If you’ve ever put off an important task by, say, alphabetizing your spice drawer, you know it wouldn’t be fair to describe yourself as lazy. Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control)

Time management has been a big challenge for me over the last two years not only because of COETAIL but also because of the pandemic. I decided to write this post since I have been dealing with procrastination quite often lately. All I could think about was my conscience, that was constantly reminding me about the work I have to do. It was indeed driving me crazy, so I started looking for ways to solve this problem. I love to see people who can easily organize their work on time and now I got a few steps closer towards proper time management..

Etymologically, “procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare — to put off until tomorrow.

I will do all that work during the break…

If you ever got to be successful with that, I feel jealous. All I could do during my holiday is to say “Tomorrow I will start working on this very important project”. Of course, the next day something would unintentionally (or maybe intentionally? :)) take over my focus and plans to conquer the world would be moved to some other day. On the last day of holiday, I would admit that I really needed to get rest from my entire pile of work that would happen during the regular work-week and it’s probably true as well. It is surprising how much more work we can get done when we are busy at school.

I am not the only one 🙂

After watching this Ted Talk I realized that procrastination is very widespread, but it can also be controlled. Therefore, I began an investigation on how to become a rational decision-maker instead of a silly monkey. Being a teacher, one of my biggest concerns, while working with myself, was how can we ask students to get their work done if we barely manage our time effectively.

Do students procrastinate?

According to https://www.oxfordlearning.com/ article, the reasons for students’ procrastination might be guilt, stress, higher levels of frustration or anxiety. Fortunately, there are effective ways how to deal with that.
– Break projects into smaller tasks;
– Make project meaningful to a child;
– Building up child’s confidence;
– Create dedicated study space;
– Eat Healthy and get sleep;
– Set clear goals;
– Make a project plan;
– Develop Good study skills.

All of these tips are useful to adults as well. But in the modern fast-paced world, can we always have enough time to eat and to sleep? I can’t. At least not at the moment. Of course, adults can deal with this problem, but children need our help. I think we shouldn’t judge students but try to help them instead. It was a huge challenge during online learning.

Some people — kids and adults — avoid doing things they don’t enjoy until they absolutely have to. It’s not necessarily a problem. It may just be how they prefer to operate. But it only works if they can pull it off without any consequences. https://www.understood.org/

My journey towards becoming a Rational Decision-maker

First, I tried setting a goal of the week to myself – “I will write one COETAIL post each week.” Didn’t work out for me.
Then, I decided to spend two hours every day studying and writing my blog posts. Failure again.
I kept trying alternative strategies because I knew that there should be a solution to my procrastination problem and I finally found it. I raised a measurable and achievable goal – to write two paragraphs a day. This was much easier and way more successful. I was so happy with this solution. Even when I got to think about the word “Tomorrow”, I knew I will have to write four paragraphs instead of two. I would get to work, no matter how big or good my paragraphs would be that day. Even if those would be three-sentence-long paragraphs, I knew I had to do it no matter what. I knew the feeling when I would get to the point of being overloaded with a pile of work and it was scary. Getting a measurable goal that could really be achieved, no matter how tired you are, didn’t scare me and proved to be a success. I know some of you will say it didn’t work for you, but the number of paragraphs isn’t everyone’s key to success – setting the goal that you would not be afraid of, making it measurable and achievable. Once you start feeling successful in overcoming yourself and procrastination, you will get even more motivated. It is an amazing feeling 🙂 Moreover, I found out that writing posts this way brought me more ideas and improved my writing. My brain wasn’t overloaded and I could process ideas better. It is a good feeling once you realize, that it is possible to “cut an elephant into pieces” and avoid the “Panic Monster”.

Procrastination is an actual waste of or time in our short lives on Planet Earth. There are so many pleasures we can get if we avoid procrastination. I love the changes that happened when I finally began working with myself instead of just complaining about how little amount of time I have during the day. Thanks to my experience at COETAIL that made me rethink my learning practices as well as change my attitude towards dealing with challenges in teaching, learning  and life in general.

So how to manage your time every day?

I was looking fo better ways of managing my time while teaching online and found a youtube channel created by a doctor who shares great ways of getting tasks done effectively. He has emphasized that creating a short list of three items on the everyday To-Do list is very effecitve during the lockdown, however, I am using these tips during my time at school as well. I like the idea of adding three elements to the To-Do list – Highlight of the day, One thing that you are grateful for, and One item to let go. This is a great way of keeping the positive feeling about everything. Remembering the “Let it go” element helps me keep my thoughts positive and stop focusing on negatvive things. It works like a switch button to me. Also, being grateful is so important because it generates positive vibes in our brain, which are critical for our mental health. The “Highlight of the Day” motivates me to do some important tasks and feel good after accomplishing them. My Highlight would the two paragraphs.

One more amazing video with time management tips for teachers. I especially like the one about checking your email. It is so much easier to manage your time if you begin checking emails only at a certain time of your school day. This allows you to successfully plan your tasks as well as accomplish them.

How do YOU deal with procrastination?