I could work all of my waking hours and still have more to do. I really could. In fact, I’ve tried that many times. It’s not sustainable. It’s horrible. I’m sure all of you teachers out there can empathize.
But I don’t do that anymore. Well, sometimes I do. But this past week was my spring break, and throughout the week I chose to do quite the opposite. I chose to purposely procrastinate. There’s a big difference between purposeful procrastination and regular procrastination: purposeful procrastination doesn’t make me feel bad. When I sit at my screen or in my classroom with the intent of getting things done but instead I dilly dally and suddenly a ridiculous amount of time has passed, I feel irritated with myself. But that’s not the case when I tell myself, “Nope, I’m not doing any work today. I’m going to put it off until tomorrow.” Then, when nothing gets done I don’t feel bad at all. I’ve lived up to the plan–the plan of not working. The literal outcomes of purposeful procrastination and regular procrastination are exactly the same. The emotional outcomes are so different.
So now here I am, with a day and a half left before going back to school for the end-of-the-year stretch, and I have a lot to do. I’ll do what I can tomorrow. Tomorrow, I’ll commit to being productive. But until then, I’ll give myself permission to do whatever else I want with these few precious hours, and when I go to bed tonight, I will remind myself to feel just fine with being unaccomplished.