Then Along Came Pre-Crastination

In the pursuit of doing more, achieving more and generally being more (in the same amount of time), procrastination has been the big bad enemy of productivity and effectiveness for a long time. So, we all set about trying to slay the demon of procrastination. We equipped ourselves with productivity software and other tools, focused on making daily ‘to Do’ lists and all the other tricks that the ‘experts’ said would save us, make us more productive and increase our success.

But, all along, there was another peril lurking that didn’t even have a name – until along came ‘pre-crastination!

Scientific American – Pre-Crastination: The Opposite of Procrastination

Now, usually, logic says if something is the opposite of something bad – then it must be good. However, not in this case. Here, we’re talking about the kinds of tricks we play on ourselves where we put tasks on the ‘To Do list that are easy, enjoyable, fun and sometimes quick – and then do them first! Then, we may get to the end of the day with half the list completed and tell ourselves what a great job we did. After all, look how much of the list got completed!

As the article says – we’re very tempted to grab the low-hanging fruit.

I guess the answer is continuous rigorous self-analysis and honesty coupled with the Stephen Covey maxim to ‘Put First Things First’.

Children Learning Leadership

Here’s an interesting blog article that struck a chord with me. Somehow, we make the mistake in pretty much every culture around the world with an approach which suggests that “you’ll figure out leadership when you get there”. Perhaps that’s why there’s such a vacuum of quality leadership in the world.

Bacharach Blog Article on Leadership Training

Before any person – child or adult – gets ideas about being a ‘leader’ they have to learn the sometimes challenging lessons of self-leadership, such things as ability to delay self-gratification, the will to do what has to be done to see something through to completion (even when it gets hard, boring etc.), overcoming procrastination, being proactive, setting a goal for oneself and then pursuing it.

These are all things that we have to get better at ‘teaching’ in school (i.e. providing learning opportunities) and, as the article said, the sports field is not the only place for these life lessons.

If there’s one part of the article that I’m not sure I agree with, it’s the bit at the ends suggesting that the way to do this is to create some form of ‘leadership academy’ within each school. Instead, I believe such learning has to be blended in to all the learning, right from elementary school. It also has to be blended in to school practices, discipline, classroom management, how teachers share their expectations of children – in short throughout the entire school culture.

If we can do this, we can truly aspire towards a position where each child has the opportunity to become and achieve to their potential.

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