Friday, February 1, 2013

Practical Advice on Procrastination

My latest contribution to appeared today and has already been republished on the home page on and has been selected for publication soon as Editor's Choice on LinkedIn Today.

It's my latest thinking on how to replace procrastination with drive. It's not some panacea piece. I've found that procrastinators can't be "cured." However, like high blood pressure, it can be controlled so it doesn't kill you. The article shares what is working best for my clients.

By the way, a technique for reducing procrastination that I didn't mention in the article is to hire someone to nag you for a week. For example, s/he might phone you to be sure you wake up on time, then call an hour later to be sure you're doing the work you're suppposed to be doing, and then calling throughout the day to dispense praise or strictures, even perhaps such tough strictures as "You're acting like a loser. You said you really want to change. Now do you?"


Teacher said...

Hi, I just read your article on teaching active boys, "Active and Smart." I have been teaching science for five years, this year I am teaching 4th grade. I am desperate for ideas to actively teach my male students. I see them falling behind in fact learning. I think the girls would enjoy moving around too, but I am not finding any ideas. I do want them all to learn to sit still, but I want them up and learning. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. Thanks so much, Cathy

Marty Nemko said...

Examples of such activities:

1. Debates--e.g., on the best approach to solving a societal science-related problem?
2. Other competitions: which team can solve the problem fastest? Best?
3. "Treasure" hunt--in which you go to a forest and ask the students to find various items, which individually or collectively would teach an important science principle.

Maria Lopez said...

1. Paper airplane competitions. Needs lecture about aerodynamics to really teach facts.
2. Egg drop. Put egg in container, drop it twenty feet. How can you cushion it so that it doesn't break?
3. Compressed air rockets. Can be made cheaply and will go high. Teaches conservation of momentum.
4. Keep ice solid. Bring ice to school wrapped up in something. What will insulate it well enough that there is still ice at
the end of the day?
5. Make electromagnets with batteries nails and wire.
6. Write essays about solving a level in a video game. The investigation you need to do to that is simplified science.
7. Diodes, especially LEDs, are cool. They show that the flow of current is directional.
8. Dissolve the shells of eggs in vineger. Gooshy result, Can be used to as part of a lesson on acids and bases.
9. Field trip to sewage plant if possible. Points can be made about microbiology, chemistry, and power generation.
10. I haven't tried this but can you shield a cell phone so it will not ring. Shows that radio frequency radiation is stopped by
electrically conductive stuff

Marty Nemko said...

Great, Maria!!!!

Teacher said...

Sorry, I was not clear. I am no longer teaching science at the middle school, but I am teaching 4th grade, all subjects. Actually, I love the science, it is so much easier to get kids up and moving, but this reading, writing and math is kicking me. I want my boys moving, and the girls too. I have even got them marching around the room while practicing spelling words. Thanks Maria, I am sorry I was so unclear in my earlier post.

Marty Nemko said...

My aforementioned debates, doing plays, having them write about things fascinating to them, etc. Have them do projects in pairs--even if it's to read aloud to each other.


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