Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #167
I was listening to a podcast when the speaker, who was focusing on ways to combat procrastination, spoke about this strategy to say ahead.
As soon as he said that, my ears perked up as this is something I can not only use myself, but I can also share it with my students.
He said think of yourself as a vehicle with these gears:
Idle. Forward. Fast. Extreme. Reverse.
Only instead of gears, think of them as energy levels.
Now ask yourself, what needs to get done? How am I going to apply those energy levels to what needs to get done?
Remember too, that if you go through your day in extreme gear, you’re going to be out of fuel before noon. Pace yourself. Rather, strategically pace yourself.
Some people I know toss themselves into extreme gear over things that just don’t matter. Who cares that the school district is (or was) spending X amount of money on a search for a new superintendent? Going into extreme gear over that issue does nothing for you. It only saps your energy from applying energy to your students or improving your lessons or tweaking a slideshow or grading research papers.
When I apply this to my upcoming week, it helps give me a lot of clarity.
I have 19 film reviews to grade. I have 19 MGRPs to grade. I should devote some fast energy to those. I also have a presentation at MCTE coming up at the end of the week. I should not procrastinate all week and then throw myself into extreme the night before we leave. I also have 50 senior letters to write before graduation. I need to pace myself there too and shift into forward gear. There are some other things, though, that I need to hit reverse on. Right now, I’m all in on the NFL draft, but once today is done, I need to forget about all the grades and fall out of what picks are going to work and which picks were reaches. If I keep devoting energy to that, I’m going to lose out on grading essays, keeping up with my readings, and getting those senior letters done. So starting Sunday, I’m hitting reverse on the NFL draft.
Just remember these energy levels once you feel stressed: Idle, Forward, Fast, Extreme, reverse.