All entries for December 2012

December 17, 2012

Follow–up on Organising yourself and your time

Workshop Tutor: Beverly Maynard

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

  1. Macro-Planning

    I started by building a planner where I could visualize the different deadlines and the overall time I had left for completing the work. This helped me to organize my priorities and divide the time I had into smaller tasks that would constitute as steps to achieve the bigger task. This really helped me because having it hanging in front of my desk it reminded me of what needed to be done and when; and also why it was important not to leave it for later as I could clearly see that later I would not have enough time.

    However after a small accident where I broke a leg my whole schedule was changed, as I could not work for more than a week. This has been a hard process and very discouraging, Which is why, now that I am getting better, I need to reorganize myself through the macro planning process, and take advantage of it to get back some control of my life and what needs to be done. Because life waits for no one, broken leg or not, I need to keep my goals clear and the steps to get there.

    I will therefore restructure my planner to fit my new deadlines and incorporate new tasks by the end of today. I am confident by the end of this process I will be more calm and relaxed for facing my current situation: having a broken leg will not prevent me of achieving my goals.

  2. Prioritize

    As I stated it on my last blog, This is something I have been working non-stop since the beginning of term. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but in reality it is much more complex. However I am happy to say that I can feel myself getting better at it.

    By having a clearer idea of what I need to do, how and when, helps me take sounder decisions. I managed to finish term feeling I was in control of my time. And even when the accident happen I was able to manage the situation calmly, put my health first and ask for extensions to my assignments. I realized through this process that we can not control everything that happens but we can control the way we handle this unexpected situations.

  3. Delegate

    As I have said in the pas I am not much of a delegator, I am a control-freak, but thanks to this workshop I have been working to change that. And it is ironic because I am now in a situation in which I need help for almost every simple task.

    I am really glad that I had worked hard on this skill because it came really handy when I broke my leg. Before the end of term I was able to delegate a lot of work to my team mates and it paid out, as we had excellent presentations. I was also able to ask for help when I needed to go to the hospital, and for people to buy me groceries. And it is really nice to see that a lot of my friends have come forward and made my life easier during this process.

    I will not forget this experience and I will keep in mind how easy and rewarding it is to ask for help.

December 16, 2012

Final entry on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Definitely, we never know what life has in store for us…

I find myself writing today with a bright red cast on my leg. After falling during a session of bouldering a week ago, I broke my fibula and had to have my leg immobilized. And just like that, this has proven to be the hardest week since I arrived here in the UK.

On the one hand you have the pain and discomfort that comes with a broken leg, as well as the fact that you have to learn how to do everything differently. An on the other hand you have the emotional challenge it supposes to be alone on the other side of the world and having all of your plans fall apart. I wake up every morning feeling strangely like the prisoner in cartoons who has this enormous metal ball chained to his leg to prevent him from going anywhere.

As a result of this situation a lot of my plans and careful organization fell apart: for instance I will not be able to travel for the holidays with my friends and I had to ask for an extension for my assignments. However looking back at it I can say I feel proud of myself by the way I managed it. As I am writing this reflection now I can see that even though we cannot control everything that happens in our lives, we can definitely control the way we face it and what we decide to do with whatever life throws at us. And yet again I found myself in a perfect situation for self-reflection and learning.

Out of this situation I learned the importance of prioritizing and analyzing in a calm way stressful situations so you can make good decisions. In this case, the most important thing was my health and even though I was inclined to stress about deadlines and work, I knew I had to take this time to relax to be able to cope with the pain and discomforts in the best way possible. I was also glad to see that the time invested on building a good network of friends here in Coventry was of great importance in a moment like this one. You definitely need a support group and people around you to help you cope. But also this made me work really hard on my ability to delegate and ask for help, which is not my strong suite.

However the most important lesson in this process is about strength and drive. I know myself and I know in situations like this one I tend to get overwhelmed and give up. None of this happened this time, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the self reflection process has made me more aware of my personality, and has given me the tools I needed to see things in a more rational way. Plus I can see very clearly the goals I have ahead of me and that I want to achieve as well as the plan to get there; which means, even though there will certainly be obstacles in the way, I can tackle them and continue on my path to get to where I want to be.

So I take this specific experience to highlight the way this workshop has changed my approach to life. My action points are not specified through the description, but they are in the underline structure of this reflection. For instance I would not have been able to cope with this situation with out applying what I had learned about time management and prioritizing in the P7 workshop. The reflective writing process helped me in facing the situation and my way to handle it in a calmed relaxed way. And finally, all in all it would be harder to get along with if I did not have clear set goals for my career plan, as I know no matter how hard the process is, I have something to look forward and that motivates me to keep going forward.

I cannot wait for what the next workshops will teach me and how they will help me grow and become a better person. I look forward to continuing with the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award during the next term, as I have seen the advantages it can bring for personal and professional growth.

Follow–up on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

Given some unexpected circumstances I ended up writing both my third and final entries at the same time; because of an unfortunate accident (which you will find all about on my final entry) I was unable to complete the blogging process in an organized way. But no matter this inconvenience I wanted to give a clear account of what had happened regarding every one of my action points before ending this process.

First we have my completion of the workshop: Organizing yourself and your time. Applying the techniques that I learned on this workshop has helped me to start working on one of my biggest weaknesses. I have always had a problem with time management and as a result with following through and finishing things in an organized way. With a macro-plan as a way to visualize how to get to your clear goals, life takes a new dimension: it seems achievable.

Regarding the reflective writing I am happy to see I have a notepad with around 20 pages of reflections in different subjects. I am no longer afraid to write what I am thinking, on the contrary I use it as a way to organize my ideas, This is a mayor skill I have acquired after this first workshop, because I have seen the advantages it brings and the results it offers. I am now using it not only for my personal development but also for my assignments and I am sure I will continue using through out my professional development as well.

And finally for my career, this workshop has helped me organize myself around what is most important for me at the moment. I have now been to several meetings with a careers and skills advisor and I have now my CV revised and ready to be sent out. This is a big advantage, as it will help me take the next step in applying for jobs once the New Year arrives.

December 2012

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Most recent comments

  • Thank you for this first blog entry. It sounds as if things have been very difficult but that you ar… by on this entry
  • Hi Maria Thank you for your final blog. I am sure when you came to the workshop and submitted your f… by Beverley Maynard on this entry
  • Hi Maria You seem to have maintained the focus of macro–planning, prioritising and delegating. I am … by Beverley Maynard on this entry
  • Hi Marie Please accept my apologies for the non–response to your blogs – I have had a few problems w… by Beverley Maynard on this entry
  • Hi Maria, Gosh, I am very sorry to read about your accident. What a difficult time you have had rece… by Amanda Randall on this entry

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