#mtbos30 Day 16 (missing days 10-15)
All of my life, I have been one who procrastinated. Mostly, it was to avoid pain. I greatly dislike being in some sort of pain or discomfort, so if I could put it off, I would. This extends from school work to exercise to yard work to dealing with issues with myself to dealing with other people.
As you can imagine, it gets me into trouble from time to time. As a teacher, if I wait to grade papers, it piles up, and up, and up.
Recently, a friend of mine said this about her husband:
The reason why he procrastinates is because he is a perfectionist. If he doesn’t have the perfect solution, he won’t do anything.
And there it is. By no means would I have ever labeled myself as a perfectionist, as with most projects, I work them until they are about 80-90% done, and then I stop. But I never thought about the reason why I stop. For instance, on my back porch I have built an outdoor bed out of pallet wood. We have a mattress on there right now, but it’s not the right one, and I want to finish it with arms, but I don’t know exactly what I want it to look like, and how to do it. So now, the bed lies unfinished on my porch.
I want to begin writing assessments for the upcoming school year, and I have found a couple that I want to emulate, and have been using Examview Generator to create a couple, but it isn’t just the way I want it. So now, it’s been a week since I tried to generate a test.
I know my students are this same way. They get behind on a project and don’t know what they want to do, and they don’t like any ideas that their parents come up with to help them, so they don’t do anything. (I know this feeling, I lived there in middle school!)
So what can I, they, we do about it?
Well, I am sure that productivity gurus all over the world have answered this question well, but I just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. But here’s what I try, and will try to do with my students. What’s one thing I can do to start this?
I had a huge mess of bushes in my backyard as the house sat empty for five years before we moved in. How do I start reclaiming the yard? Let’s take out a reciprocating saw and go chopping away.
A student is completely stuck on a math problem. What do they do? Ask questions, what do they know? What is this like? What is this question asking for?
Sometimes all we need to get started is just a little shove, a little bump, a first step as to what could be. Now finishing well is another problem I need to deal with….later.