To help your child become an autonomous and resilient learner:
Help him defeat procrastination by adopting effective work habits.
Let’s be honest: school work is not always enjoyable! However, it’s unavoidable. Our natural urge to put-off doing unpleasant things often leads us to procrastinate, which results in us rushing to do things at the last minute and creates unnecessary stress. Fortunately, there are tried-and-tested ways to combat our tendency to procrastinate, and they involve adopting effective and efficient work management habits. In his book How to Become a Straight-A Student, Georgetown University professor Cal Newport presents five “anti-procrastination battle plans” that he developed by interviewing hundreds of straight-A university students at top American universities. To help your child develop a more effective and less stressful approach to managing school work, suggest that he try these five “battle plans” until they become habits:
- Keep a work progress journal: Every morning, write down which tasks you should realistically be able to accomplish during the day; then, at night, take stock of what you did not complete and why.
- Feed the machine: Drink water constantly, eat snacks that are low in sugar, eat regular meals, and limit caffeine.
- Make an event out of the worst tasks: When you have something especially difficult to do, set a special time and place in which to do it, ask your family and friends to not disturb you, and eliminate distractions (like smartphones).
- Build a routine: Reserve regular time slots in your week to accomplish recurring tasks.
- Choose your hard days: If you know you will have some very intense days of work or study ahead, plan them in advance and tell your friends and family about them, so they can encourage you and work around them.