A tricky one for me. I know I should be reflective, particularly when it comes to work matters, yet it's not something that comes easily. Life is just so busy that I don't seem to find the time to stop and look back.
I'm also one of these people who just gets on with stuff. When life deals you a tough hand, you just play it and carry on to the next draw. Chances are the next hand will be better; the odds can't always be stacked against you. I guess I'm a glass half full kind of person. So I don't tend to look back, only forwards.
Now I realise this isn't the way to approach work and I like to think I'm getting better at this (reflective practice in action!). It can be hard to stop and look at your work practices with a critical eye, especially when it's so easy to get bogged down with the day to day things. I keep telling myself to set aside a regular time slot to gather my thoughts together and bring order to a frequently chaotic day.
I did have to find the time to be relective on an assignment I'd been working on last week. I had to design and create a web site for an organisation and include a reflective blog post about the whole process. I quite often get to the stage in an assignment where I think, 'that's it, I've had enough, hand it in!' And I do. But with the reflective element of the assignment, I found myself thinking of the improvements I could have made, items I could add and tweaks I could make. I made amendments that I think have improved the assignment, and more importantly that will improve my marks (fingers crossed!)
It also helps to have someone else to talk to. My husband pointed out a few areas of the website that could be improved. It sometimes takes a fresh eye to point out the obvious. I have Lovely Libraries in work to keep me on my toes. Taking the advice of Joeyanne Libraryanne, I volunteered us into giving a presentation about our social media project at the FE in HE, Welsh Collaboration in Action event at Newport University. It's my first time to speak at a conference and I'm already feeling sick at the prospect. The presentation slides weren't going too well so I did a quick run through with Lovely Libraries and it all suddenly became very clear. Talking it through and reflecting on the project really did help. Sometimes I find I need someone to voice my thoughts to, to hear things said aloud (and you don't look so mad if you're actually talking to someone!).
On reflection, this is the hardest post I've had to write as it is the most personal one so far. Casting a reflective eye over my previous posts I realise I need to include some pretty pictures (so here's one I took on holidays last year) and to keep my posts shorter (as promised in # Thing 4).