Want to Branch Out? 3 Days Remain

Author: Ryan O'Donnell, MS, BCBA

Author: Ryan O'Donnell, MS, BCBA

3 Days Until the Revolution Summit event

I sit here writing this on a Sunday evening because I can predict a bit of what’s going to happen the next six days, but I really want to make sure that I have some sort of content that comes out as consistently as possible.  Here’s what’s about coming up:

  1. I have a 15 hour training to complete with my colleagues at High Sierra industries – we’re building a brand-new professional development module for local school district special education teachers and paraprofessionals on replacement behaviors and communication strategies. Depending on the content it takes us anywhere from 1-100 hours of work to create an hour of training. Luckily this is going to be in the 3-10 hours per hour of finished content I think and I have really solid co-workers on the project team with me.
  2. I have 9 different classroom visits in the local school district to provide individualized guidance on the transfer of skills that we teach in a separate professional development course. There’s also 2 follow-up classes to deliver in the evenings as well.
  3. There is one last push to make on marketing and promoting our event, not to mention the logistics and the final touches on presentations and participant materials. Oh and making sure that we can really deliver on that whole livestream component – it’s going to be awesome.
  4. While this is all going on there’s usual department meetings and other project meetings to check in on as well. It’s always tempting to not go or cancel them, but doing so can result in a lot of issues, plus the teams are awesome and it’s a nice break from the other madness.
  5. Somewhere there needs to be a little time to handle email, exercise etc.
  6. Pack for a 10-day trip back east for our event, and two other speaking engagements.  

If I were to step back and look at this week I’d think I was nuts. It’s easily stacking up to be a 100-120 hour week of “working.” Past Ryan would have thought he’d never get through it. But you know what’s interesting?

It doesn’t feel like work.


Sure it’s my “job”, to use and promote behavioral science, but when you align your passion it makes it so much easier to wake up on a Monday completely STOKED to take the week on because you know that if it were your last week on this earth, it’d be working towards something that you believed in, that you wanted to see carried out. This is a week of doing that, well a lot of that.

There’s surely going to be some areas of my life that are neglected a bit, including sleep, friends, leisure, and family. But that’s always going to be a part of a really busy week like this. Values conflicts are everywhere. You can’t avoid them. The very nature of engaging in valued events means that you may have to neglect others. I’ve worked on developing a few habits the past couple years to help handle these situations (both myself and those within my support network).

  1. I communicate them with my support network early on, and often (e.g., I touch base with my mother and father about what I’m doing the next few months at least once a month).
  2. I plan meticulously how to most efficiently get everything that I want to get completed done (e.g., it’s not unusual for me to call a family member about something 6-8 months away).
  3. I prioritize and continually remind myself of why they are priorities and the long-term vision that they are leading towards (e.g., writing this blog post is going to lead to someone reaching out and saying something along the lines of “That really resonated with me, thanks.”).
  4. I continually review how much some events impact others (e.g., how much a work week like this actually takes me away from valued activities like being with family and friends).

What’s Next?

We’re within the 72-hour mark of our first professional development event targeting how to help behavior analysts and similar professionals explore their areas of passion and align them with the profession of behavior analysis to create that next tool, technology, or service. Sound vague? Well, that’s because it depends on what your passion is and where you want to go with it. What we’ll provide is a framework and the skill sets to begin approaching your passion and ideas in a way that is systematic and systemic all while maintaining your ethical and professional responsibilities.  At the time of this writing, we have over 70 registered people in both mediums (online and in-person). So I’m curious… what’s stopping you from joining? Let me know below in the comments.

Snag Your Spot Online

Ryan O'Donnell

Reno, Nevada

Ryan graduated in 2013 from the Florida Institute of Technology and received his Board Certification that same year.  Ryan has provided over 2,000 hours of instruction and oversight in a variety of areas, including: Medicaid services, DOE Training, prosocial organizational projects, and Rehabilitation and various private entities.  He's active in the field of behavior analysis with over 60 professional presentations, posters, or workshops in the past 5 years.

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