Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stay busy to stay productive

Lately I've felt busier than I've ever felt in my life. Maybe it's because of my class schedule this year, or that the longer I teach, the more responsibilities I take on. I have few moments to spare, and when I have those few moments of freedom I really relish the experience.

Even though I am (too) busy these days, I am super productive, and I don't mean productive in a multi-tasking kind of way. (I'm still not quite sure what multi-tasking is because I can only focus on one activity at once, but I know multi-tasking must be bad for you.) In fact, I am more productive in the fall than I am in the summer. Although this seems counter-intuitive -- shouldn't I get more done when I have more time? -- I actually work better under the restrictions of a schedule than I do when given the freedom of flexibility. That flexibility sometimes feels endless or even daunting, and it sometimes causes me to lose that edge that drives me to complete projects in a timely manner.

I think about this as a teacher and try to relate this experience to my students. Many of them get their best grades during the season(s) in which they play a sport. Participating in athletics forces them to prioritize their time. It gives them the structure to stay focused. I know this applies to me.

I'm curious: does this concept hold true for you? Are you most productive when you have the most time commitments on your plate?

No comments:

Post a Comment