Thursday, 20 August 2015

Thing 11 - Reflective Practice

Reflection - Deep thinking 

We are almost halfway through the Things and this might be a good time to take a moment to reflect on the progress that you have made in Rudai 23 over the last 10 Things. Are you up-to-date with your blog posts? Did you skip any and keep meaning to go back to them? Did you get stuck on Thing 3?

The Reflective Practice modules in this course allow you to ask yourself some important questions. So far you have looked at where you are at in your career, how you got to that point and where you see yourself headed in the future. We feel that, at this point half way through the course, it's a good time to look at other things such as time management.

When you considered signing up for this course you probably asked yourself questions like 'do I actually have time in work for Continuing Professional Development, will my employer allow me to take the time? If I want to make time outside work, is it actually manageable?'

 'If I know that my time is limited, but I really want to partake, HOW can I make time?' 


We all have our own way of getting things done, however with courses like Rudai 23 these things might get put to the bottom of the list. 

Procrastination is my very dear friend and I don’t really like her. I recently read a website called mindtools and which says “Procrastination is as tempting as it is deadly” and it is very true.

Ask yourself this:  'what is holding me back? Why do I not want to do this?'

Reflect deeply on this and be honest with yourself and not only will you get the right answer but very often the solution too. 

When you have good time management, you are less stressed because things get done. Good time management is a continuing lesson to learn. Be realistic, your life changes and so does the demand for your time. Finding moments to commit to things can be difficult but with a bit of creativity it can be done.  Sometimes all that is needed is to knuckle down and get it done - work hard at it and you will achieve all you have ever wanted and more.

For those of you who are finding it difficult to keep up with the Rudai 23 schedule we have a few helpful pieces of advice that hopefully will put you on the right track. 


Let it all go

Try not to get overwhelmed with blogging.  I have put together a few Blogging tips that will hopefully help you if you are getting bogged down with trying to write the perfect blog post – if you have any that you would like to share then please do so in the comments.
  • Don’t think about it too much, I know there is the name, theme, pictures and background to consider, but do this bit by bit. You don’t need to perfect it on day one, reflect on what you wish it to be like and what content you wish to post.
  •  Not everyone will read your blog, so don’t worry about it being “out there”. The chances of people reading it and commenting on it will only happen if you also do that with other people’s blogs or if you engage with people on twitter and you blog link is listed.
  • Editing – this will be the biggest draft you will make time and time again because of the editing you will do. STOP, POST, READ. And then reflect and edit, it is your free uncontrolled thoughts that I love the most in blog posts, where you don’t over think anything and a really good piece of writing happens.




If you find that support is something that you need then a buddy system really does work, so my next tip is Engagement.

If you know someone in your workplace or a friend that is a professional call on them and set up a buddy system.  The buddy system is tailored to a workplace environment. Your buddy is there to guide you and share their own experiences of the workplace.
Maybe there's someone you know in your workplace or online that is also doing the Rudai 23 course or a similar course. Why not reach out and ask for advice?
 If they are not in the same profession as you, they could tailor it to their own specifications and the wonderful part is you get to have a closer insight into each other’s profession, values, skills, etc.
We have a lot of school librarians doing this course. Perhaps some of you can get together in a real or virtual study group to help eachother. 

Michael Stephens of very kindly shared this article with us on Twitter recently. He recommended it as relevant read for anyone doing the Rudai 23 course and we would love for you to read it.

Michael is a huge advocate of blogging for CPD and professional growth as well as for growth and innovation in libraries. Courses like Rudai23 give our profession and ourselves visibility - Stephens encourages this but warns it is fragile and is something we need to work on all the time. Networking, blogging and sharing ideas keeps you visible and we hope that once you've completed this course you will continue to use the tools that you learned about here.



You may have noticed, in our Rudai 23 calendar, that we have a catch up week in September. Thing 15 will be published on the 3rd of September and Thing 16 will be published on the 14th of September. You will have a full ten days in between to catch up if you find yourself falling behind. Write that down now and make some time to accomplish a few things during those few days.

Making a study plan is a very effective way to get things done. Write down what you're going to do each day and stick to it. Give yourself plenty of room in that study plan, be realistic about what you can achieve -  this is a lesson in itself, some things will not get done just acknowledge that. Don't be too hard on yourself. 

Your Tasks for This Thing Are:

  • Make a study plan if you feel you need to catch up
  • Write about how you are managing your time during this course.

Are you doing this course alone or with others. Do you have any tips for the other course participants for managing time?

If you need assistance over the next few weeks, please contact the Rudai 23 team, you are not alone. Tweet us, email us, create a google hangout with us, we will help.

And congratulations to everyone who is on Thing 10, it is a wonderful experience for us to read and comment on the blog posts.

Thing 10 was brought to you by Siobhan McGuinness, a library and records management assistant in the Heritage Council, Kilkenny.

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