Feeling Overwhelmed? Try Distracting Yourself. aka: Procrastination is Good (sometimes)

I just got back from the Google Innovator Academy in Washington D.C. last week and am totally at a loss of words on how to explain what that experience was like and how to integrate that into my “real” life. I really wanted to blog about that experience.


I decided to blog about a podcast I just finished listening to.

As I get ready for the new school year I have a ton in my brain and one of the things I’ve started doing is setting an intention with my wife at the beginning of every day. Today was “clarity and focus”.

As you can see, it’s working…

Actually, it really is, read on and you’ll find out why. Maybe. If you’re lucky.

I’ve always been interested in perspectives. And education, of course. Where those two intersect is really fascinating for me as I strive to bring in the “real” world into my classroom. I tend to look to entrepreneurs, especially those that really look at learning from a lens of maximizing effectiveness and well-bring. Two of my favorite topics. #healthytechie

As it turns out, Tim Ferriss has always been one of the people that have stood out to me as someone who “hacked” learning in a way that was done very differently than others. Another one is Seth Godin and his altMBA program. Coming back to Tim and his way of looking at the world, here are 3 things that I’ve learned about him that to me, are remarkable (and by remarkable, I mean worth remarking about, hence my remark here #MrObvious):

  1. He became conversant in Japanese, spending 6 months learning it after he was told that he was “bad” at language learning at an early age. Read more about his thoughts on this in his post, “How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months”
  2. He was deathly afraid of swimming, due to a weak lung and close calls in open water. He learned how to swim in his early 30s through the Total Immersion technique and went from swimming 2 lengths of a pool to 40 lengths in less than 10 days.
  3. He went from taking his first tango class to the semi-finals of the world championship in 6 months. He really deconstructs how he got there in this blog post.

There are a lot of other things about Tim that fascinate me but in the most recent interview that he did with his friend, Charles Best (founder of DonorsChoose.org)at SXSW Edu. He had some great nuggets that really stuck with me that I’ll outline:

  1. Teach students to be comfortable with being uncomfortable
  2. Teach students meta-learning: The Art and Science of Learning Anything Faster
  3. You can learn whatever you want to , as long as you break it down into appropriate steps and take the time to learn it. Take action!

Here’s the whole interview, it’s definitely work a listen/look:

Coming back to why procrastination is good. This process allowed me to reflect on a meaningful conversation that I listened in to and gave me some fodder to develop ideas around the classes I will teach to students this coming school year. I’m excited to delve more into these ideas and will report back as I go through curriculum development and experimentation.

So, in short, let yourself by distracted and potentially do something creative with it. Like, you know, write a blog post…

Also, I miss ya’ll at #WDC17 #GoogleEI #moresoon

Adnan Iftekhar