It has been almost two weeks since my last post and I am sure that you have all been waiting with bated breath to see how I am doing on the resolution to not procrastinate. I think the fact that it has taken me that amount of time to sit down and just write a short post should give you some idea of how that resolution is going, but there’s much more to the story.
According to the Oxford University Press, procrastination means “the action of delaying or postponing something.” That begs this question: how do you define delay and postpone? At the risk of turning this post into a fifth grade vocabulary assignment (and I know too well how much my students looove vocab assignments) or an exercise in splitting hairs, I think the problem–and the challenge of this particular breakup–is that procrastination is hard to define.
And if it’s hard to define it’s doubly hard to accomplish. All the other breakups so far have been challenging, but pretty simple. Break up with not exercising=break a sweat for half an hour at least five times a week. Give up more than two drinks a week–everyone can count to two, right? Sugar is trickier, because it’s in a lot of things besides desserts, but cutting down to one sweet a day (which is what I’ve amended that resolution to) is easy to monitor, if not to do. But procrastination, to me, seems a bit like pornography, or rather, the Supreme Court’s definition of it: you know it when you see it.
Based on that definition, I’m still doing it far more than I should. One thing I have noticed with these breakups is this: in the first few weeks after making them, I suck at keeping them. This has been no exception. I do sort of feel that I have had an excuse in the last week, though.
Daylight Saving Time is my least favorite weekend of the whole year. I know it only pushes you forward one hour, but for me it’s like getting over jet lag from being on a transcontinental flight. It has been hell being tossed back into waking up when it is pitch dark outside. Then, waking up tired means that I’m slow with my morning ritual, which sets everything back before school, which leads to getting into the car five to ten minutes later, which leads to getting to work later, which eats into prep time…you get the picture. The end result is that I seem to have less time and energy to accomplish stuff, and though I’m getting a lot of stuff done within a non-procrastination timeline, a lot of stuff is still falling off the table.
What I am trying to do, though, is give myself credit for what i have accomplished. Like last weekend, for example. My younger daughter’s room has been a pit for a long time. But rather than waiting for spring break to tackle the mess, we did it over last Saturday and Sunday. And not only did we clean and organize the room, we re-enforced our mother-daughter bond. We discussed what things to keep,which to junk, and which to give to the less fortunate. We laughed over old memories inspired by items we hadn’t seen in a while, and we just learned (or re-learned) the value of perseverance as we powered through one more drawer, or one more box, or one more shelf before taking well deserved breaks. I wouldn’t say it was a great experience, but it was a teaching moment and the end result was awesome–one more clean, organized room in the house.
Another achievement was getting my conference notes done on time. At my school, we are required to keep a document for each parent conference we have. So at the fall and spring conferences, I need to write 15 of them. Usually, I jot down notes while conferencing, but it takes me weeks to type them up in sentence form and get them into the office for approval. This year, I decided to type up the notes for each conference the day I had it. This was a little painful, but I was very glad I did it for two reasons: one, the notes were more detailed than they would have been if I’d waited, and two, I was done and didn’t have have the task of doing them hanging over my head for weeks at a time.
I know doing those two things well don’t totally excuse me for also pushing back a lot of things during the last two weeks, but I have to give myself some credit for what I have managed to do. So, I think the right breakup might be with poor prioritization, rather than with procrastination.
And with that, I need to cut this blog post short, since my Saturday is a-wastin’ and I have a lot of things to do that I have prioritized ahead of spending my afternoon sitting on a couch, monopolizing the laptop and bloviating about procrastination. So, off to work; my to-accomplish list awaits.