I should be working on my course.
I know this to be true, and yet I find the days are sliding past. I am now less than two weeks away from delivering my first class and I feel woefully underprepared. Perhaps I lack the context to understand how far along the development process I am. After all, I’m not developing a course from scratch; the topics and weeks are already set, and the readings are all available.
That, however, seems like the easy part. I still have to finish committing it to my instructional plan and I have to develop the lectures themselves. The lectures are what worries me. I can whip up writing prompts and messages to the students easily, but standing in front of the students for 3-hours is a harder thing to wing. I have to be teacher, councilor, entertainer and authority for almost half of a working-day. And I have to do it smoothly, as if I didn’t need to prepare.
There is always a struggle between Present-Me and Future-Me. Present-Me tends to waste time as if Future-Me has an overabundance of free time at his disposal. Present-Me is bogged down by poor sleeping habits, a full-time job, a part-time job, family and volunteer commitments, etc. Future-Me lives in a time where all of these concerns have passed.
The trick is supposed to be that you have to realize that Future-Me has his own concerns to worry about; that Future-Me will be equally bogged down by work and scarce free time. I understand all of this.
And yet, I find it hard to get myself pointed in the right direction for those 1-3 hour blocks of time where I’m not at a job. The little bit of downtime that I plan to commit to mentally recharging and allow me to shift from one task to the next gets stretched out as akrasia takes over. I know I shouldn’t click on that next YouTube link, but dammit I’m tired and it’ll only take a moment, THEN I’ll get to work.
That probably sounds familiar to you.
I don’t have a firm answer or cute wrap-up to this line of thinking. I need to plan things better and stick with it. I need to be mindful and intentional with how I spend my time. More importantly, I need to be mindful of my limitations. I work a full time and a part time job, so that will impact my energy levels. I need to respect those limits if I wish to work around it.
Back to the grindstone.