Yesterday was an extremely good day. It’s only the act of thinking that that made me wonder how many other days fall short of the mark. I started the day with five things to do and, not only did i finish them all, but one of them i managed to get significantly ahead of schedule for the next deadline too.
Clearly one reason for this sudden ability to clear ‘to do’ lists and leapfrog deadlines is my natural time management and problem solving ability… errr… but something else was clearly at work. What was it?
I could look at what was different yesterday. Well, i did have an early start, which meant time for breakfast and coffee whilst i was writing the blog, but that didn’t really impact on productivity. I did have someone working with me all day, Amanda, who is new in our organisation and who was shadowing me. Ah… maybe there’s some kind of connection there. Maybe i was more productive because i had an audience?
Now that’s a worrying thought: that i work better under supervision. I seem to have spent most of my working life either self employed or as the boss, so effectively never working for anyone else. Sure, i have lots of deadlines, but i very rarely end up in a situation where someone is overseeing my work. It would be a worrying thought indeed if that actually made me more productive.
Within the design of virtual learning environments and e-learning programmes, the question of productivity and engagement is significant. Whilst many people are used to self directed learning, we can’t take this for granted. There are people in our audiences with very little experience of higher or even school level education, who may be unused to being set tasks and left to get on with them, or with a very basic understanding of research techniques.
If supervision really is a factor in productivity and engagement, that’s something significant in terms of learning design.
Or maybe i’m oversimplifying things. Maybe it wasn’t the supervision that made me focussed, maybe it was a clarity of thinking, a clarity which was made necessary by planning the day to be most effective for Amanda. Maybe it wasn’t me being supervised that made me effective, maybe it was the act of me supervising someone else?
This feels more comfortable, putting the responsibility and organisation back in my hands and presenting me as a more considered and proactive participant, rather than someone with an inclination to run off to Facebook at every opportunity.
Or maybe it was something different altogether, i was working in a sunny office, i walked to work, i was listening to a great new album, i had three good nights sleep over the weekend. Or maybe all of the above.
Some days seem to go well, whilst others are, let’s be honest, a bit of a struggle. If only i could figure out why.