Procrastination Tip #1


Procrastination Tip #1:  Just Take the First Step

Procrastination is a deadly trap, but you can overcome it.  Research has found that once you take a first step, no matter how small (like look up one phone number for a million-call telephone campaign), your brain will want you to continue.

Once you have your brain on your side, you are on the way to getting the work done.  Break down the big project, find one tiny step you can take right now, and do that one tiny step only.  If you want to keep working after that first step, absolutely do so, but if not, let that first step percolate in your brain.  Feel (and act on) the urge to do one more tiny step tomorrow.

Even if you just take one tiny step a day, that is more than you were doing in Stuck Mode, so give yourself some credit, and build on your success, however tiny.  Just take that first step.

I’m back!!

After a lot of life changes in the past two years, including the absolute blessing of retirement, I am returning to the online world.  I just finished my first online class on Skillshare, and am excited to share it.

You can check out the introductory video on YouTube here:

If you are interested in seeing the whole class, you can sign up for membership in Skillshare ($15/month or $99/year) using my link here:  and get two free months of membership.  You can cancel at any time, even before the two free months is up.  [I receive a small bonus if you sign up for a premium membership using my link.]

You can also sign up for a free membership, which will give you access to the free classes and the introductory videos to all the classes.  I have made my class free for now (as of 7/5/18) so you can use the same link and sign up for a free membership.

I hope you’ll take a look, and please share these links with anyone who might welcome them.  Thanks.

Step 2 to Building Your Vocabulary: Looking It Up

This is the step we all know and often resist.  And sometimes resistance is a reasonable response.  If you look at the context, the surrounding words, sometimes you can get a sense of what the word means.  And even if you can’t, that context will help you choose the correct definition when you do look it up.

So the first thing to do is look at the setting of the unknown word – are there are clues to its meaning?  Any synonyms or antonyms (words that seem to have a similar or opposite meaning)?  Any examples that give you a sense of the new meaning? What about whether the word seems to be positive or negative?  All of these things can provide helpful clues.

The next thing to do is look at the word itself and see if there are any parts of it you already know.  If you know enough of the parts, you can make a reasonable guess and move on.  For example, say you come across the word “bio-ethics” and have never seen it before.  But you know “bio-” has to do with life and “ethics” has to do with moral principles.  So bio-ethics must be ethical principles about life.  Good enough to keep you moving forward in the text.

If the context and parts don’t give you enough to move forward and the word seems important, the next step is to look it up, either online or in a physical dictionary.  If there is only one meaning, yay.  If there are multiple meanings, go back to the context of the word and decide on the one that makes the most sense.

Last of all, write it down!  Write down the new word and the most likely meaning in a dedicated space – your own personal dictionary.  And most important, also write down the sentence in which it appeared.  This will be a key tool in the final steps – learning the word well enough to actually use it.



OBSTREPEROUS – Word of the Week, August 3, 2016

Definition (adj):  Stubborn, defiant, difficult to deal with

Usage Example:  Because my brother is obstreperous, he often gets into trouble in school.


  • ob = against
  • strepere = make a noise
  • -ous = suffix meaning full of, having to do with
  • “to make a noise against, or in resistance to”