Francisca Pinto Chepillo’s Blog: Tips on how to be more productive by FPINTO
Theories and experiences on team learning – Academic adventures in Proakatemia
by Francisca Pinto Chepillo, Universidad Diego Portales/FEE, Chile
The first days we spent here on Proakatemia we met awesome people. One of them helped us to understand what this space is about. He also showed us how academic work is really done here. He wrote an interesting essay which really caught my attention, because I thought that the culture shock was, to me, a huge impact.
I took that essay myself and made some changes on how to be more productive but incorporating the wellbeing and mental heath as one of the most important issues to be aware of at the moment you try to get things done.
Below, you can find my own tips on how to be more productive:
- Set goals. Short, middle, and long term. Be accurate in what you want to do and learn. Set objectives, measurable and reachable goals. A good tool to set goals is the “Learning contract”!
- Avoid interruptions while working, like using your cellphone. Use the “free time” like transportation time to check your social networks.
- Set a comfortable work environment, get out of the desk. Look for your space where your ideas and creativity can flow the most.
- Focus on what you do best in order to reach your full potential.
- Combine or complement activities that you are into with the ones you have to do professionally.
- Do not try to do everything, prioritize your activities and focus in few tasks.
- Be aware of your mental health, you are not a superhuman, know where your balance and limits are. Avoid a burnt out.
- If you don’t get all the things done, don’t panic or punish yourself for it, it’s ok! Just schedule your activities again and keep going.
- Use a schedule to plan your weeks, write everything you want, have and should do.
- One thing I heard in a training session the daily schedule of a prime minister, the day has 24 hours, use 8 to sleep, 8 to work and 8 hours for pleasure and exercise. Work is important, but also have a good rest and enjoy the day.
With all that said, the organization in your activities is crucial fact to get things done and in the right way. Don’t forget taking care of yourself physically and mentally.
*compiled from learning and training sessions at Proakatemia.
What does it takes to have a strong team by FPINTO
Proakatemia is a supportive community. Safe, flexible and reliable environment to work on.
Teamwork is based on collaboration, communication and the most important thing for me, trust.
To me, there are two key elements to get this type of community, the environment and the members. This environment lets the team to develop as individuals and as a group, everybody has a similar goal, and mindset based on the values of Proakatemia. On the other hand, the members which are willing to share everything that’s on their minds and that’s because they trust in their teams. Not only ideas but what’s bothering them. It could be personal issues or just when they don’t feel motivated.
An example to this is the tool used in Proakatemia, called the “learning contract”, that facilitates the communication between the members, by sharing your contract with the others, and letting them know deeper about yourself. This is based in 5 questions, where have you been? where are you now? where you want to go? how are you going to get there? how do you know you are there?
These sessions are about sharing. As I heard the past week, “Sharing is caring”, so by letting the team know more about you allows them to get to know you better but it also lets the team know your weaknesses and strengths. The more others are willing to trust and to hear each other the more you can make a strong team work environment.
At the same time, they support each other even when teammates are not in the same page or working in the same project. I see that they always have each other’s back in a professional background but also in and personal background. Then again, at a training session we discuss this topic and what I pick up the most is that the team is as strong as the weakest member. And even if some of them aren’t really friends, they accept that fact and always take care of each other, even though they don´t have to, they try to be supportive if someone is going through something difficult.
It is also important to in fact, listen to what the whole team has to say. There is a saying that believes that you can be hearing but not listening at all. Sometimes this happens in a dialogue when they are all discussing a topic, and everybody wants to be listened, but no one is really hearing the others. The conclusion to this is that, if you care about each other and about the team you should be able to hear each other in order to move on with your projects since you know where you want to be and what you want to achieve, the key task is to hear everyone and come to a common goal.
* Compiled from learning and training sessions at Proakatemia.
* References from “Theories and experiences on team learning, Proakatemia academic adventures”.