Tuesday, 1 February 2011

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How do they get time?

So I haven't updated this blog in a while. I didn't have much time to use twitter either, unfortunately, and my inbox's are full to bursting. The reason? Well, I had a cold, and I moved house, and my Internet connection was erratic, and there was Christmas and I did my back in and blah blah blah. Essentially, life got in the way. And that's fine, it happens from time to time.

At least, that what I tell myself. And even though I'm currently 'between jobs', I'm still struggling to make time to do all the things I want to do. There are so many blogs to read and comment on, #eltchats to participate in, tweets to catch up on, videos to watch, online conferences to attend and that's just on the Internet. There are books and journals to read too, and the small matter of finding a job. Of course, there are non-ELT related matters too. I have to go to the supermarket and do the housework and cook and all of things that everyone else does. Furthermore, there are things I want to do for pleasure like reading, watching TV and films, listening to music, playing video games and so on. Oh, and I really should get some exercise, but somehow that always manages to get pushed to one side.

So whenever I do manage to make time to participate in my profession learning network (PLN), mainly through Twitter and blogs, I am always astonished at the work load and commitment of the participants. How does Jason Renshaw blog everyday while teaching and running his website, all while having two small kids? How does Shelly Terrell blog, tweet, mediate #eltchat and #edchat, run 30 goals and all of the countless other activities that she participates in? There are countless other examples of people, some well known published authors and others who are regular teachers, whose ongoing contributions continue to amaze and inspire me. Every day I think I have to be more like them and that’s why I’m writing this, so at least I can begin to follow their example, and I would urge you to do the same. You can begin by having a look the links on the right, it’s a great way to start.


  1. Hi James!

    I've enjoyed our word game! Helps me relax! LOL! I don't have time just make it but something gives. For example today I burned the beans I was cooking while moderating Edchat. Silly things happen to me all the time. I don't watch much TV and these days pretty much none. I don't sleep really either. However, at the same time I choose to live this way. Some people think it's a bit mad. I think differently. Daily, I remind myself that I only have this one life. I want to make the most of it so that if tomorrow I'm not here I will never regret. I want to help who I can and make a difference in education and the world. I have passions that drive me and I am very focused. According to David, I daydream quite a bit! LOL! I live in the clouds even the virtual one ;-) At the same time, I think there is no prescription for life. I think each of us chooses for ourselves. I wouldn't tell someone they have to be like me or anyone else but maybe establish a vision for themselves and try to live that vision! Thank you for being part of my learning journey and the interaction on the word game and Twitter!

  2. Hi Shelly. Thanks for the insight into how you manage to balance everything. I guess you've really confirmed what I thought, which is that there is no secret technique, you just have to put all the fun stuff and temptation out of sight and mind. It's just as well you obviously enjoy it so much. I'll try my best to follow your example, although I won't be giving up on my precious sleep!

  3. You said it for me James - how the hell do they do it???? I have a son and I can't even imagine having the time to blog. How do Jason and all the other parent/bloggers do it??? How??????

  4. A lot of us aren't parents (I'm not) but obviously we've other things that pull us in other directions. I consult on academic projects, writing a book yada yada. The secret, ok, my secret is focus. I know what I am going to write about all the time. I'm generally about five to six posts ahead in my mind. Most of the time I get a feel for if something is a half-hour post or a twelve-hour-gotta-do-more-research post... I keep the short posts tucked away as drafts for when I get really too busy to write.

    Sometimes when I realize too late that a post is taking too long to write, I'll knock it into the drafts so that I can come back to it later when there's something else to say. Although I have fixed deadlines that I work to meet - I don't beat myself up if I miss one or more... at the end of the day I'm the boss of the blog. But then that's it, I think like Shelly, it's the passion. I blog because I love blogging so much that despite the fact I really don't have time anymore, I show up, on the page and ready to write.

    So I guess that's my tip... it's really just about finding the passion.

    Hope this makes sense, taking a quick breather to see what's in the 'sphere, but going back to work now :-)))

  5. @Alan - Amazing isn't it?

    @Karenne - Thanks for your comments, especially since your time is so precious! For me, I love knowing this blog is out there and that people, no matter how few, read it. I also know that it is very rewarding for me to go through the process of putting my thoughts down "on paper". I just wish I found getting to the point of writing easier. I still have some demons to tackle with that element of it.

  6. With a minimum of fuss, bascially...

    That and an all too realistic awareness that what goes up must come down, and while the pie can grow its size to a certain extent, it can still only really be cut into a finite number of pieces before they each become too small to taste of anything in particular.

    Hope that wasn't too gnomic!


    - J

  7. Thanks Jason. You're like an enigma wrapped inside a puzzle, aren't you? Perhaps you're hiding something, is this the subject of this long awaited new book you've been teasing us with? "The Raven Guide to Time Management." I'll buy it!

  8. 'Hi Ho!'
    Jason's remark is gnomic precisely because it was written by one of the many kept gnomes he keeps in keeping; kept. He has a whole stable of them churning out blogposts and all sorts of other materials. Hell, he even has them moderating the #eltchat (although they wanted to call it #elfchat). That's why he moved back to Australia. The rules governing working gnomes are much more lenient there. Absolutely no way that he could do what he does otherwise. C'mon, Jason. Spill the beans! As for Shelly? Well she is clearly just bionic.

  9. Hi Patrick - s'pose I haven't told you that my younger (though mentally older) sister's name is Naomi, and her nickname in the family is 'Gnomes'?

  10. Thanks Patrick, finally we've had an explanation!



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