We all procrastinate. We push away tasks several times before we come to terms with the fact that we need to get the assignments done before it is too late. That's when we begin to panic. The pressure of accomplishing an assignment with a small amount of time to do it in can definitely get to us. I was in this predicament quite often as a child.
I was a procrastinator as a little girl in school. As a student, I found procrastinating harmless. I always told myself, “It’s fine. I have enough time.” The problem was, there wasn’t enough time. I was under an enormous amount of pressure, which led me to panic. It was hard to focus and produce quality work. My mother and sister came to my rescue all the time. Even though they were there to ease my fright, I was told I may not have anyone to rescue me when I was an adult. I had to learn how not to procrastinate. As I progressed to high school and college, I instilled the following five techniques to end my panic due to procrastination.
Organize a to-do list
Assist your children in creating a list of all the tasks to be completed. Once they see the tasks on paper, they can then organize them in the order of importance. If the assignment is a big one, perhaps divide the tasks into smaller portions to shun a moment of panic and effectively complete the task.
Ignore all phone calls, emails and log off from all social media. Kids, just as adults, can easily lose track of what needs to be accomplished and allow distractions to interfere with any progression being made.
The children should give themselves enough time to accomplish everything expected of them. For example, they could be working a part-time job, attending a couple of after school programs along with managing school work. Spending the appropriate time on each project will produce quality work. Divide the time accordingly and effectively. Also, children should allow themselves a break from time to time so they do not become overwhelmed and feel a sense of panic.
Set reasonable deadlines
Consider all assignments and how much time each one will require before allotting deadlines. It is wise not to set deadlines close to each other. This can easily become overbearing.
After your children have successfully accomplished a goal, treat them to something they want or something they enjoy doing. It is only fair to reward them for the hard work and dedication they put into the assignment.
Procrastinating can appear to be easier than tackling an assignment right away. Children and adults are guilty of procrastinating. Some of us panic and some of us don't. Nevertheless, instead of leaving tasks — no matter how big or how small — for the last minute, try practicing the above techniques as often as possible. Chances are you will feel a sense of fulfillment after completion and proud you accomplished what needed to be done without experiencing moments of panic.
Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.