Procrastination and Blocking: A Novel, Practical Approach

By Robert Boice | Go to book overview

4
Interventions for Procrastinators and Blockers

One thing led to another. Once I was involved in documenting the costs and benefits of efficacy and PBing, I moved almost unthinkingly to a focus on interventions. Why? The costs of PBing are so enormous for the groups I study and love that I could no longer bear to limit my studies to descriptions and theorizing. Even so, I made the move gradually. In particular I wanted to see if I could find ways of setting up effective interventions that were not too obviously distant from traditional considerations of PB. Progress is of little use if no one listens.

Even though traditional scholarship does not emphasize interventions for PBers, it does make occasional exceptions (always, it seems, keeping PB at an amiable level). It offers several such strategies, the best-known and most widely used in academe called release time. Let me explain.

As a rule, the "release" is from a course or two in the teaching load of a new faculty member; the putative purpose is to provide more time for writing to those PBing it (new faculty do, after all, commonly complain that they are too busy to meet campus expectations for scholarly productivity). The strategy sounds good to faculty who want to alleviate their PB or at least its costs. (Release time is by far the favorite response of professors asked what kinds of support for scholarship they would prefer.) Moreover, release time fits nicely with tradition. While it provides incentives

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