E-flections of an Educator

Getting SMART About Getting Done

Posted on: July 18, 2009

The other day I wrote a post outlining my dissertation, and thinking about what needs to be done so I can graduate in May of 2010. I received some great comments in response to my request for suggestions for staying focused and maintaining balance. Joan Young suggested using SMART goals to break the project into manageable chunks. I have to admit, I never really thought about using SMART goals for anything other than curriculum and instruction. I really think this approach will help me. The other suggestion Joan had was using checklists. I love lists! Sometimes, however, I end up with lists that are so long they can become overwhelming. Joan suggests breaking lists down into a doable day’s worth of accomplishments.  (On a side note, Joan has an amazingly talented brother named John; if you love jazz, you owe it to yourself to take a listen to The John Patitucci Trio at the Kennedy Center.)

My birthday buddy, Tracy Rosen, shared a quote by Langston Hughes:  “…the only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it,….” Great advice, Tracy! Tracy also noted what I’m doing here “writing about your process online and inviting comments – is helpful.”  Tracy’s blog contains some great writing and thinking; click over to Leading from the Heart and check it out.

So, I’m going to list the things to be accomplished (ie: chapter 1, chapter, 2, etc.), and create SMART goals for each. Then I will use tadalist to create lists for each SMART goal.  Let’s start by making this goal SMART: by Friday, July 24, I will have a list of SMART goals for each of the major dissertation tasks to be completed. Also by Friday, I’ll have tadalists started for each SMART goal, knowing that I can continue to add to the lists. The lists will be public, so people familiar with the process can help me refine them, and maybe the lists will help someone else who is beginning the journey.

I’ll start each day with a goal and task list. Goal for today & tomorrow: By 10:00 PM on Sunday, July 19, I will read the manual and score the SoCQs from my study. (I’m not putting the task list here.) UPDATE: All surveys scored and profiles printed by Sunday at 8:10 PM–1 hour and 50 minutes ahead of goal. Yea, me!!

And I’ll continue to blog about my progress, seeking feedback from my network.

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2 Responses to "Getting SMART About Getting Done"

Thanks Linda for the mention and I am glad that my suggestion helped! I am going to take my own advice as well and get some of my goals broken down and listed. Thanks also for the mention of my brother 🙂 I am inspired by your hard work and hope to eventually get back to school for a doctorate as well! Best to you..

[…] Last week I wrote a few posts (here, here & here) about my dissertation progress and plans to graduate in May, 2010. In one of the posts […]

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