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As I think about my work life and family life and the places in each where I need to grow, my One Word for 2018 is focus. I selected focus as my My One Word to help remind me to give my attention, my focus, to the most important task in front me at the time. When I'm at home, I need to focus on family time. At work, I need to dedicate my focus to on task at a time.
To help me focus this year, I'm going to...
Put down my technology during family time.
It’s so easy and tempting to check Twitter, answer a few emails, or knock out some work while my kids are playing. However, in order to to really focus, I need to prioritize my family time when I have it. Work will always be there. Twitter and email won’t go away and the world won’t end if I play with my kids in the evening.
Turn off my email notifications.
Email is such a vital part of workplace communication. But at the same time it’s the biggest enemy of productivity. This school year I’ve started closing my email and Google Hangouts when I’m working on a project or in a meeting to help me focus on the task at hand.
Automate everything I can.
Just like checking email, daily administrative tasks can take up some much of my focus. As I have been trying to increase my focus on family time and authentic tasks at work, I have started trying to automate administrative and communication-related tasks as much as I can. Follow-up emails? Automated. Generating time sheets? Automated. Registration process? Automated.
Use social media intentionally.
Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. They are amazing tools for connecting, growing, and learning. They also do a great job of stealing attention and focus from my work and family. To be intentional with my social media use, I schedule specific times to check social media and have a purpose when I get on Twitter to avoid spending too much time aimlessly scrolling.
Participate in meaningful professional development.
To help me focus on improving the instructional practices of the educators I work with, I need to dedicate time to my own learning. This includes book studies, Twitter chats, and workshops. Don’t get me wrong, conferences are great. However, in my experience I have been able to do more learning through deeper conversation around a topic than a series of 50 minute breakout sessions can provide.
Have you adopted One Word to guide your growth this year or in previous years? Has this post and Chris’s podcast inspired you to let One Word help you focus your learning this year? Sound off in the comments below to share your stories, reflections, and YOUR #OneWord2018.
Husband | Father | Edtech Coordinator | Google for Education Certified Trainer, February 2017 #GoogleET | METC Spotlight Educator 2017