Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks.
It is a common problem for many people, including teenagers. Teenagers are going through a lot of changes, both physically and mentally, and this can make it difficult to stay on top of their responsibilities.
A teenager is a person who is in the age range of 13 to 19 years old. The word “teenager” is derived from the combination of the words “teen” and “ager,” which means “age.”
Teenagers are going through a period of rapid physical, emotional, and social development. They are also becoming more independent and making decisions about their lives.
Physical Changes that Teenagers go through:
- Growth spurts: Teenagers typically experience a growth spurt during their teenage years. This can cause them to grow taller and gain weight rapidly.
- Hormonal changes: Teenagers’ bodies go through a lot of hormonal changes during this time. These changes can cause mood swings, acne, and other physical changes.
- Sexual development: Teenagers’ bodies start to develop sexually during this time. This can be a confusing and sometimes overwhelming experience.
Emotional Changes That Teenagers Go Through
- Increased independence: Teenagers start to want more independence from their parents and other adults.
- Identity exploration: Teenagers start to explore their identity and who they are as a person.
- Mood swings: Teenagers’ emotions can be very volatile during this time. They may experience sudden mood changes, from happy to sad to angry.
- Peer pressure: Teenagers are often influenced by their peers. This can be a positive or negative influence.
Social Changes That Teenagers Go Through
- Increased social interaction: Teenagers start to spend more time with their friends and less time with their family.
- Dating: Teenagers may start dating during this time. This can be a new and exciting experience, but it can also be challenging.
- School: Teenagers start to focus more on their studies during this time. They may also start to think about their future careers.
These aforementioned are contributors and lead to reasons why teenagers procrastinate.
The most common reasons are:
- Fear of failure: Teenagers may be afraid of failing a test, getting a bad grade, or not being good enough. This fear can lead them to put off doing the work until the last minute.
- Lack of motivation: Teenagers may not be motivated to do their work because they don’t see the point or they don’t think they can do it.
- Perfectionism: Teenagers may want to do their work perfectly, which can lead them to procrastinate because they are afraid of making mistakes.
- Boredom: Teenagers may find their work tedious, which can make them want to put it off.
- Disorganisation: Teenagers may be disorganised and have trouble managing their time, which can lead to procrastination.
Tips To Overcome Procrastination
- Set clear goals: Help your teenager set specific, achievable goals for their tasks. Having a clear sense of purpose can increase motivation and reduce the tendency to procrastinate.
- Break tasks into smaller steps: Encourage your teenager to break down their tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This makes the work feel less overwhelming and provides a sense of accomplishment with each completed step.
- Create a schedule: Help them create a daily or weekly schedule that allocates time for different tasks, including study sessions, chores, and leisure activities. Following a schedule can reduce the likelihood of procrastination.
- Use time management techniques: Teach your teenager techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, where they work for a focused 25-minute interval followed by a 5-minute break. This approach can enhance productivity and reduce procrastination.
- Eliminate distractions: Encourage them to create a distraction-free workspace by turning off notifications, putting away their phone, and limiting access to social media and other distracting websites while working.
- Find the right environment: Help your teenager find a study environment that suits them best. Some people work better in complete silence, while others prefer background music or white noise. Experiment to see what works for them.
- Use positive reinforcement: Implement a reward system for completing tasks on time. This could involve allowing them to engage in a favourite activity or treat themselves after finishing their work.
- Visualize success: Guide your teenager in visualizing the positive outcomes of completing their tasks on time. This can help boost motivation and make the task seem more achievable.
- Practice self-compassion: Teach them to be kind to themselves, even if they encounter setbacks or struggle with procrastination. Encourage them to view each situation as a learning opportunity rather than a failure.
- Seek accountability: Suggest that your teenager shares their goals and tasks with a friend, family member, or study group. Being held accountable to someone else can increase their commitment to getting things done.
It is important to remember that every teenager is different. They will all experience these changes at their own pace and in their own way. It is also important to be patient and understanding with teenagers who are going through these changes. Remember, overcoming procrastination takes time and practice. It’s important to support your teenager’s efforts and celebrate their progress along the way. Similarly, helping them understand the reasons behind their procrastination can also be beneficial in finding the most effective strategies for their unique situation.
Researched By: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi