Procrastination and a lack of self discipline are two of the largest obstacles that teens are faced with when it comes to managing their time. In one’s teenage years you begin to realize that there are things in this world that you will have to do to get by. Sometimes we will not want to study hard to get an “A” on a test, and sometimes we will not want to wake up early to go to work. But life is filled with tasks and projects that we must learn how to make time for, regardless of our excitement to get our work done.
Prioritization is a difficult concept to grasp as a teenager. If you are a parent, you have probably told your teen a million times that school should be a priority because of the importance of getting a good education. But in teen years, young people’s minds are not usually overly concerned with getting into college, finding a high paying job and having enough saved up to retire at 30. Teenage minds focus on the drama of being a teen, girlfriends and boyfriends, friend trouble and rumor control. Teens need help finding a way to fit all the fun things and all of the required things (school, chores, work, etc.) into a day. That is why teens have a lot of benefit from improved time management.
Motivate your teen to find the value in the things that he or she may not enjoy doing but will be beneficial for his or her future. Learning can be fun, and you get a real sense of accomplishment from working hard on something and reaping benefits from a job well done. Help your teen see that time management is ultimately going to be a tool that will resolve a lot of frustration, confusion and disappointment. Ultimately, teens are the ones who stand to gain when they can better manage their time.
No teen wants to waste his time, miss opportunities, perform poorly, or have an increased level of stress. Eliminating procrastination is a way of eliminating all of those negative factors. Low-priority tasks that may be more fun to do now should not get in the way of high-priority tasks that will just become harder and harder to do the longer that you put them off. Below you will find a list of common lies or excuses that we tell ourselves when we procrastinate. When you notice yourself falling victim to some of these mentalities, realize that you can make a change for the better if you are willing to do what it takes to manage your time and energy more productively.
Common excuses to avoid when trying to avoid procrastination and better manage your time:
• I’ll wait until I’m in the mood to do it.
• I’ll just do it later. There will be plenty of time then.
• It’s not fair that I have to do so much. How can they expect me to do all this?
• I just don’t know where to start
These self-defeating statements don’t do anything but hurt ourselves. Find your own time management techniques. If you find yourself struggling to convince yourself that you have time to do something, set aside a specific time of the day when you will do that one task, and find time for everything else around that window of time.
If you really feel like there is no relief in sight for your time management concerns, do not be afraid to approach your family and teachers with your concerns. Believe it or not, adults are trying to help you to learn, not torture you. They want what is best for you and will help you to be able to handle the stress and anxiety that you are dealing with.