How to Help Teens Manage Their Busy Schedules?5 min read
Procrastination is one of the biggest problems seen in teenagers nowadays. Everyone waits for the last second to turn in assignments, or just do normal tasks. Hence, time management becomes the need of the hour. It is very important to keep track of your time and activities and try not to waste time loitering around and waiting for the last minute for the deadline to haunt you.
It is observed that teens who do not learn how to manage their time become major procrastinators and face issues in life. From personal experience it can be said, procrastination once inculcated in daily life is hard to get rid of.
Now since we are talking about busy schedules, one may not fall prey to the last-minute stress and anxiety by the following methods.
WAYS TO MANAGE A BUSY SCHEDULE
Following are the ways in which you can help your teen manage a hectic schedule and not fret at the last minute.
Planners to the rescue
You need to have a proper and detailed planner for all the activities to be done throughout the day. It should contain the list of everything from violin classes to co-op or doctor’s appointments. A master planner can be attached anywhere in the house like a fridge or maybe the kitchen counter.
Anyway, writing down what needs to be done at what time, no matter how hectic it is, makes the work doable and makes goals achievable.
Have a checklist
When there are a lot of things to do on the plate, it is better to list them all down first. There are broadly two goods to this. First, that you will have a clear picture of what needs to be done and how feasible it is. Second, as the items get ticked off the checklist, there is a sense of motivation which the kid will get, and this will make him feel the urge to check the other items off too. This is a widely noticed phenomenon about lists and schedules.
Usually, parents tend to nag their kids to stick to their schedule and poke them with repetitive reminders but this can be very irritating for the kid. Nagging makes the kid more annoyed and it is possible that he will not be interested in adhering to what is being told to him. It is okay to give occasional reminders.
Also, repeated reminders will inculcate a tendency in the kid to be dependent on them and yet again it will be a shared responsibility which is not what we are rooting for. Hence, it is advised to let them take charge and responsibility for their own actions and deadlines.
Encourage kids to develop routines
Instead of nagging, encourage them to establish routines. Tell them about the need to make healthy habits and the importance and advantages of completing chores on or before time. Initially, it will be your responsibility to tell them to make it a habit of completing their chores right after school and once they get the hang of it, it will be a long-term thing.
Once the teen learns and develops a specific routine, he will not waste time getting confused or thinking about what to do next.
Help them to set goals
Communicate. Talk to them about what they want or like to do through the day or what they have thought they want to complete. Once you know that, discuss how they can achieve it by not sacrificing on the other essential tasks lined up. Ask them, if they want to go to a dance class a once week or do they just like to devote some time to reading novels at night time every day.
Help the teens to prioritize their tasks
It is very obvious and common to be confused about what is more important. What should be done first and what can be pushed to a later time or just not done at all. It is always better to weigh the opportunity cost of whatever is being chosen to be done. For example, if your kid attends a birthday party instead of going to their dance practice, what are they losing, the things taught in the class and if they do the opposite, then what is being lost or gained, this is an economic method but can be applied here too.
Be the ideal person and model good habits
If you are running late, doing work just before the deadlines may set a really bad example for your teens. As it is said, practice what you preach. So before teaching them, make it a habit to be on time yourself because when they will see a real-time example of how work can be done with proper planning they will get more convinced by it and will try to follow it more.
Check on electronics
Not only teens but everyone had the tendency to waste a lot of time scrolling on social media, binge-watching a series on Netflix, or just randomly killing time by staring at their phone screens. So it is better to keep a check on your kids’ time spent on screens or other electronic items because it is one of the biggest causes of lethargy and procrastination among teens nowadays.
Especially when the schedule is busy it is better to cut down on time spent on electronics when it is not necessary.
Let them handle on their own
After you have helped them out with everything, from jotting down the tasks to be done to making a whole detailed schedule to giving them reminders, it is time to let them focus and execute their plan on their own and see what fits them best. If they are comfortable with heavy tasks in the night or day or what exactly do they wanna do and how many times a week. Let them make sure that they are checking off everything on their checklist and making time for what they want to do.
Hence, by proper planning and management, it becomes easier and efficient to complete a load of tasks at hand. It becomes very important to teach teens good time management skills and make sure that they do not take the path of procrastination and make it a long-term problem for themselves.