Panic Button

Procrastination, even when I consider myself a fairly industrious person, plagues me. Have you ever watched the TED Talk with Tim Urban? There’s a short version that I show students—they love the arrival of the panic monster, the instant gratification monkey, too, in the abstract—but the complete talk is worth your time—14 minutes of head-nodding entertainment.

That’s what I’m doing today, usually I’m procrastinating about this, my blog post, but not today. Today I have a different goal; I’m delaying this: to create a model for my students, a book trailer using Adobe Spark for the first time. The students start their end-of-marking-period projects tomorrow, and I’ve discovered that things go much better if I have done what they are going to do.

I have a pretty good YouTube walk-through to share with them, and which I’m using myself. I’ll undoubtedly find out where the weaknesses lie.I have read all the nonfiction selections they’ll be featuring, so I have to use a YA text unfamiliar to them. (Maybe they’ll even be enticed to read it?!) I’ve chosen Mark Aronson’s Rising Water The Story of the Thai Cave Rescue. The students will also connect the text to a social justice issue, to their study of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Aronson’s book deals with “undocumented, stateless” refugees in the telling of this harrowing yet hopeful tale.

So procrastination…I find myself nearing the end of this little diversion, big sigh, knowing that Monday, my deadline will arrive, and I must get started. Urban says that when there is a deadline, procrastinators do just fine. Granted there is some discomfort as the panic monster prods and pushes in the eleventh hour. But the work does get done—unlike the procrastination that cripples people, the “what-I’d-like-to-do-sometime,” the dream-deferred, kind.

In that life-on-hold version of delay, I wouldn’t be doing what I love despite moments of not-quite-yet. Grateful for that, I’ll tackle Adobe Spark now. (Does anyone have some tips?)

7 thoughts on “Panic Button”

  1. Sorry I have no tips. I just have to remind myself that I spend more time thinking of doing something, than the time it takes to do the actual chore! You sound busy enough, just do what you can.

    1. Will get this to share, Kindle version.I should’ve known with you on YALSA selection committees!

  2. It is great that you first do what you are asking your students to do. That way you can alert them to any pitfalls they may have. You can anticipate questions they might ask. I think of this as more being prepared than procrastination.

  3. I do hope it all worked out and adobe spark was not too tricky, not even heard of it let alone used it, as we can’t do online stuff with our kids.. I understand this type of procrastination better now from your explanation, will have to listen to that Ted talk.At least you know you’ll meet your deadline tomorrow!

  4. Good on you for participating with the students – you are right that it goes better; and the authenticity you provide makes a difference. You are not alone in procrastinating!

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