Sometimes we forget kids are really “people” too. Little “people”. Adolescent “people”. Teenage “people”. But definitely “people”, who like me and you, have demands put on them day in and day out. And just as with the deadlines and pressures we deal with, sometimes those demands can feel overwhelming.
Likewise, just as often happens when we have a to-do list that overwhelms, the stress of this overwhelm can cause them to procrastinate. Usually, this is because the tasks in front of them seem so daunting, they don’t know where to start.
Thus, they don’t start. Until they have no other choice to start, because the deadlines are upon them. Of course, this leads to even greater stress and as we know, stress is one of the greatest enemies of productivity.
How can you help your kids stop procrastinating and be more productive? Believe it or not, it’s easier than it may sound.
Here are 4 tips to help them take control over procrastination and increase productivity quickly and simply:
Teach them how to break large tasks and projects into small parts.
Next, assist them in planning out the completion of the smaller sections in a manageable timeline. Start from the due date and work backwards in “chunks” to their starting date / point. Breaking down big tasks in this manner helps kids stop procrastinating by making it less overwhelming. Additionally, using an online calendar or project / to-do list app should help make this process more attractive to them.
Help them acquire organization and productivity skills through the use of apps that use Pomodoro timers.
The Pomodoro technique we’ve mentioned before, works super well with kids. Based on a similar idea to the strategy above, it makes them break down big tasks into small, more manageable “bites”. Once they have developed this skill, procrastination seems less attractive, and less inevitable.
Empower kids to beat procrastination through better time management, in general.
This includes learning to regulate Internet usage. You can do this manually, sure. There are also many apps available for this strategy too. Again, apps are good because this is a medium kids and teens are already familiar with, and find attractive and easy-to-use.
Finally, help kids learn to improve concentration and stay focused to stop procrastinating and be more productive.
This works on the front end and the back end. On the front end, it helps to prevent or end the need to procrastinate through positive reinforcement.
Many kids procrastinate because they can’t actually make themselves focus until that deadline is right at the door—the “9th hour” so-to-speak. Or, when they do procrastinate, they get so stressed about being behind, they can’t focus.
Giving them strategies for to increase focus and concentration then, helps both ways. Specific techniques and tips include creating a distraction-free workspace and getting enough sleep. When we are short on sleep, focus and concentration can definitely be elusive and getting quality sleep is important.
Another focus technique includes listening to soft classical or instrumental music while working. Meditation – especially guided meditation – is beneficial for kids and teens, as well. Meditation not only helps them to relax, it actually improves focus. Guided meditation is beneficial because it literally walks kids through the process, without them having to learn something new.
The bottom line is that kids and teens can stop procrastinating with a little guidance and this in turn, helps to be more productive overall. Helping them get this down now – while their whole life is in front of them – is one of the best gifts you can ever give them. And who knows? You might learn something that can help you, in the process too!