Goal Setting, the New Year, and Multiple Capabilities

Juggling the patchwork of lifework (must I say careers?) that I am developing that lies at the intersection of program development, project management, marketing, communications, social media, instructional design, education, and educational therapy (not to mention my interests in policy and public service) is becoming a little bit of a challenge to my current time management and organizational systems. Since I am planning to start a business at some point, it behooves me to get a system in place that has the capacity to expand as I expand my bandwidth,  and the tasks I am capable of and interested in performing on a daily basis.

I don’t yet have a smartphone. And I don’t use a calendaring function on my computer. What I do use to organize myself is the good old standard paper calendaring system. Something about looking at the grid of a monthly calendar is pleasing. Perhaps it’s the visual thinker in me.

For the past several years, I have carried a two-page monthly calendar and penciled in daily appointments, tickler reminders, and dates bills are due. Lately, however, these pencil reminders have spilled out over their neat little rectangles into other days.

About a year ago, I attended a presentation by Pierre Khawand of People-OntheGo at an ASTD Golden Gate seminar/workshop on the foundations of the learning and development profession. (It was an extremely informative series of workshops, by the way.) I was so jealous when I wasn’t the lucky winner of a copy of his book, The Accomplishing More with Less workbook. As a smart marketer and knowing that people are looking to set goals at the beginning of a new year, Pierre recently sent out an email reminding his list of the products he has available.  So I ordered a copy of the book today. And no, I didn’t get the Kindle version, although I easily could have, and could have saved some money as well. (Although I am using the B&N gift card I received for attending a book club user research group, so it’s a “free” book anyway.) I just enjoy having a book in my hand. Plus, it’s a workbook that I might actually want to write in. Even though I don’t usually write in my books.

Mind you, I’m not opposed to the Kindle or e-readers or even e-books. If I had an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab (which at least displays Flash) you can bet that I would be spending some time playing with that. Rather, there are so many competing demands (mostly related to determining what are my goals, completing left over classwork,  as well as family issues) that I just don’t have the time to investigate where and how I can get the reading material that I want to read. Sorry, I just don’t want to read Pride and Prejudice right now, even if it is free. Mostly the books I read at this time are so specialized that they are not likely to be available in e-book format, if they’re not textbooks. The e-book marketplace is so new that it’s going to take some time to shake out. The implications for Instructional Design of all these mobile devices are of course really interesting. Check this out: Mountain View students have been using the iPad as a Magic Fiddle. And there’s an entire e-learning conference devoted to m-learning.

About the calendar, I’m going to buy one from Franklin Covey. Thinking about this one. Having space to actually write inside the calendar (what an idea!) instead of on multiple pieces of paper that I stuff inside my planner cover should help to keep things more organized.

And oh yes, there is also my Personal Marketing Plan.  I am very proud of this document, which I began just after Thanksgiving. I display it here for your perusal. It’s quite a blessing to be capable of so many things, but having multiple career paths also means having to make some challenging choices about what to pursue, and when.

Susan Neva MPA Personal Marketing Plan Dec 2010

Now I’m looking for workshops on goal-setting and goal follow through. I’ve seen several in the past couple of months but have run out of time to attend them (pun not intended). It’s time to develop an overall plan about what I want to do… several months ahead, 1-year, 5-year, etc. Any suggestions for good books or workshops? I’m already motivated, I just need some more tools.

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