We all have those thoughts sometimes. You know, the “Oh, I’ll do it later.” thoughts? Never fear, there are ways you can stave off procrastination not only in yourself, but also in your students! After all, they are watching you to establish work habits. Here are five suggestions we have for doing it now instead of later:
1. Become Intentional
Have a task asked of you at the last minute? Don’t wait! Either immediately carry out the to-do (if your schedule allows it) or jot down the item and the time you’re going to devote to it. If you already have a time slot cleared to accomplish the task, you’ll have no reason not to finish it!
Student Strategy: Every time a student turns in an assignment early give them a big reward sticker so they begin to associate timeliness as a virtue in the classroom.
2. Take It One Step at a Time
Many times, that huge project looming over you and your week feels unconquerable. Split the work into little parts so that each time you take a step closer to the finish line, you can take a breath and congratulate yourself. (You deserve it!) This allows you to focus on one piece at a time without worrying about what’s to come.
Student Strategy: If reading circles are becoming too tedious for children and fidgets become contagious, split up the time with a few breathers so that children can get up and move, getting all of their wiggles and giggles out along the way. It will allow them to be more productive and have greater focus in the long run!
3. Work Somewhere New
A change of scenery can be just what you need! Whether it’s hauling your teacher tote to the local coffee shop or spreading a blanket on the grass outside, changing your environment can be exactly the breath of fresh air your work process needs. You may even be inspired!
Student Strategy: Work outdoor time into your class schedule. Whether it’s taking students down the hallway to spy cumulus clouds for a science project or collecting the playground recycling, children can be inspired by simple changes of scenery. Here are four innovative ways you can create an outdoor classroom.
4. Delete the Distractions
We all have our go-tos. Whether it’s browsing Pinterest or checking in on our favorite TV show, distractions can come in many forms. Since you know yourself best, keep those distractions in check and harder to get to when you need to work. You can do something as simple as turning off notifications or go big and disconnect the WiFi for a while. Do whatever works best for you!
Student Strategy: Students are masters at getting distracted, but as an educator, you know them best. If two students are more likely to whisper together when your back is turned, seat them separately. If one boy never pays attention because he’s too entranced with the fish tank, place him closer to the front of the classroom. Know your students and how to help them cut back on the distractions.
5. Spread the Word
If you’re working on something big, spread the word! Tell all of your co-workers, family, and friends so that the next time they see you, they will ask you how things are going. This is a great way to give yourself reminders for that task you flagged for follow-up but never managed to get around to.
Student Strategy: If students are working on big projects, inspire them to be proud of the work they are doing by sharing it with parents. If the task is to be completed only in the classroom, parents can ask daily how work is coming and if the student has made any progress, hopefully spur them into action.
We hope you found these strategies helpful! Whether you are taking field trips to change the environment for students or compiling resources as bookmarks to be easily reached when work rolls around, simple changes in your routine can result in a much more productive and rewarding work process.