Newcastle College suggests using the Reflection Cycle as a good strategy to use to ensure that I am managing my time appropriately. By planning, reviewing, analysing and evaluating my work and methods, I should find that I can manage my workflow easier and also that my productivity increases as a result.
At the start of any project, it’s important to plan. The Reflection Cycle suggests setting a SMART target at this point. Being a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed goal means that SMART targets should ensure that the aim can be achieved and keep motivation up. Once planned, the SMART target could be reviewed. What happened? Was the target reached? From there, the Reflection Cycle suggests analysing the project and your feelings towards it as well as evaluating your work. Using the evaluation, the success of the project could be concluded and any lessons learnt could be outlined.
To summarise, each step of the Reflection Cycle appears to be relevant and provide feedback in some form towards the progress and success of a project.
However, in my opinion I find that I cannot allow myself to be bogged down with corporate mumbo jumbo. Experience has taught me that generic learning methods such as the Reflection Cycle waste my time by expecting me to partake in activities that I find pointless and frustrating. This causes my brain to rebel. As a result, my work suffers and productivity decreases. For me, motivation and targets are very specific to the project at hand. I am goal oriented and need to set an attainable incentive for myself. By tailoring the method to myself in a unique way that sits well with the frame of mind I occupy at that time, means that work gets done.
A good example of this would have to be the latest project that I worked on as part of the FdA Advertising course – ‘Caledonia Best Ale’. As well as studying, I am a full time employee and a part-time intern. This means that time is valuable to me and my day-to-day routine is pretty hectic. It is hard to set SMART targets with an unpredictable month ahead – plans change, nothing is black and white and life throws curve balls at us all. As a result, I found that “Specific”, and “Measurable” targets were not as “Attainable” as one would like. This negativity greatly affected me. My work suffered as I found myself quite simply not wanting to do it. Surely this goes greatly against the ethos of “SMART” targets? As a result, I have taken a firm stance of independent thinking and I have decided to go about my work in a way that I know works for me to ensure that the best possible work is produced and deadlines are adhered to.