by Kevin Stuckey, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
At one time or another, everyone is guilty of intentionally putting off something
that should be done. We wait until the last minute to complete a project and jeopardize
our success. For some students, excessive procrastination becomes a habit that puts
them at risk for academic failure. These students have difficulty staying organized,
focused, and motivated.
There are many reasons why students may procrastinate when completing projects or
assignments. They may feel like the work is too hard for them and are afraid of
failure. The students may be unfamiliar with all of the necessary steps to complete
a project or assignment, or they may not be able to organize the steps correctly.
Additionally, students may not know how much time a project or assignment will take
and think they have more than enough time. Finally, students may have no interest
in the subject and would rather be doing something else.
Ways to Decrease Procrastination
There are several things to do in order to encourage students to complete their
projects and assignments. Below are ways that may be effective in helping students
overcome the habit of procrastination:
- Turn work into games for a more relaxed approach to complete schoolwork.
- Create a timeline for completing the project or assignment.
- Set rules at home for work and play.
- Be a good work model.
- Help students without doing the work for them.
- Talk about the project or assignment and steps needed to complete the tasks.
- Write down all the goals for the next day the night before.
- Turn off all electronic devices that the student does not need.
- Set a schedule for all of the work and don’t stop until the tasks are done.
- Plan a reward goal or activity after completing a task.
It is important to keep in mind that students respond to different methods of instruction
and motivation. By understanding the process of completing everything and identifying
all of the distractions which may interfere with work completion, students have
the opportunity to experience the feeling of success with a job well-done. By teaching
students how to organize tasks to complete their schoolwork, you may see these strategies
transfer to other areas of life. Teaching students effective strategies for task
completion will not only benefit them for specific projects and assignments but
can also provide a sense of increased self-confidence.