Preparation and the Procrastinator

I am a master procrastinator.  If you want to know what this means watch this TED Talk by Tim Urban.

I know I need to spend part of my summer getting ready for the following school year. More often than not, that knowledge casts a pall over my free time in the summer. Rather than biting the bullet and doing a little school work every day I am home or even setting aside a few set days to work, I put it off continually all the while feeling a low grade hum of anxiety niggling at the back of my mind.

This year, I am going to combat my procrastination.  I bought the Get To Work Book.IMG_8110_copy

It is a project based day planner. I’m hoping by focusing on the big picture of what I want to accomplish and then breaking that down into daily tasks, I will have a more successful year. So far this summer, I have accomplished some of my goals for the summer: purging my wardrobe, getting back on track with housework, reading and blogging for professional development. Unfortunately, I haven’t worked on the new curriculum for my 30 level sciences. I’ve decided that I’m on the right track. I have accomplished things, and I’m worrying less. I just need to prioritize certain goals heading into fall.

I also just downloaded the iPad app Unstuck. It helps you figure out what kind of procrastinator you are and what the root of your procrastination is. I am an Idle Achiever. This means I take on a lot (too much?), feel overwhelmed and stuck, and do nothing. Basically, I realized that the reason I procrastinate with my marking is that the marking never seems to end, but I haven’t taken time to redesign my courses to be more teacher friendly because I spend all my time on the marking in order to give my students the feedback they need. This year I am going to take some time to figure out ways to incorporate more student self evaluation and maybe even peer evaluation.

I’m going to give myself a break regarding my lack of preparation so far. At least I’m thinking about school. Plus, I’ve still got lots of time. Right? People? Help me out?


2 thoughts on “Preparation and the Procrastinator

  1. I am a huge procrastinator… ruminator. Have been for as long as I can remember.

    I used to see this as a deficit. I wasn’t always raring to go, the ‘get it done’ kind of person. It was during my thesis work that I realized the procrastinating was an essential part of the thinking and learning. Even though you aren’t actually doing, you are still thinking and processing. I can’t imagine doing it any differently actually.

    But what I also learned on my writing adventure was that scheduling myself for manageable chunks was key. Setting goals was essential and sticking to timelines a must. I got out of the habit of sitting and doing nothing (writer’s block) and instead I would get up and do other things. Clearly I was in no mood to do the work, regardless of how long I sat there and tried to force myself. Once I feel asleep right at my computer! I learned quickly to make sure I hit my mark of so many hours I had committed that week to work, and had to revise my plans accordingly to make sure I reached that goal. You can’t force the learning… no matter wjat anyone says.

    And something that I have adapted and works like a charm for me is setting a timer. I make sure that I have 20 mins of uninterrupted, increments of time set aside when I work. I can always reset or get up and have a stretch, do another load of laundry, check Facebook… but for those 20 mins intervals I am invested and stay focused. There is a ton of research on the brain to show that we can only keep our focus and attention for that length of time before we drift off into other thinking…

    When time is of the essence (and it was when I was doing my thesis and working full time) I had to fight my procrastination at times. The end result is going to be different for each of us, but ensuring we reach the final destination is key.

    Savour these last few weeks my friend…you deserve them and try to make that procrastination work to your benefit…

    Keep calm and blog on.


  2. Procrastination is nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve found myself unable to get started on projects many times in the past (Re: SaskEdChat blogging challenge). But I’ve also found it’s because I’m not in the right state of mind. It’s summer, and as much as some “super teachers” would have you believe, you do not need to be in 100, 80, 50, or even 10 percent teaching mode. You need to do what’s right for you when it is right to do it. Almost something of a lost art.


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