Let’s Dive Into Prod…. Squirrel

Ok, that video was funny yet also hit the mark on so many ways multitasking is multi-distracting.  I know I’m a bit of a procrastinator myself (I’ve been working on this blog in my mind for the past few days … even today as I write this I’ve found ‘ways’ to put it off just a little longer … but I digress … just got a Twitter notification on my phone … hang on please … awesome thanks Amanda for the great share… ok back to the blog). Ok, is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?  Let’s see what I can find on our friend Google on this (should really switch to Duck Duck Go).  The first thing that came up was a blog post by former ECI 833 Logan Petlak.  He posted a great video called ‘Can We Autocorrect Humanity’  and made this point on the video (which I agreed with).

Literacy rates have increased substantially since the advent of increased global connectedness in the past fifty years, and while I believe he may feel we are more distracted, I would be inclined to disagree.

Good points to reflect on in this video.

(Hang on just got another Tweet – should probably turn off notifications – brb – wow read this thread I was tagged on and come back to my blog (go ahead the 5 minutes will be worth it I think) it’s really interesting and something maybe we should discuss in class as I’m not 100% sure what exactly is going on here – This.Is.Important.)

Ok, found this on another past ECI833 participant Channing Degelman, “Can Kids Multitask’.  Great read. Great list of tips that the author offers to share with your children, but I’d say even us adults in the room as well.  Here’s one tip:

Explain to your child that his or her brain is like a spotlight. It can only shine on one thing at a time. Share the research on multitasking with your kids.


I try sharing this with my own kids to but have also witnessed some work by both of them that makes it hard to prove this point. But I know they get it too and I have seen both of them work hard to chunk out time to focus on what they need to get done. This tip does relate well to the article on Connectivism that the Productivity Group provided. As technology can help us learn in new ways and hopefully more effecient ways.

Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.


I do believe we have evolved when it comes to learning and helping students learn how to learn, focus, and harness the power of technology are some of the most important skills we can help instill in students (and I’d argue ourselves). 

(just stepped out for a second to get a glass of water … I’m back … hang on  just want to change my Spotify playlist (from 80s to Rock Anthems) ok that’s better)

Was excited to try adding this block haha – may have to sign up to listen too.

I was having a great discussion with a colleague of mine and we were talking about the value of time and how really it’s the most precious commodity we have.  He mentioned to me the Parkinson Law which states

“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.


Watch this video to learn more about Parkinson’s Law (found myself nodding a lot to it (not nodding off but in agreement haha). 

I can totally relate to this concept and it’s something that I have struggled with my whole life.  I’m have been very fortunate that I don’t really stress out and say to myself it’s ok it’s going to get done and it always does, but it has cost me a few nights’ sleep along the way.  One of the tweets I shared on productivity was replied to by Shelby and it was ‘nice’ to know I’m not alone. 

The struggle is real.

(sorry stepped out for a second had to check on the smoker … mmm brisket) 


I appreciated the great work the Productivity Team did on Tuesday (great resources in their Wakelet). It was another trip down memory lane.  I have worked with a lot of tech tools in my ‘day’ and I honestly just try to use the tools I have available to do the job.  I’m lucky that I have had the good fortune to feel comfortable with learning and applying tech tools in my personal and professional life.  Learning and using technology has become a great passion of mine and I don’t mind investing time into learning how they work or adapting to changes that may occur.  I have used Microsoft, Google, and Apple products (I’m a part of the teacher programs for each which has led me to have met so many great people, had so many great experiences, and learned a lot about not only how to use these tools but how to integrate them effectively into the classroom – check out the Microsoft Education Community for example and become a Microsoft Innovative Educator here’s a list of some of the training I have received in this community) and appreciate the Jamboard Activity that we did and reading through a few of the comparison articles the Productivity Group provided. The Schools Leverage Apps and Easy-to-Manage Suites of Learning Tools article for example reinforced that you need to maximize the tool whatever it is to the best of your ability and in the interest of your students.

Tuesday night showed a great use of Jamboard.

For the most part I feel that all this productivity tools have been a benefit for me personally throughout the years (I remember printing out essays on a dot matrix printer from a basic word processor on my Commodore 64 still – so I know the advancements have been good in the long run). 

Long wait time haha

Still there are ‘hiccups’ along the way and we get a little reliant on technology sometimes and are not happy when Murphy’s Law is applied.  

 (Another twitter notification … gotta take this (what social media is designed to do)… thanks Catherine glad you liked this Tweet which actually leads in me into my last section).

The Productivity Team shared many tech tools (Alec has also shared a great list and love the collection Curtis shared with us the other day Techflix).  In my google search of the initial question, I stumbled upon this list of tools that promises to help to stay focused.

15 Tools That Will Help You Stay Focused

Here a couple that caught my eye (disclaimer there is one app on list that has a swear word in it):

Proud – organize your to do list, schedule in time, adjust list, very interesting

Flowstate – I would have lost my blog if I used this haha

HazeOver –  Focus on one app by dimming all the background windows

Interesting list for sure, but sometimes a written to do list or a paper calendar work best for me too.  I also like the analytics I get from my phone and school email.

Ok I made it through my blog with limited distractions and I found all the links I needed to complete this (I’m a ‘tab’oholic what can I say

thanks to OneTab for helping me declutter once in a while … sometimes I’m not even sure how my mind works when using the internet and social media – I’m not really a clutter type of person otherwise – make sure my desk at work is cleared off every day for example).  Now to get the rest of my prep and correcting done … there’s always tomorrow … right? #teacherlife

Until Next Time … Stay Safe and Healthy

7 thoughts on “Let’s Dive Into Prod…. Squirrel

  1. Hey Dean! Loved the post this week – very funny take on it! I liked how you walked us through your blog process and to be honest, mine is very similar! Check this, check that, make supper, change playlist, find a website, watch a video, come back, write blog, leave again and so on and so forth. I totally agree that we have become accustomed to doing so many things at once and also having the option of doing so much at once. Thanks for sharing some of your hacks for increasing focus.


  2. Thanks for taking us on a glimpse inside Dean’s brain. I often feel the same way. However, I tried to utilize some of Nancy’s tips and tricks that she provided in her blog of being a Productivity Ninja. Thanks for the great read Dean!


  3. Dean,

    I love the structure of your blog post! Like Shelby mentioned in her comment, my blogging process goes quite similar to yours! The app, Flowstate, that you mentioned has piqued my interest. I did a quick Google search to learn a little more about it… Talk about high stakes! I feel like this app could be a slippery slope, but it would definitely encourage me to concentrate and get my work done! Thanks for sharing such an engaging and resourceful post!


  4. Dean, I really enjoyed the humor and reality of your blog post. My brain works very much like yours. I feel I am accomplishing something but in the meantime have stopped to do 10 other little things. The way you documented your journey made me giggle. I could visualize it but loved that you added your personal pictures through it! I hope your brisket tasted great! The video you posted ‘Can We Auto-Correct Humanity’ was an excellent look at social media and how it affects our lives. I liked it so much I had to pass it on to my Twitter account (which I am still trying to figure out).


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