It is now officially that time again: grading season. My first batch of student essays is in and the drafts are staring at me, daring me to read them, add comments, and fill out the rubrics. It isn’t hard work, not really, but it does require every ounce of my concentration, and it isn’t perfectly objective, so I feel like if I’m distracted in any way, it might hinder my judgment.
So I end up delaying grading… like many teachers… for longer than is ideal. It isn’t even ideal for me: the feeling of dreading grading is way worse than actually getting some grading done.
Because this is the case, my Monday Motivation plan today is to layer my work. I’ve decided that for every essay I grade in its entirety, I can work on some organization and writing work that I like much more. I am not allowed to lose myself in the fun work; I get 20 minutes of it, max. Then back for another essay.
This way, I do technically grade about twice as slowly as I usually do, but (and this is important) I make SOME progress on grading. After all, the physical act of grading an essay is not enough to leave me sweating and dizzy – it is doable. But I procrastinate, which isn’t good for anyone. I make progress, and I get rewarded, so I look forward to more progress.
This Monday hasn’t been very easy so far, and I’ve got a major meeting that I’m not much looking forward to, but knowing that I’ll get time for the work I like best in between the bouts of work I like least gets me pumped to work hard. I also am giving myself little incentives, like moving out of my office and sitting in a nice common space that I enjoy, and making myself a yummy cup of coffee as a break, to get through it all.
Hope you are all getting things done this Monday, no matter how many unpleasant tasks are ahead of you!