Setting goals can be an overwhelming task. When you look ahead to the future, it is easy to drown in a sea of ideas and tasks you want to accomplish. Typically, at least in my experience, people tend to create too many goals for the future. Now, that sounds ridiculous–you can never have too many goals, but I know that in my past, I have created book lists that I have never finished or goals that were too unattainable at the moment that made me then not try as hard to achieve them because I thought I would never get there.
I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to create goals day by day. Of course you can have an idea of where these goals will get you in the future, but they needn’t restrict you yo feeling suffocated or pressured on a daily basis. Now of course, this is common sense knowledge and I am sure many people already know how to set goals in a way that works best for them–however I wanted to talk about the importance of making daily goals, and how that had helped me in my internship so far.
Working at culture project has been a new experience for me–as I said in my first blog, I’ve never really had a job where I had to sit tat a computer all day and do research. Sometimes the tasks I am given to perform are broad, and it is my job to narrow it down and create an outline for myself of how I am going to research the topic, etc. There is no prompt like there typically is from a professor, and for that reason, I felt a bit lost. I knew what the general gist of our project was and I knew that our first topic to research was the inequality in education based on high and low socioeconomic status, however, what question was I supposed to answer with this research? I know we are creating a panel discussion, but how do I go about this with no example? I really enjoyed the research and of course I took loads of bullet points of notes noting the facts I felt were essential, but I felt I had no direction and I didn’t look forward to coming in and spending 8 hours researching something that I felt had no end.
Today at work I tried what I always do when I set up camp at the reading room during finals week. I spread all my materials out, ripped out a piece of paper, and wrote “TO DO” in big letters across the top of the page. I then started numbering different tasks. 1. Make a page of all the links you have used so far. 2 create a page for possible speakers to come who are involved in the education system. 3. Create a page that states the problem and trends that keep moving this problem into modern days instead of stopping years ago. Etc.
I cannot tell you how much easier my day has been so far with just this simple task sheet in front of me. I think structure is one of the greatest necessities in performing tasks efficiently and I want to bring this need for organization to a broader level. Not only is structure needed on the individual level, but also on the grand scale of the whole organization. I have realized here that if organization can be improved, things will function better. The staff here do a little bit of everything, and while that is great that they are all capable to do such tasks and have so much knowledge, perhaps if everyone had clear cut goals and assignments things would be different. Now I am not saying that things do not run smoothly here, because everyone seems to have everything under control and each person sitting at his or her desk knows what they are doing, I just feel that things could be tighter. But that is besides the point. The point is that it have realized that if every part (person) of the organization is structured, the whole is destined to be so as well.
As for the 2 “SMART” goals I plan to set for myself this summer, I think writing all of the above had helped me reach this decision.
1. I will make a daily to-do task
2. I will leave here with something I am proud of and can show to others. –I know I will be writing s 15-20 page research paper at the end of this internship, but I mean something in addition to that. I originally had set my goal to write a play by the end of the summer, but I don’t want to restrict myself and feel pressured to write something that does not come naturally–so whether it is a documentary, a play, a short story, a series of real testimonies joined together to create a mini novel about the dangers of crossing the border (a topic I am interested in working on next), or simply just an awesome PowerPoint, I will create something I can bring back with me to school to continue fighting for these issues through the power of artistic expression.
Thanks for reading!
Until next week,