Making Procrastination Work For You


I first saw this TED Talk about a year ago, and I seriously related to this other Tim’s very funny analysis of the process that goes with procrastination. Of course, being a serious, unrepentant procrastinator for most of my life, it has been sitting in my gotta-blog-about-this-sometime file for a while.

But I agree with him that probably everyone, even those hyper-efficient people that I am not, procrastinates on something, at some point in their life. Some of us have just learned to live and work with the panic monster better than them. :-)


3-2-1 For 12-4-16

Three readings worth your time this week.

Still thinking about Cuba. This story of a filmmaker who created a documentary in the country without permission is a reminder that the steps to restore relations with the US over the past two years are only a small start. The Cuban people still have no right to speak freely and live in fear of their government if they try. (about 4 minutes)

What happens when a Finnish teacher takes a job in an American school? This article in The Atlantic received a lot of notice on social media but in case you missed it, the story is a good contrast between national educational philosophies. Bottom line is that Finland trusts their teachers to make instructional decisions, unlike most districts in the US. (about 6 minutes)

In a wonderful post, Chris Lehmann reflects on a recent trip and suggests that we are often “tourists of our ideas”, spending too little time and effort to “fully and intentionally plan for change”. “And over and over again, we are shocked when the ideas don’t fully take hold.” (4 minutes)

Two audio tracks for your commute.

The US exports all kinds of products all over the world, including cowboy culture to Russia. This Planet Money segment is an interesting story of how that country is trying to develop a cattle business by bringing in American consultants, complete with a traditional rodeo. (18:16)

And one final item about Cuba (promise!). In these two segments about the country, On The Media talks to an author about New York Times coverage from 1957 that shaped the world image of Castro before the revolution, and then looks at how media covers Cuba today, complete with the usual cliches. (13:00)

One video to watch when you have a few minutes.

The movies of Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and my favorite The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) are definitely an acquired taste. Enjoy a free sample of his style in a sweet, funny, and very quirky holiday short film. Ignore the sponsor splash pages at the start and end. (3:52)

Calvin on Change in the New Year

The eternally wise and funny Bill Watterson speaking through his pint sized cartoon creation on the subject of change:

I hate change! It’s too disruptive! When things are different, you have to think about the change and deal with it! I like things to stay the same so I can take everything for granted!

Besides, things keep changing for the worse! The longer I live the more complicated everything gets! I say let’s stop here before life get any harder!

From now on, no more change!

Too many people in our education system have adopted that philosophy as their own.

I’d rather work with those who, like Calvin, get bored and go looking for change despite the uncertainty, effort, and complications.

Our Website is Broken and We Apologize

I always keep some news feeds from the BBC in my RSS aggregator, both because they offer a non-American slant on the news and because of the occasional odd story that is just so very British.

From a recent example of the later comes the revelation that “The BBC Trust has upheld a complaint that the clock on the BBC homepage was “inaccurate and misleading”.”

The BBC Trust is the governing body that oversees the operations of the British Broadcasting Corporation and is supposed to represent the interests of the people who pay licensing fees to own a television set, aka the viewers.

In this case one of those viewers was upset that “although readers assume the clock is correct, it merely reproduces the time on the user’s computer” and thus may not be accurate if the computer itself has the wrong time.

The Trust ruled in the complainant’s favor saying that “having a clock which does not state it derives its time from a user’s computer is not consistent with BBC guidelines on accuracy”, and that the clock will be removed in the next update.

And the BBC management offers a very British apology, probably not unlike this wonderful example from John Cleese…