The art of procrastinating.
Few of my kids think they can talk and get their work done at the same time.
You’re not turning in high-quality writing at the end of the period. So, no, you cannot—at least, not yet. They were pissed with me for being so brutally honest. But hell, I’m pissed, too. I’m furious about the fact that I can teach my heart out during a mini-lesson, check for understanding, release the class to work independently, and they choose to socialize instead of putting 100% of their energy into completing their task.
But the more I reflect, the more I empathize with their propensity to get off task. This school year has been a year of the humblest level creative block, in the classroom and on social media. Nothing felt good enough to publish to me. Everything made me question my purpose, my voice, my art, my intention, my desired-outcome.
Each critical question made it harder and harder to complete tasks, to the point where I didn’t finish my Model portfolio on time. Now, I am making great progress on my National Board portfolio and I know it’s because I am finally learning the art of procrastinating. I learned, my work habits have evolved since last school year. It took me all of the last few months to accept: I cant complete a work task unless I do something artful—something that is not on my work list.
Meditating, free-writing, taking pictures, coloring, working out, publishing a blog post, or sitting in the park reading under the breeze. If I do one of those during the first 15-60 minutes of my work time, I tend to work for 1-4 hours on my tasks.
I’ve been checking things off, planning less to do on a daily since I am doing little by little, and feeling way more well rested than ever. I also allow creative breaks when I finish one task. It’s a great way to transition myself and refocus.
Definitely going to try this with my students, will add “develop creative break implementation plan” to my work to-do list. Need to do some research to see if there are studies that support my theory, first. I don’t want to mute my students. I want to enhance their ability to stay focused because I know how much harder it gets, the older you get.