Focus My #OneWord2019 @showmerob

I have thought a lot about my one word for 2019, as I am sure that many of you have. It's tough to pick just one word, isn't it? I mean, there are lots of words that can provide inspiration and guidance, but choosing just one word to focus on all year, that requires some special consideration. I wanted a word that could prompt inspiration in both my personal and professional life. I wanted a word that would push me to be better. I wanted a word that would bring to the surface what was most important. These one-word resolutions don't dominate my life. Instead, they're just loose themes. If I'm struggling to make a decision about something, I'll choose the option that best aligns with that year's word. If I find myself drifting off course, I simply remind myself to get back on track — no guilt required. My word for 2018 was

Seems like a theme right? I chose present as my #OneWord2018, which sits in the same dialogue as focus, but let me explain. If you know me, you know it is hard for me to sit in a meeting. My mind wanders to solve problems in a thousand different directions. I really need to gain clarity. This year, I want to ask myself, "what do I want to focus on doing and what can I stop doing, or do less of, in order to fulfill that focus?"


FOCUS - the word itself hits you pretty hard. The word alone is a message, a sign, a warning. We all have these passions, goals, and desires that pull us in so many different directions, if you know me, I am no different. I want to make sure that my focus does not waver, and that I continue to push myself to focus on the end goals that I have set for myself.


Using the Seek - Sense - Share Framework from an article I read on Personal Knowledge Mastery. Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) is a framework for individuals to take control of their professional development through a continuous process of seeking, sensing-making, and sharing.

Seek: there is nothing too wrong with the variety of my incoming streams of content, much of which comes from my use of Flipboard, Twitter, etc. My issue is probably that my interests are too wide and there are multiple “inboxes” that contain intimidatingly large quantities of content items. This results in me often not being able to locate content that I know I have seen.

Sense: On the back of the proactive and reactive Seek-ing above, I don’t do much sensing unless the Seek-ing is for a specific personal/professional immediate need. I do not spend a lot of time Sense-ing and definitely need to do more of that and go deeper with the content I have seen. I need to apply more of what I am learning to increase knowledge mastery vs just sharing new knowledge.

Share: I love to share the quotures from the books I read. They give me an ability to focus on an important area of a chapter in the book I am reading. The act of identifying and creating the quoture, coupled with sharing publicly on Twitter provides others with a lens into my learning. Here are a couple of my favorites from 2018:

From a work perspective, digital transformation continues in Omaha Public Schools. Massive amounts of effort have happened over the last five years to be intentional about this transformation.

As we move forward, more initiatives will provide supports to our students and staff. Focus will be needed to make sure each of these are done with fidelity. Three things I am going to intentionally make a priority for focus:

  1. Create a task map: Use Project or Planner as we do with every other major project - clear milestones help bring clarity to progress
  2. Create a prioritization matrix - It’s all-too-easy to feel like everything on your plate is a top priority. I would rank these in Low/High Effort - Low/High Priority. Sometimes it makes sense to knock out these low-effort and low-priority tasks first to get them off your list and provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Create something tangible - When I feel like I am not moving forward, I try to overcome this by forcing myself to create something tangible for everything I’m working on. Whether it’s a summary memo, a flowchart, or even a simple slide deck (like the transformation slide above), having something to show for your efforts plays a big part in helping you feel as though you’re advancing.

Above all else, remember to keep moving forward


Created with images by bravestatements - "Point of view"

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