I have a secret. One of those things that only my family knows.
When I am overwhelmed or anxious, I do two things; I react in two ways & they never fail. My telltale signs of being overwhelmed are evident only to my family (and now you, I guess).
A – I get insanely irritable. Abrupt noise bothers me, questions aggravate me, and I become quick-tempered. #truth
B – I clean & organize. By clean, I mean I deep-clean. Just last week, I was anxiously awaiting a meeting and our kitchen cabinets were the lucky recipient of that deep-clean. All of the plates and glasses were removed from the cabinets and put on the kitchen island. The insides of the cabinets were wiped with a Clorox wipe, dried, then the plates were returned and glasses/cups were inventoried. Only about two-thirds made it back into the cabinet to be used again.
These occasions are when closets are cleaned out, book shelves are reorganized, and the playroom looks like something out of a magazine.
It could be said that this is counter-productive because I’m not even working on the things that I’m anxious about or crossing off items that have me overwhelmed. I agree. But goodness, I feel so much better after a good deep-clean of just one area that I then feel more equipped to handle whatever is coming at me.
The 63rd book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line shares skills for moments like these in life. Lisa Johnson wrote Creatively Productive to share ways to “calm the chaos”, “tame time”, share “notes on note-taking”, help us set goals and track habits, provide tools for reflection, and encourage us to “read, write, review”.
I have decided that Lisa and I would be best friends in real life. I am a Xennial, sandwiched squarely between Generation X and Millennials, not identifying with either group. I enjoy organizing just a tad too much and although I am a digital learning coach (stereotyped as one who knows everything about & only values computers & devices), I have a real appreciation for all things analog. Anything in the teal family is also my favorite color! In fact, my wedding colors were a shade of teal (David’s Bridal Oasis), silver, and white.
I’ve always been a “to-do” list kind of girl! I love creating & using calendars marking time as it passes and tasks that have been accomplished. At the moment I have no less than 7 calendars I am using regularly – a mix of digital and analog. There are TWO on my fridge at home – one is a dry erase calendar that keeps our weekly plans visible, while the other is a traditional monthly calendar that gives us a long-range outlook. I am goal-driven and sometimes create goals that seem (or ARE) impossible to accomplish.
For all of these reasons, I was so eager to read Lisa’s book, Creatively Productive! Typically I can finish and blog about a DBC book in one day, but I kept getting side-tracked by all of the resources and tools that Lisa mentions and it took quite a bit longer than usual to finish this one! Her book has a theme of Alice in Wonderland and the idea that the rabbit hole can go as deep as we’re willing to dig. With some topics Lisa writes about, I dug a very, very deep rabbit hole. I also discovered that I might go broke buying new journals for myself this month… my husband thanks you, Lisa <sarcasm font activated, ha>!
There are *SO* many things I love about this book! Rather than write a 2000-word blog, I’ll just list some of the things I’m most excited about:
- A technology base camp for our 6th graders
- Allowing students time to organize themselves digitally after modeling it
- Bullet journaling (Oh Em Gee, how have I never heard of this?!)
- “The real key to success is exploration and error.”
- Flow-charting a recurring event (Chromebook collection)
- Productivity BINGO (My kids will be willing to do their chores with this!)
- Note-taking templates for research
- Goal autopsy
- Lisa’s habit trackers (I got the pre-release goodies and whoa! Hope there’s more where these came from, Lisa!)
- Visual goals with a muse (I have the picture of Dave Burgess & I at the second #tlap keynote I attended thumbtacked to my cork board in my office.)
- Apps: Aging Booth, Moment, Paper by 53 (now Paper by We Transfer)
- Year in Pixels
- Positive procrastination
- “There are multiple versions of you, and you must figure out which prototype fits the best.”
- 16personalities.com (Seriously, go do this real quick!)
- Flawd by Emily-Anne Rigal
See what I mean? To extend on each of these would take forever, and I truly want to implement every single one of these bullet points! These are ALL new ideas, or things I want to ponder from this book! You’ve got to get a copy to find out what all of these are about because they really are pretty awesome! Lisa gives tons of photos in the book so you can see where she, someone she knows, and/or her students have implemented these themselves!
Some of the super unique features of this book are the “Awesome Amulet”, “Wakeful Whimsy” and “Working Wisdom”! The Amulets are checklists written as learning targets and the Wakeful Whimsy has ideas for how to implement these targets in each core subject area (ie, think of a historical figure and determine what the folders in their Google Drive would say, etc)! Finally, the working wisdom is at the back of the book! Lisa asked dozens of successful people to complete a survey answering questions about topics relevant to her book, and we reap the benefits of seeing their answers & advice! One of my favorite questions is about the advice for the future that they would give to middle and high school students! I will be sharing this advice with my students, for sure!
There is so much to takeaway from Lisa Johnson‘s book and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Again, here’s a link to purchase it! All of Lisa’s contact information will be available on the stellar Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc website here. Specifically you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on the web. As always, there is a flipgrid available for you to share your thoughts and reflections, thanks to Andrea Paulakovich (an incredible educator in Kansas that you absolutely must follow).
Here are some tweets that highlight my takeaways as well! I can’t wait to see what you tweet out to #CreativelyProductive!
No surprises here. https://t.co/O2pmSfrstz is terrific, @TechChef4u! Another example of my, um….positive procrastination, lol! I’m curious to see what our PLN results! Reply to LMK!#tlap #LeadLAP #CreativelyProductive #waledchat #teachpos #ncdlcn #champforkids #ShiftThis pic.twitter.com/mMB7DgMXqH
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) February 2, 2019
Of all the quotes to take my breath in #CreativelyProductive, THIS was the one that really hit home. “Sometimes when you wander, you find your path.” @TechChef4u #DBCBookBlogs #tlap #LeadLAP pic.twitter.com/UFKusbmoOP
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) February 3, 2019
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) February 3, 2019
As for implementation, I was serious when I said I want to implement each of those bullet points! I can’t even pick just one or two! This book will impact both my professional and personal life! It’s just too full of terrific ideas! Lucky for me, I already have a Rocketbook Wave, so it looks like the Year in Pixels, Doodle-A-Day, and Bullet Journal already has a home! This is going to be fun!