The reward method: Grade an essay or grade a problem and then you get to read a book chapter (or a section of a book chapter). Sure it sounds like it’ll take longer, but it takes a lot less time than procrastinating by hitting reload on the internet for hours and not actually grading anything. Works best with short sections (romance novels!)
It helps to be on a couch away from people and away from the computer too. Distractions are difficult to resist when grading, so they need to be minimized. Having a big pile (on your lap, or on both sides of you) that’s difficult to escape from also helps, but you have to remember to use the restroom between problems or else you could end up in a bad situation.
My best tip is to grade in colored marker. Any and all colors that you love. The benefits are two-fold: 1) it makes grading more fun when you get to play with pretty markers; and 2) it prevents you from writing too many comments, so the grading goes faster. Students who want details can always come see me in office hours, but they rarely do. The thickness of a marker means you have to write your comments pretty big to be legible, and not a lot of words fit in the margin. As it should be. If you really MUST say a lot of things (why??), then you can always use the marker to write “Come see me.” Switch colors whenever you get bored.
#1 prefers Pilot G2 gel pens (sensuous) or colored pencils (erasable!). But we’ve had this conversation before.
Those of you who are or aren’t procrastinating, how do you get through your piles of grading?