Lesson | “HELL YEAH!” or “NO!”

Imagine you have a lot going on and time is definitely not on your side. You decide to commit to the project(s) closest to your heart, and commit totally. It is either “HELL YEAH!” or “Sorry, no time for you!”. Priorities, selection, decision, announcement. You are good to go. Your mind`s made up. It feels right. Only the deadlines to meet and items to tick off the list only to get you closer to that ultimate accomplishment, popularly referred to as success.

Now, let`s swap perspectives: Imagine you are the one who didn`t ‘qualify’ to be in someone else`s “HELL YEAH!” category. You end up in the “Sorry, no time for you!” box. Priorities, selection, decision, announcement. You are good to go … on the shelf. How does that feel, for a change?

This lesson about different approaches to commitments was inspired by Derek Sivers` change of heart when it comes to time management, as expressed on his site. With real-life stories and the topic unsettling to many, your students may well end up with a fiery debate. To finish it off on a productive(!) note, students get actively involved in contributing to Derek`s latest project, the /now page.

Minimal language level: B1+


  • three blog entries from Derek Sivers` site: sivers.org


  • commitments, productivity, time management

Language aims:

  • speaking: expressing opinions, providing arguments, speculating
  • reading: prediction, text annotation, text reconstruction, reading for details
  • writing: giving an account of your current commitments, email to a blogger [expressing opinions / neutral register]
  • language: collocations related to the theme of commitments and productivity

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