At the end of December I received an email from Ian Byrd at Byrdseed.com. Do you know about Byrdseed.com? Ian Byrd, a gifted person, spoke at the WATG fall conference a few years ago. He has a website; an e-newsletter; resources; a subscription video site called Byrdseed.tv that offers lessons, videos, professional development; and more. Byrd has a unique approach to teaching and learning for gifted students since he himself is gifted. Because of that, I have followed his website for years.
In the December email, Byrd mentions a reflecting and planning method, Four List, that he uses quarterly. I do not propose using it that often, unless you wish to, but at the start of a new year, it may be a worthwhile endeavor to help you reflect and plan at least for the next few months. The Four List method utilizes four blank boxes on a page. Each box has a title: things that you want to continue to do, continue to not do, stop doing completely, and start doing. Byrd gives examples for teachers, and from his professional life. If you view the video and read the article on the website, he explains a little more about the Four List method.
Gifted students and their parents/caregivers may want to use this method, too. Sometimes students who are gifted have so many interests that they appear to go in many different directions. Others focus extensively on one or two areas. This Four List method may give all of these students an opportunity to reflect on how they spend their time, energy, and effort, and plan for their future endeavors. Parents/caregivers also may want to use the Four List method to help consider prioritizing activities in their busy family, professional, and personal lives. This may help parents feel empowered to say no to adding more activities to an already full schedule.
While some may view the Four List approach as focusing on the negative (not do, stop), rather than the positive (do, start), Byrd makes a good point about being deliberate and selective about what you do that takes your energy, time, and effort.
Only you can determine what is important in your life and what should be a priority for your energy, time, and effort. Perhaps using the Four List method by Ian Byrd is something to consider for students and adults to help make decisions as we seek to manage life in the new year, or any time.
Reflecting and Planning with Four Lists
By: Ian Byrd, www.byrdseed.com
Video, article, and download.
Dr. Wanda Routier
Former WATG Board Member
Ask the Doctor