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Accountability: An Antidote to Procrastination?

07/31/2018 13:16 | Deleted user

I think accountability can sometimes help us resist procrastination so that we might meet important deadlines, goals, or commitments.  That was my intention today.  I planned ahead and set aside some time with a specific intention to work on the article that I mentioned at the end of Institute, using propensity scores and tutoring data. Remember that I asked all of you, the participants, to hold me accountable for completing that article. Since returning, I have been in contact with my co-author, a doctoral student, and I have reviewed our notes and supporting articles.  Good start, right?  

A funny thing happened on my way to working on the article today.  In an effort to practice what we preach to our students, to set manageable goals and arrange the environment to support full focus with minimal distractions, I sat down at my computer with just such intentions.  It took only moments for me to decide to just clean up a few emails.  Ironically, one of them was from a Leadership blog with a very funny video on writing and procrastination by Ellen Degeneres.  Of, course, I had to watch it.  Next, I found myself sending the link out to LRNASST, and then to some other colleagues, only to realize I was doing exactly what she described in the video!  So, with this "mirror moment" realization, did I re-focus on the article?  Apparently not, because it then made complete sense to me for this experience to be the subject of the next blog post.  Sigh.

What is the lesson here?  The article is no further along, and time is running short today, so I have successfully distracted myself away from it. But at least the third blog post is complete! More importantly, is an empathetic realization of what it is like for the students we support and how the best strategies we can offer are not always easy to implement. Today was a bit humbling.

I still think accountability is a worthwhile tool, so please help continue to hold me accountable!  

Pat Maher

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