Most teens I work with list procrastination as one of their top stumbling blocks. We also know this is a problem for us, too! While our children are still in school, it's a good idea to help them find strategies to overcome procrastination, so it doesn't end up interfering with their academic goals down the road. Here are my top tips for solving procrastination- for both you and your child.
1. Figure out why, and solve that- Is it because you are overwhelmed, unsure where to start, tired, confused about directions, or scared of imperfection? There are many reasons we procrastinate, but if you don't take a minute to figure out why, you can't apply the right solution.
2. Take a baby step- If you are overwhelmed, just start with the very first baby step. Maybe reread the instructions, collect materials, research the topic, or make a list. Just START. Action is the enemy of procrastination.
3. Set a timer- Just set a timer for 5, 15, or 30 minutes, and tell yourself you will just tackle the project for that amount of time. Sometimes, once we get started, we are then motivated to finish!
4. Backwards plan- If you are unsure where to start, plan backward. If your project is due on a Friday, maybe the rough draft needs to be finished on Monday. Then keep going backward, estimating the dates you need specific steps completed. Eventually, you will get to the current week/day to see what your first step is.
5. Visualize the end- I hate cleaning the house, but I love a clean house. Sometimes if I sit and visualize how much my future self will enjoy sitting in a beautiful home, it motivates my present self to get up and get started. Take time to envision how nice it will be to have your project done and how much your future self will thank you!
Procrastination can be a killer of our goals. Don't let it get the best of you! Try these tips and let me know which one worked.
I also teach these skills and more in my classes and coaching!