This is one of my favorite weeks of the year because it’s when a lot of us make resolutions to do something in the new year that we’ve been putting off. It’s time to stop procrastinating and start taking that new course, start writing that book, or doing whatever else it is that we’ve been putting off.
A couple of months ago TED-Ed published a short video lesson that does a great job of explaining why we procrastinate. The most interesting part to me was the explanation of why we procrastinate when faced with tasks that actually aren’t that difficult or time-consuming.
If you watch the TED-ED lesson, you’ll learn that some of us (I’m raising my hand) just need a little mental push to get started getting lists of things done. To that end I have a few tools that I’ve successfully used over the years to help me stop procrastinating when faced with tasks that I’d rather put off until “later.”
Earlier this year I dedicated an entire newsletter to Focusable. It’s a service that aims to teach you how to focus through a series of progressive time blocks. Between each block there is a short breathing or re-centering exercise to complete and a little journal entry to reflect on your work. Here’s a little video that I made about how I’ve used Focusable to stop procrastinating.
Before I used Focusable I used StayFocusd (intentionally misspelled)to force myself to focus on completing my task lists. StayFocusd lets you set time limits for accessing the websites that you’re prone to wasting time on (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). With StayFocusd installed in Chrome you can set a daily time limit for the sites you tend to waste time visiting. When that time limit is reached, you’re blocked from visiting those sites for 24 hours.
If you have a bit more discipline than I do when it comes to avoiding social media rabbit holes, the BeTimeful browser extension might be for you. It’s a browser extension that is designed to hide social media distractions during your working hours.
What makes BeTimeful different from tools like StayFocusd is that instead of entirely blocking your access to social media sites, BeTimeful hides all distracting content like “related,” “recommended,” and “trending,” content. What that means is you can post on social media with BeTimeful installed, but you can’t see anything other than your own updates. BeTimeful can work in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. It will work on your laptop, desktop, phone, and tablet.
Turn off the pop-ups, turn off the phone
I forcefully click NO! whenever a website or web app asks if I want to enable notifications. And when I have something that I really need to focus on, I put my phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode.
A New Course to Start 2023!
A few weeks ago I hosted a webinar about creating and selling digital teaching products. There were so many follow-up questions that it quickly became clear to me that I needed to create a longer course on the same topic. So that’s what I did. How to Create and Sell Your Own Digital Products is now a four-part course that starts on January 10th. Learn more and register here!
50 Tech Tuesday Tips & Workshops
50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech support staff, and media specialists in mind. In it you’ll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions.
I offer on-site and online workshops on a variety of educational technology topics. Book me for an in-person workshop in 2023 and I’ll include copies of my eBook for all of your staff. Send me an email or fill out this form to learn more.