Marie’s Answer: You’re being held hostage by your own conscientiousness. Over the years, extreme attention to detail has paid off for you, so now it feels scary to let anything go. Here are a few points to consider:
• In reality, all this extra "polishing" may no longer add much value. Ask yourself whether the additional hour of tinkering with an established lesson plan really makes it that much better.
• Your overpreparation may actually have an anxiety-reducing function. Constantly revising and reviewing and rehearsing may help you feel more prepared for the unexpected. But after 20 years, how many surprises can there be?
• Breaking this habit will require a strong commitment to self- . When that nagging inner voice tells you to redo another handout, give yourself permission to say no. Then turn your attention to something else.
• To explore your artsy inclinations, schedule specific times for creative activities. Put them on your calendar, view them as a serious obligation, and do not blow them off at the last minute. Otherwise, you will just keep revising class materials until the day you retire.
For a five-step self-improvement process, see How to Change Your Behavior.