Half term beckons and so does a HUGE pile of marking. Whilst out on my 7.8 mile run today (my little treat for completing 15 papers that morning) I realised that marking papers is much like running 20+ miles in that both require a large amount of discipline; the kind of discipline that does not come naturally to me. My brain is a happy, flighty, imaginative little blighter; if given the opportunity, it will gladly break free of its leash and rush off on strange and bizarre tangents. This of course only happens when I'm not looking and so just a moments wayward thought in another direction: what's that happening out the window?... hmmmmm, what should I have for tea?... has that cat really been sleeping there all day?... leads to a complete lapse of concentration; therefore if I'm running, I forget I'm running and although my feet hold a level of capability to complete this action on their own, they lose all purpose, determination and speed; and if I'm marking, I realise I've read absolutely nothing on the page I've been staring at for the last half hour and had better begin over again.
Anyway... What was I saying?... dammit, I think I've just done it again!
To return to the point, I realised, whilst out on my 'treat' run today, that the same disciplinary procedures I had used to train my brain for the long runs of my marathon training could be applied to the marking and as such I have applied the following positive thinking strategies:
1. Get up and do it. Don't think about it, don't leave it until later in the day when tiredness and lethargy set in: get up, fuel and do it!
2. Just like a long run, don't think of it as one big hill to climb, instead break the marking down into smaller manageable chunks i.e: 'I only have 10 more papers to go and then I'll let myself stalk a friend on Facebook for a few minutes'.
3. Reward myself; each day I have a little treat planned for completing my marking - yesterday was retail therapy, today a run, tomorrow lunch with
not-so Little Bro and his lovely wife, Tuesday cakes(!), and Wednesday a hair cut and coffee with a friend (I realise that's two treats but I've none planned for Thursday so I reckon that's fine!)
4. Keep well-fuelled and hydrated to keep the energy levels up and the mind sharp!
See... running teaches you so much!
Good luck to those of you running the Bupa 10,000 tomorrow... I hope you achieve the times you want and enjoy the day... happy running!