This year we’ve been trying something new. It’s called the Personal Growth Plan, or PGP for short. It’s another class we participate in, and is a mandatory part of PLP. It is a course dedicated to increasing productivity, goal setting, and learning about the 7 Habits.
Over the course of the year we have been working in techniques and strategies to help us better organize and balance our homework and rest of our life. To cap off this years’ learning in this course, I’m answering the following question in this post:
“What do I know now that I wish I knew before?”
To start it off, I’ll talk about the first main aspect of PGP that we learned about. That is Productivity.
To start off the year, we were introduced to a new app. It’s called Things. This app is similar to the default reminders app for IOS phones and iPads, in that you can add tasks and to-dos for later. These to-dos can be set to repeat on certain days, and you can also set due dates for assignments. At first I didn’t think much of it, and then I slowly warmed up to it. When I was using it a lot, it was helping my productivity. I could easily keep track of my school assignments, for all subjects. But as time went on, I began using it less and less. And I started using my calendar even more.
The calendar works better for me, since it’s more visual and I can still do everything Things could do. It is currently what I’m using everyday, and I find I check it more often. This has boosted my productivity and organization since last year, because before I was relying solely on my memory and talking with friends. But not that I’m balancing a lot more classes, a part time job, and sports, it can get hectic.
My calendar has helped me a lot with another big aspect of productivity, something called timeblocking. It’s where you specifically book off time in your calendar to do certain activities. It ensures you have time for everything and organizes your entire day. This is what I focused on in my final product, which I’ll get to later.
The Productivity aspect of PGP has taught me a lot about organization, and I wish I knew about timeblocking and using my calendar sooner. It has impacted me a lot, and improved my workflow tenfold. Knowing about this would have saved me a lot of late nights and stress in the years prior to this one.
The next part of PGP I’ll talk about is the goal setting. We started by reading a book called What do You Really Want? written by Beverly K. Bachel. It’s a guidebook specifically for teens about time management and goal setting. It took us through multiple activities to help us think about who we are and how to be more realistic in our goal setting based on who we are. For example, we had to make a goal ladder. This is a graphic organizer I guess, made to help us visualize the steps it takes to achieve that goal. It’s meant for longer term goals that have meany steps to get there. For example, here is one of mine:
The first goal ladder is a shorter version, and then I made an extension ladder as well. I tried to follow along with this, but I am not very good at physics so I’m a little far from an “A” unfortunately. A problem with this goal is that it was a little ambitious, and I wasn’t being very realistic when I made it. This is something I learned to recognize in my experience with goal setting in PGP. So, that is something I wish I had known before, how to accurately plan goals that were realistic and achievable.
The 7 Habits
The seven habits are habits you may have heard before. We looked at these from the very beginning of this year, and were to guide everything we did. We looked at each one of them in depth in the book What Do You Really Want, and participated in more worksheets and activities to get us thinking.
In the grand scheme of things, I found these useful, but I didn’t like doing it at the time. I didn’t see the worth, but now I realize that I use the habits in my life all the time, just not necessarily towards school. That’s why I made this video, for one of my creative reflections.
It was about how I didn’t apply these habits to school because I wasn’t motivated to. I never realized how that I was using the habits in activities like skiing, biking or going out with friends. As you could tell from the video above, I need to apply the habits to my schoolwork and homework, and if I do, I will accomplish a lot. I wish I had recognized this before, and started practicing this sooner.
And now, to discuss the final project. The Time Machine.
The goal of this project was to create an artifact that showed ONE aspect of PGP and how it helped us in our lives. We would make this artifact as if we were to give it to the September 2018 versions of ourselves. It would need to show something we wish we knew earlier, hence the driving question at the top of this post. My chosen aspect was timeblocking, as I found it the most realistic and helpful. So without further ado, my final product.
While filming this video, I didn’t really know how it would workout. But after editing it, I’m really happy with the outcome. It’s simple yet it gets a point across in an engaging way, as you have to be watching for “clues” to how my day is going since there’s no dialogue.
The Personal Growth Plan has taught me a fair bit. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but the whole year I knew that it would help me. It’s taught me a lot about productivity, goal setting and the 7 habits, as I said in the beginning. These are things that I’m glad I learned about, as I think in regular school this would never have been shown to us at all. I think that I will benefit from this course for the rest of my life, and I’ll continue to timeblock anything and everything. Overall timeblocking has shaped me to be a better, more organized student. I wish I would’ve known how much better I could be if I used it from the beginning in September. But, I guess that’s what this project is for.