Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Musings: On Procrastination

"Procrastination is the thief of time."
-- Edward Young
A poet and playwriter who was born around 1683 and died in 1765, Edward Young became famous for his poem Night Thoughts, a rumination on death based on events from the writer’s personal life.  Today’s featured quotation is a line from the first section of the poem.  Even without the context, its meaning is clear.

I need to take this sentiment to heart!  Have you ever had so many things to do that it’s just easier to not do any of them because you don’t know what to do first?  Because it’s easier to think about the end instead of the process needed to get there?  Because it’s easier to passively read something already written than to actively create something new of your own?
Yup!  Source: Duff McDuffee
This was true when I was faced with designing lesson plans for 30 or so different classes on a weekly basis as the only ESL teacher in my school and also when I had stacks of writing to correct.  It is also true now, when there are so many things I would like to work on regarding my TeachersPayTeachers store during the next couple months.  Sometimes it’s just overwhelming when I think about everything I want to do so I spend time creatively procrastinating instead of creating. 

Here are three strategies that have worked for me--when I get around to applying them!  Deadlines help: If I know something needs to be done by a certain time, it will get done but without the pressure of a deadline, it’s too easy to put it off and do something else in the meantime.  Telling other people my goals also helps as then I feel more accountable for doing things by the time I say they will be done.  Writing a list of tasks and then crossing them off as they are completed is another tactic I have used to counter procrastination.
Suggestions for avoiding procrastination; source: High Performance Lifestyle
What are some ways you avoid letting procrastination steal away your time?