space to continue writing in the afternoon (if interested)

The reason I applied, is to have specific time carved out and a dedicated space to move forward on my #AcWriMo goal #1. A number of things get in the way of my dissertation writing, including other writing projects, presentations, work items, and life. Also, as a student who wears “many hats” on campus and outside my job, I can sometimes find it challenging to pick up where I have left off, and my motivation to just write is fragmented with other responsibilities. I think this dedicated writing schedule will push me further along with my dissertation goals.

I will report back in after “camp” is over. Write on, my friends. Write on.