Personal Development Profile Analysis
Reflecting on my own personal development is sometimes a difficult thing to do; it can be hard to accurately determine how you have improved, what aspects of your work still need improving, etc. However, over the course of my work, I believe I have come a long way from where I have started, and I look forward to continually improving my own abilities. In the beginning, I found myself having difficulty with some aspects of learning, but I have made substantial progress toward increasing the speed of my presentations, being more inclined to think critically while learning, and having a greater willingness to work on my learning difficulties.
Personal Development Analysis
In my own personal development analysis, I will reflect on my study skills, my abilities during presentations, and my work ethic/time management skills. As for study skills, I am often nervous about whether or not I have the ability to learn what I am being taught in class. Because I do not take notes in class, it sometimes becomes difficult for me to know whether or not I am absorbing all of the information I am being given in my work. I will sometimes take pictures of slides being shown in the classroom for assignments, but I feel as though I could make better use of the class resources in order to organize this data to make myself learn faster. My ability to memorize, called rote learning, is something I think could come in handy if I were to improve it – this way, I would not even have to take notes in order to retain this information (Hilgard & Irvine, 1953).
My skills and behavior during presentations is another area worthy of reflection. While I believe I have improved substantially from when I started, there are still some areas I can improve on. In presentations, I find myself working, acting and talking too quickly; my time restraints are often limited, and that means I run out of material before the time is up, making for a lot of empty, unused time and a rushed performance. I often feel as though I am not organized enough, and I can get anxious when speaking in public, which leads me to feel like I am getting off track. I also worry that I do not engage my audience enough when speaking; I am very much focused on getting the words out, to the point where I fear I am boring or confusing the class at times. A lot of my problems stem from this fear of public speaking; no matter how organized I get, it can still feel as though I am completely lost (Purdon, 2011). There have been times when I freeze up in presentations, and I let that throw off my energy and rhythm, leaving me to rebuild my momentum in a presentation.
Finally, I wish to reflect on my capacity for time management, and my ability to focus on work outside of classroom hours. All too often, I will get lazy and put off work; I procrastinate on occasion, allowing myself to say, “I’ll take a break first and THEN work,” when I should just get my work done right away so I have time to relax later (Kranyik & Shenkman, 1963). What ends up happening is that I cram all of my work in at the last minute, which makes me unable to really process it or do a good job (Materna, 2007). I believe this is probably my most significant hurdle to overcome in my personal development, as I have made the least progress with it compared to the other two areas for improvement.
Personal Action Plan
I have a personal action plan that I wish to put in place in order to make these improvements previously mentioned. First, I wish to continue my progress in rote learning and improving study skills, primarily by using mnemonic devices and other memorization techniques to make sure I remember what I learn in class better (Brookfield, 1995). I may even type out some notes in a Word processor after class so that I can organize them better, effectively creating study sheets out of my notes that will make for better reflection (Kerka, 1995). As for presentations, I simply need to continue practicing my public speaking, perhaps through repetition, rehearsing the presentation in front of friends, and gaining confidence through experience (Purdon, 2011). My time management and study skills improvements will involve making to-do lists and blocking off specific times for studying, removing distractions and rewarding myself for a job well done (Galbraith, 2004). I plan on installing to-do apps on my phone that will remind me of tasks I need to complete, and due dates for completing them (Rwehumbiza, 2013). Within the space of four weeks, I wish to get to a place where I can memorize and retain the information learned in each class, have completed at least one presentation successfully on time without freezing or rushing through my speech, and have completed all my schoolwork each day successfully and competently before 8pm, without needing to cram at the last minute.
In conclusion, these areas of improvement are currently the main obstacles for me to overcome in my personal development as a student. Currently, I still have trouble taking notes and making them organized and useful for my learning, am too nervous and talk too slowly in public speaking and presentations, and I have difficulty managing my time and making sure I put forth enough time in my studies. These difficulties come from an overall nervousness when presenting in front of people, a habit of procrastinating and a lack of well-honed and practiced study skills. Positive reinforcement will really help me curb these bad habits, and I believe this personal action plan will help me along the way to becoming a better student and presenter.
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