It has been a few months since I last wrote a reflections post. As such I thought it was about time I once again put things in writing for review by my future self. In reviewing how things are going, I am going to make use of the titles from my pledges post to structure my thoughts.
It is apt that I write this reflection this week now the weather has been nice although I note that the current bank holiday weekend sees the predictable rain. Last weekend, when it wasn’t raining, I spent time with the youngest playing football at the local football park. A nice way to spend the day however am not as happy with the sunburn I ended up with.
Going forward we have also decided to book a family holiday. It has been a number of years since we last did a family holiday so it is about time. I am already looking forward to it as surely this will generate a whole range of family memories.
Professional Development (PD)
I think professional development is something which I am progressing well with. On the IT side of things in particular this is driven by my CISSP and CISA certifications which both require a yearly amount of CPE (continual professional education) hours. As such I am having to make sure that I get involved in some PD each month in order to meet the annual target and maintain the 2 certifications.
I have now decided to undertake a third certification in the ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control certification. After some indecision I finally decided to move forward with this certification given my view that GDPR is best addressed through a risk based approach. As such a certification which focussed on risk management seems like a logical choice.
I also continue to experiment and try new things including further developing my PowerBI skills, playing with a new MS Surface device on loan from Microsoft and also trying out new apps such as Microsoft Whiteboard.
For those who may have read some of my past posts a need to work on fitness has been a long standing item; A long standing item but with very meagre, if any progress. In the last couple of weeks I may have finally made some progress. Basically I have started with getting up earlier on most mornings, and going for a 30min brisk walk. The picture is from one such walk. This is on top of my walk across campus each morning. Looking at the data from my Fitbit device this change has meant that my average distance walked per day is steadily increasing as is my calories burned. I have so far managed this for only three weeks so my challenge going forward is to turn the progress made into a sustained habit. I suspect my next reflection blog will be telling as to my success or failure in this area.
I continue to be ahead of my book per month target for the year. My hope is that the summer weather will make this something I can make significant progress in however I do note that my bookshelf is now lacking in books yet to read, so I will need to restock it at some point in the month ahead.
I have made a reasonable habit of journaling now such that I am writing a weekly log of my thoughts and also the events of the week. The habit is still relatively new so in some weeks I write on a Friday, on others a Saturday and occasionally on a Monday. I need to ensure I keep journaling and I suspect I would benefit from being able to be consistent with when I do my journaling.
The one thing I will say is that time seems to be rushing by. We are now in the final term of the year and it feels like it has come around in a flash. I feel things have been going well however it may be worth reflecting at the end of the academic year as to what has or has not been achieved.
May has seen a few tasks where I have had to overcome difficulties or obstacles. This has been very frustrating at times however perseverance has brought about progress albeit slower than I would have liked. The key thing I note is that the obstacles and frustrations come quickly to mind. I need to take care that these predominant memories do not distort my perception of events. There were some key wins and progress was made; this is the key factor.
I recently, also, conducted a little leadership survey. I originally conducted a survey two years ago, after being in post for around 6 months. It has been interesting to compare the results from them with now, 2 years further on. The results show a slight positive improvement which is good however more important is the identification of a couple of areas to examine to try and bring about improvement.
As I reach half term I feel I have a large number of tasks which need to be addressed over the half term. This has left me feeling a little overwhelmed at times. I think the last week of May, the half term break, will be an opportunity to stop and reflect and re-establish which tasks truly are important and need to be prioritised as well as those tasks which either need to be delegated on simply not undertaken.
May has come and gone quickly as seems to be the way of things for a while now. I feel I continue to make progress and after much procrastination, I am particularly pleased with my progress on personal fitness. I feel that as I move towards the end of the 2017/18 academic year I need to re-establish that which is truly important particularly in my work, focusing on these areas. I wonder if the reason that time seems to be passing so quickly is simply due to not prioritising. May has seen some frustrations, some difficulties but ultimately seen positive progress.
Onwards and upwards……….