Written by Sarah Bevier, M.S. CCC-SLP

How is it December? I swear we were just kicking off a new school year and it’s almost halfway over! That is partly awesome and partly terrifying! I know that I often live by the idea that there is still time. “I’ll start Monday”, “I’ll catch up over the weekend”, and “that can wait” are lies I tell myself on a regular basis. And the next thing you know another month has gone by.

One of our company core values is ‘We are proactive, not reactive.’ While I have seen some genuine efforts by the company and myself to become more proactive, I also know that we have a lot of work to do, and the time is now (not next Monday).

  • First step - self-awareness ✔

  • Next Step - reflection

Here are some of the things I’m proud to say we have improved:

  1. Having a to-do list. We use Asana to create and track our tasks and projects and it has significantly improved how we work as individuals and as a team.

  2. Developing efficiency methods. Over the last year, we have documented our processes and found resources to streamline some of our responsibilities. We spoke about this in our SLP Summit presentation and even created a resource for you that you can find here.

  3. Prioritizing tasks. Lisa and I began using a quarterly planner to help us map out the top three things we need to accomplish each day. It’s a work in progress but it has definitely helped us to focus!

  4. Setting goals. In 2021 we developed an annual goal and then each quarter came up with objectives that would help us to reach it! We have done an awesome job of prioritizing around our objectives.

  5. Not dwelling on mistakes, but learning from them. As a chronic overthinker I can definitely perseverate on a mistake but am constantly learning to just chalk it up to a learning experience and working to use that to better myself!

Here are areas that need improvement:

  1. Having a routine. The best way to stay on top of the day-to-day is to have a consistent routine. I get easily distracted and bored so this is challenging for me. But starting off my day by checking my to-do list, prioritizing the top three things I want to accomplish, working on the hardest thing first thing in the day, having set times to respond to emails, etc. improves my productivity.

  2. Working well with others. I love being a part of a team but even back when I was in grad school I definitely preferred working solo versus on group projects. But there is so much benefit to collaborating. One of my goals for next year is to incorporate more planning time with other team members.

  3. Not overcommitting ourselves. We need to master the art of saying no. As people pleasers, as well as individuals that know where they can add value, it’s easy to take on too many things. As much as our intentions are in the right place we can’t do anything well when we try to do everything!

  4. Plan ahead. It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment but the key to being proactive is to constantly be thinking about what’s ahead and staying ahead. We took some time this year to map out what a typical year looks like so that we could start to plan and implement well in advance, but this is hard to do when you are constantly in survival mode! This is definitely a work in progress for us, but we are taking steps in the right direction.

Our motto the past year or so has been centered around the idea of constantly unlearning. We recognize this in multiple aspects of our lives, including our work habits! Instead of worrying about what we haven’t done yet, we instead look at these as areas we can grow in.

Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

― Oprah Winfrey

We are ready for 2022 and the challenges and growth it will bring on!

Sarah

About the Author

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I have worked in the field of speech-language pathology for the past 10 years and have a passion for the school setting. I am a 6th generation native of Mesa, AZ where I reside with my husband, two children, two dogs and Penny the hedgehog. When I am not working or being a busy mom, I love to craft, shop, read, or catch up on my favorite shows!

I co-created the innovative web app SLP Toolkit. We are school SLPs who are passionate about streamlining workload so time can be spent where it counts - with students. www.slptoolkit.com