[Abecedary of Reflection] Organization

O: Organization

Often when I hear people talk about the reasons [or excuses] they do not reflect much, time is mentioned. I know that I do not have significant more time than other people, so how do I find/ make the time for reflection? For me, it’s all about organization.

I listed my outlook calendar as something I was loving one Friday in a previous post. I am going to cite my calendar as the tool I use to be as organized as I am (and if you ask some of my colleagues, they will attest to this!). My calendar is my life. Literally. And I am very efficient with my time.

Not only do I keep track of appointments and meetings with other people on my calendar, but I also use it as my virtual to-do list. Whenever I think of something I need to complete, I add it to a blank spot on a future date in my calendar. That way, I have a place holder for the work with time dedicated to completing the task. Sometimes I have to move these items, but I rarely lose track of the idea in this way.

When I end up with an empty block of time on my calendar, I make a conscience choice to look ahead to stay organized. I draft emails to be sent later, I see what projects are coming up that I can backwards plan for meetings or deadlines, and I stop to reflect. I continue to reflect in my leadership journal about my work, leadership, and responses to things I’ve recently read or heard. If I open my leadership journal (in Evernote) and see that’s it’s been awhile since I last wrote, I add reflection time into my calendar.

Our team at work facilitates a lot of teacher meetings. With the heightened stress level during busy spring time, we have made it a practice to begin each meeting by asking teachers to reflect for a moment on a successful experience they have recently had in class. Then volunteers share their stories. Not only is this reflection time used and appreciated, but it so great to start a meeting off hearing amazing stories about students and hard-working teachers!

2016 Update: After attending The Breakthrough Coach training last summer, I realized that many of the habits that help me stay organized came from TBC. When I was a Vice Principal, many years ago, I worked for a principal who had been trained in TBC and who was a true instructional leader. He taught me the habits I still use today to prioritize the most important work on my calendar (i.e. classroom visits when students were present and meetings with adults after school hours).

Reflective questions to consider:

  • How do you keep yourself organized?
  • What organization tips would you give to a new leader?
  • How can organization help you reflect more often?

Abecedary of Reflection

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
This entry was posted in Reflection and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to [Abecedary of Reflection] Organization

  1. Pingback: Things I’m Loving Friday, Volume 13 | Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s