Procrastination or process?

When I’m planning for something new (a course, a big paper, etc.) I tend to spend a lot of time doing what looks like unproductive work. I beat myself up about it and it fills me with anxiety and dread, particularly when I have a looming deadline. I stare at the computer screen or blank piece of paper and berate myself saying, “Come ON! Just DO something! MAKE something! Stop wasting time!” I click through links on Twitter, check Facebook, end up with 15 different tabs open on my browser, spend time that later seems completely unnecessary writing things on post it notes and scattering them all over the desk top, wall, cat….

But eventually the inspiration hits. The flow starts. I create stuff.

So is it procrastination or part of the process?


Where will the jobs be in the future?

David Warlick said that “No generation in history has ever been so thoroughly prepared for the industrial age.” In other words, our current model of education is very good at preparing students to memorize and repeat instructions and tasks. Unfortunately, the skills workers need today and will need in the future are problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and flexibility.

I was listening to CBC today on my drive back to the London from a workshop in Kintore and there was a story on Richard Florida’s article in the Toronto Star. I admit, I probably only started to pay attention because it was -23 when I left the house this morning and Florida sounds very appealing–but I’m glad I did pay attention. In the article, Florida and Roger Martin discuss the results of the study they completed on the changing structure of Ontario’ economy.

They write: “We are moving to an economy that values people’s creativity, especially a combination of analytical skills – reasoning in uncertain environments to make good decisions – and social intelligence skills – capabilities to understand other people and to work in team settings. Routine-oriented occupations that draw primarily on physical skills or abilities to follow a set formula can be done more cheaply in emerging economies.”

While there are some who still believe (or want to believe) that Canada’s manufacturing industry will always remain strong, I think at the very least we need to acknowledge the new skill-set that our students will need to be successful in our changing economy.

Click here to read the entire article.