We all do it. However, when our children procrastinate doing their homework, it is frustrating because we lack control – we can’t make them focus, concentrate and get it done. At least with our own undesirable chores, like paying bills, we know we will eventually get down to it when we have to.
Sometimes procrastination isn’t so bad. When the deadline approaches, the adrenaline and focus kick in and we hunker down and do the task at hand. The problem with my children’s procrastinating is that while most of the time they do eventually get their homework done, it is often past the desired bedtime, causing anxiety and lack of sleep. There are no easy answers, but I have done some research and found a few strategies that work.
Here are some tips to conquer procrastination, for parents, children, and teens:
· Start with an easy task that won’t take too much effort to accomplish.
· When tackling a hard or complicated task, just get started with 10% of it. You can break it down into parts rather than doing it all at once. At the very least, open up the books and do one problem or write one sentence, and come back to it later.
· Visualize how you will feel and what you will do with your free time after you have completed your tasks.
· Make a to-do list, with or without times for each task. Check off each task when it is completed.
· Alternatively, don’t make a to-do list, but every time you accomplish something, write down what you did and check it off.
· Offer yourself a break or reward after each task or part of a big task. (If it’s food, have something healthy)
· Get some physical exercise before, in between, or after. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which trigger a positive and energizing feeling, which helps with motivation.
· Steer clear of distractions. Find a quiet place and quiet time. Try to control impulses to constantly check your phone, or leave your phone in another room.
Do you have a tip that has worked for you or someone in your family? Send it our way.
Just to show that procrastination is universal, see the following link to the Procrastination Musical – I hope it makes you laugh.