Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Due Dates

     I decided to take 3 summer classes this summer semester because I wanted to be able to graduate with a minor in economics. The first two summer classes gave me due dates several times a week and they were due at a specific time during the day. When I got the e-mail and syllabus for this class, Motivation, I noticed that ALL work was due by the end of the semester. I silently cheered a bit knowing I was not going to spend several days a week attached to my computer. It was nice knowing that I did not have to hand in something weekly and if I was in the mood to procrastinate, I could. When reading the lecture about incentives, I came across the slide about procrastination. It had me thinking how fitting it was to have an "end” due date for all the work in a class that is called “motivation”. 
    According to the slides, procrastination refers to a delay in the goal-directed behavior despite knowing that one will be worse off as a result. In the beginning of the semester when I noticed how awesome it would be to slack off each week, I realized that it felt like a “test” to me. I felt like I was being tested on my ability to stay motivated in a class that was all about motivation. This gave me both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for this class. I was intrinsically motivated due to my own pleasure of doing well in the class and the pleasure of my hard work paying off and extrinsically motivated by the grades I received and also the dates the professor saw me complete my work. It’s a silly thought that I assumed based on the syllabus, but it is working for me. I have set goals each week that I hope to complete my summer work by and if something comes up, I try not to let it put me too far in the hole and be far behind in my work. I like to believe I do not procrastinate too much, however, this was a nice test of my ability to stay motivated and focus on external and internal goals. This is the first time I’ve had a class that had all the homework, quizzes, discussions, and papers due all by the end of the semester. 
    Now, 10 or so days left of the class, I feel like many others may have procrastinated all semester and have not even opened Endurance yet. They are probably rushing to get any grade at all for the mid-term and final. I felt like I have paced myself appropriately and my grades will hopefully reflect my hard work at staying motivated this entire semester.  It's funny to me how I continued to stay motivated throughout this course so I could show the professor that I was not a procrastinator. This class has also shown me my external and internal motivations for specific things in my life. 


  1. I was having the similar thoughts about this class, Amanda. I also have never had a class where all the assignments and tests were due by the end of the course. I also found it exciting. Although, since this is my last course after 9 years of part time classes, I was in a mad rush to get it done. I quickly purchased Endurance and the book for the book posting and got in reading time whenever I could, even while the family was watching TV or outside playing. After 9 long years, I was excited to get done! Unfortunately my motivation started to slow down.
    The book I am reading from the book list is The Willpower Instinct. I am close to done, but I have learned that there is a term called "moral licensing". Moral licensing is when you do something good, you are more likely to do something bad, stop the good behavior, or let yourself off the hook for doing something else that is good. I was doing so well in the beginning, that I gave myself permission to slack off for over a week. I wasn't seeing many blog posts, so I thought to myself that I must have been off to a better start than everyone else in the course, and I deserved to take a break. Of course, now I have regrets that I still have 3 more chapters left of The Willpower Instinct, when I could have easily been done the book and the post by now. Now I know the term for it and I am more aware of my behavior. Live and learn!
    I suppose the professor knows what he is doing by not giving us due dates! Good luck to you in this class.

  2. How ironic that we shared similar thoughts about this course. I have also enrolled in three classes for this summer session and the two other classes had deadlines one more strict than the other. Then there is Motivation, something I have been known to lack and here we have to pace ourselves. How appropriate to teach us about motivation than to require us to build the guidelines. It's a rather hard lesson to teach ourselves seeing as though we are in the class to learn about it but it's not impossible of course. Each time I complete something at a reasonable time I feel super accomplished. I hope you have gotten something out of this course like I have.

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  4. I found your post interesting since it relates to procrastination. I myself have been sucked into procrastination my entire school career. Even with this as the last class standing in my way of graduating, I still find myself procrastinating. It is quite difficult to overcome procrastination, even with as much motivation as one would have on the verge or graduation. Even with procrastination, I still find a way to get my assignments completed on time. I guess where there's a will there's a way.