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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mini-Workshop

You will notice several posts before we get to the real “meat” of the announcements that guide you through the week. First, are some thoughts on how to get the most out this blog and how to mold coming here once a week into habits you have already established instead of checking this blog becoming one more thing to have to remember to do.

To make this blog really work as the communication tool to keep you informed:

Give yourself enough time to digest the material

If you give this sit a cursory glance with the intention of coming back later to read in more detail and wind up making a third pass later in the week, you will wind up spending more time and still have things fall through the cracks. Pick a time when you can go from one end to the other and then safely say you are “done.” Of course, there are exceptions. If there is a story here or some other item of human interest, you know that it will always be available later if you want to come back for a refresher. The things you do not want to re-read are the mechanics of when an event is happening or the deadline to turn in some paperwork.

Read with pencil and paper in hand

Reading this blog is a great deal about making little decisions. Some items will not pertain to you at all. Others trigger a “to do” for you. Getting those commitments down on your to do list, your personal calendar, or your lesson plan book are critical. It you can get it all trapped in one place, you only have to look one place for your blueprint for the day. You have a plan that combines what is happening on your class, what is happening in the schools as a whole, obligations at home, commitments in the community, etc. in one system. Sometimes the lists can be long, but the sanity comes in knowing the lists are complete and not waking up at 3:00AM wondering what you are forgetting.

Heed the “two-minute rule”

That’s to a guy named David Allen out of California for not necessarily inventing this idea, but certainly introducing many people to it through his books and seminars. The “two-minute rule” says that when something comes your way that will take two minutes or less, do it right then. It would take longer to write it on a list and the re-familiarize yourself with it later than it would to just do it. You will invariably read items in this blog that you can handle in two minutes or less.

I’ve got to remember to do what?

When we moved from a paper-based Friday Memo to one residing on the computer, it created for each of us a new “to do”—checking that site on the computer. The Friday Memo worked, in large part, because it piggy-backed on a habit you had already established—checking your mailbox. Since checking your mailbox was something you did anything, you came upon the Friday Memo without having to give it a thought.

To get it all corralled in one place, read on…

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