How To Overcome Procrastination...Tomorrow.
How having fun can help you avoid procrastination and get to work.
Hi parents. It's early March. Finished your taxes? How’s that will coming along?
We all procrastinate. Why? We dread the task. We don’t want to do it.
That’s as true for adults as it is for adolescents.
When I ask students why they don’t want to do the task, I get a number of glib, yet honest answers such as “Cuz it’s stupid. A waste of time.” “Cuz I’m lazy.” “Cuz I’d rather do something else.”
We all have to do things we don’t want to do. But all is not lost.
We can all learn strategies and tools to do the things we'd rather avoid, and these strategies can vary, depending on the person. What they have in common is that they work, and they enable us to perform tasks we dread.
I help adolescents and young adults who don’t YET have those strategies by talking with them further to better understand why they don’t want to do the assignments, or why they leave them to the last minute. Often they don’t know where to begin (very legit reason). Or it is a stupid, busy work assignment that doesn’t really respect the student’s intellect or integrity. Or it’s an assignment that doesn't allow them to express their voice.
They all have very compelling reasons that help me & them get to know their true selves, and to feel comfortable for who they are and what matters. This is the adolescent process of naming and knowing their personal integrity. Their gifts. Their aptitudes. Their ability to determine what would be a more meaningful way for them to truly learn something.
This conversation also reveals what gives them joy, what doesn’t, what bores them, and what engages. Now we’re working in a new world. Not just one of musts and opposition and obstinance and stubbornness or laziness. We’re in the world of our students' lives, which engages them, and makes them feel seen, heard, and known.
After our students are engaged, they can begin to address the tasks that need to be done…or at least learn tricks for starting those assignments they have no interest in. Why? Because they don’t feel oppressed, squeezed into an alien shape, unheard, dismissed. They are now part of the conversation...and they like it.
From this point on, we can work together to take steps to do those dreaded assignments.
First step: Do something you love; something simple : Listen to music, play a video game, eat some chocolate, go for a run, binge on your favorite YouTube show...Give yourself that joy.
Second: Pay attention to your motivation. As you do your fun activity, start to notice if you feel a little happier, freer, less obligated to do something you really don’t want to do. Start to notice when the task feels less onerous, less burdensome.
Third: Listen to your inner voice. When the voice inside your head transitions to “here’s what I want to say,” or “it’ll feel so good once it’s complete, because then it won't be hanging over me.” Perhaps your fun activity will generate ideas that you WANT to write about, or you'll feel an endorphin rush that makes you want to keep going.
Now you’ve got a strategy. (Shhh, we call this self-discipline)
My tutoring helps students find joyful activities , and it helps them push on, settle down, get to work. Do well.