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How to Kick Procrastination to the Curb: 10 Strategies to Get You Moving

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE While autumn is beautiful, it’s a season that can also be ladened with intense yard work. Recently, I helped my husband pull out decaying Black Eyed Susan’s from one of our gardens. From there, I cleaned up the front garden, tossed the spent potted summer flowers, and planted perennial flowers. By the time I was ready to sweep up the mess I had created on the walkways, I was wilting like the flowers I had just tossed. After many hours of tackling the autumn clean-up, I found myself despising my gardens and swearing that I was going to plant plastic flowers next year. I have a love-hate relationship with gardening. Can you tell? My emotions about writing were often the same. You see, I’ve always loved writing. Yet, I perfected the art of procrastinating my writing until it had become a daunting task. A task that had me cursing its existence. UNTIL… I learned a few key strategies about taking action on my writing (or any overwhelming task I attempt to undertake) that have completely transformed my productivity. Key Strategies to Kick Procrastination to the Curb 1. Acknowledge that FEAR is holding you back. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of pain. There […]

Are you culturally current with the millennial generation?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I love the millennial generation. Their enthusiasm for life energizes me. Unfortunately, what we typically hear about the millennial generation are horror stories about helicopter parents and students who ooze with entitlement issues. What we don’t often hear about this generation of learners are the very things I love most about them. I love their passion for our earth, their willingness to embrace diversity, their desire to connect, their desire for meaningful learning, and their love of technology. Yes, we can stomp our feet and demand that our students conform to our teaching style. We can complain that they are dependent on technology, that they resist a strict diet of lectures, and that they embrace instant gratification. In other words, we can resist what is. Or we can meet millennial students where they are, demonstrating that we are the transformational leaders our students need. Meeting students where they are includes becoming culturally current.  Christy Price tells us that millennial students express frustration when professors don’t know how to use the technology in their classrooms. They perceive professors as “lacking connection to Millennial culture” when they use old shows that were relevant 15 years ago but are no longer “practical references that the average college student […]

7 Strategies to Pump Up Your Summer Productivity

By Kelly Beischel You know that I love talking about ways to improve productivity, right? So when the assistant director for our Center for Teaching Excellence asked me if I would present some strategies for having a productive summer to faculty finishing their first year of teaching at our institution, I jumped at the chance.  You see, I know all too well how easy it is to have a summer of pretend. I know how to pretend I don’t have a syllabus to put together. How to pretend I don’t have writing to accomplish. How to pretend I don’t have classes needing a face lift.  And do you know what else I know? When I play pretend all summer, my fall semester is like a scene out of “Nightmare on Elm Street.”   Contrary to what you may believe, using productivity strategies in the summer doesn’t preclude the fun and relaxation you want and need. Rather, it affords you even more fun and relaxation because the time you set aside to work is more productive.Less time is required. Seven Strategies toward Being More Productive Take time to have fun. The summer is a great time to re-create yourself. Be sure to take time to play You will be refreshed and ready to […]

Teaching Students to Take Imperfect Action

 By Kelly Beischel Do you remember going to parent teacher conferences when your children were in grade school, maybe even high school? I do. I remember sitting in one of those little school-desk chairs year after year listening to teachers praise my daughter. Yet, I came to anticipate the “but” that was soon to follow. You see, Beth was an intelligent, hard-working student who didn’t participate in class. And this frustrated her teachers to no end. They wanted her to participate because they knew she had the answer. That Beth didn’t speak up was never a surprise to me. She was fearful of being wrong in front of others. She wanted to be perfectly sure she knew the answer before speaking up in class. Interestingly, my oldest son, Luke, had similar feelings. Although, he was okay about offering answers in class, his anxiety paralyzed him when randomly called on in class. “The mere imparting of information is not education. Above all things, the effort must result in making a man think and do for himself.”~ Carter G. Woodson Have you ever been challenged with getting students to offer answers in class? Perhaps, like Beth and Luke, your students are afraid they won’t be perfect. I propose we teach our students to […]

10 Strategies to Ease Academia Pain

By Kelly Beischel Have you ever felt like your time was being rapidly sucked away? That’s where I am right now.  You see, time is not my own this semester. We are currently knee deep in curriculum creation. I can’t even say revision because we’re creating a brand-spanking-new concept based curriculum from scratch. Did I hear you say OUCH? You’re right. It’s painful. It’s time consuming. (Especially at the super-sonic speed with which we’ve been charged to create it.) Lack of time is one of my pain points. How about you? In the event you’re feeling the same way, let me share with you a few strategies I’ve been using to ease the “lack of time” pain that comes with being a faculty member. Strategies to Relieve Academia Pain Be kind to yourself. The curriculum nor does its creation ride solely on your shoulders. My husband kindly pointed this out to me in one of my fits of overwhelm about our curricular change. Be a leader. Feeling disempowered by those in authority can bring out negativity in the best of us, especially when those in authority are not effective leaders. Step up. Bring your own leadership qualities such as honesty, communication, a sense of humor, confidence, commitment, and creativity to the project. It […]

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