After reading Simon Fogg’s blog post on all his learning and development plans for 2018, I started to think what my plans could be.
I’m usually someone who plans everything – sometimes it’s not expressly written on paper or recorded online but it’s a mental note where I keep tabs on what it is I need to do, when, where and how.
A Little Secret
One of the greatest tips I learned, is that I like to think through things before I start.
I think of them in every little detail, go through each task, action, item in my mind’s eye.
This usually happens in the mornings when I’m drinking my coffee but it’s usually on my morning walk.
That means, when the time comes to actually doing the task, it’s seamless – except if there’s some technical or PC issue but in some way, I’ve already done the entire process from start to finish in my head. I’ve written articles and developed presentations simply from thinking about them first and playing the entire scenario out in my head. You have no idea how much time this saves me.
Systems Not Goals
However, this year (as I did last year) I decided not to have any goals of what I want to achieve. Instead, I had “systems”. That is, to set up a systems to ensure tasks were completed and which hopefully, over time became a habit…For example:
- Blog writing system
- A system for writing my monthly newsletter campaign
- A system for capturing my daily vlogs on Snapchat and uploading to my WordPress site and YouTube
- A system for categorising all my documents and folders on my PC and across the cloud
- A system for writing up courses and workshops (so the goal wasn’t to “By the end of 2017, develop a Curation Workshop to be facilitated with corporate learning and development teams” – it was to “set up a system for the design and development of corporate workshops”
- A system for all the sales and speaking engagement enquiries, leads and follow-ups
- You get the idea….
The systems have helped me streamline and automate my entire business.
Much of how I did this was shared openly and publicly on my daily work out loud vlogs on Snapchat (and then uploaded to YouTube and collated as weekly “Personal Learning Weeks” on my blog).
In effect, I now have a visual CV or portfolio of my processes should anyone ask me what I’ve been doing with my time!
What’s In Store for 2018?
However, coming back to the idea of what I want to learn in 2018, I have my own “personal learning system” which usually begins with a ‘spark of curiosity followed by total immersion into the subject and a natural joy of getting lost down rabbit warrens. I know when I’m on the right track when somehow (sometimes, it seems like magic), serendipitous things happen in the process. For example, people give me additional nuggets of information that set me off on a path, I discover a new connection or a link, someone unrelated to the whole process gives me a book, a ticket or something related to what I’m reading.
(Imagine my delight when I saw a book on the Australian bookstore shelves recently published that was about BOTH William Bligh and the founding of Australia called Paradise in Chains! One of the things I used to do is to map timelines of what was happening when and where. For example, I mused that the days Bligh was out on the long boat making the journey to Timor, what was happening in the UK Admiralty at the same time? Similarly, at the same time in Australia, the first government house was in the process of being built for Governor Arthur Phillip – they wouldn’t have known or heard about the mutiny until much later – and meanwhile, Fletcher Christian was sailing around trying to find a place to hide from the British Navy. My head is like one of those cork Crime Boards you see on detective series…and this book promises to answer all these questions I had. I hope Santa gives this to me for Christmas this year)…
This year, I don’t want to lose that momentum and spontaneity so I haven’t really devised any goals.
I have some “general interests” so these will be incorporated into what I’m doing but I’m not going to spell out how, what, when I do these. Instead, I’m going to go with the flow and see where these personal learning explorations take me. Most of all, I’m intrigued with the type of people who will come into my life; the people who leave my communities and networks; the opportunities that arise from it all.
Working Out Loud Circle
This will make my “Working Out Loud Circle” which Simon is moderating in Facebook Workplace and which I’m part of for the first three months in 2018 doubly difficult.
For that, I have come up with some things I want to do in January through to March and that is,
- Lose at least 5 kilos (I piled it on this year because well, panettone…and nice food in the pantry)
- Explore and learn more about blockchain and bitcoin (I did this last year but still don’t get it)
- Finish writing my book on Snapchat (it’s in editing at the moment but the more I delay, the more I need to go back and re-write sections of it. I reached a disheartened state this year where people were telling me that I’m no-one if I don’t write a book. So I wrote a book on something that no0-one understands to stop these hurtful comments. Funny the people who told me this were people who hadn’t written books themselves so go figure).
- Cybersecurity and privacy – I’ve registered to do a MOOC on this although I haven’t communicated it to the WOL Circle
As for books, I’m going to go with the flow. I’m quite happy that I read 72 books this year and hope that I can do the same – if not more – in the new year.
So really, in all honesty, there’s not much planned for 2018 Learning and Development wise. The focus will be on cybersecurity and privacy, I’m going to continue doing what I’ve always been doing. In recent years, I’ve learned to read and play music, my knitting has drastically improved, I was selected to be part of an intergenerational film crew; I acted in a short movie that was screened on cinema, I traveled to Paris, Germany and Singapore, I’ve contributed and been part of a Fake News Channel on Snapchat that went a tad viral. I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if I didn’t share my learning journeys and they all unfolded naturally so I’ll stick with this formula for now.
“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This blog post by Helen Blunden was written in Melbourne, Australia and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.