Sunday, November 25, 2012

Of Mountains and Molehills

How not to get things done...

I am a black-and-white person.  I tend to see things in either/or binary choices.  This manifests itself in perfectionist paralysis: "I can't do this to perfection, so I won't do it at all."

But this mindset is also responsible for massive forays into procrastination land: "I don't have time to do this whole task right now, so I'll just put it off until (random future date/time), and play a game of solitaire instead."

This is the opposite of the Eat the elephant one bite at a time philosophy, and explains my current predicament.

Here is what a week's worth of turned-in math homework looks like.  Most of my classes this year turn in their homework in a packet (one packet per week, per student).

I don't generally have time to grade every paper in a single session, so I am stuck with doing things piecemeal.  Taking this large grading task and breaking it down into smaller bits. Which is a recommended and useful approach.  But is not what has actually happened over the past bit of time.

Darn it! I have procrastinated. Again.

Voila: a month's worth of turned-in math homework for 3rd and 4th period.  Now how am I going to find the time to get that all graded?

Partial success story: I have graded one week's papers each day for the past four days (of Thanksgiving break, mind you).  Why, oh why, couldn't I have done it this way all along?

Digging myself out of a self-created hole, one shovelful at a time...

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