Staying on task means staying focused on what you should be doing and not letting distractions get in the way. Staying focused on the task at hand is the key to for your students to use their time effectively. Here are three ways teach your students to stay on task:
- Avoid procrastination
- Minimize distractions
- Set deadlines and reward yourself for meeting them
Teach your students about the dangers of procrastination. Procrastination is avoiding doing a task that needs to be accomplished and doing something else instead. Everyone is guilty of procrastination at some point in their lives. Knowing why you procrastinate and how to avoid it is an important time management skill.
Here are some tips to teach your students to avoid making procrastination a bad habit:
- Try writing down all of the consequences for putting off the work you need to complete. It might help motivate you to get started if you see, in writing, what the impact of delaying could be. For example, it may mean you have less time to do the work, it might mean the work will be of lower quality, you might actually miss the final deadline, and any of these may cause you increased stress the longer you put off the work.
- Try rewarding yourself after you have accomplished a task for a job well done or for completing an unpleasant task. The reward can be anything from taking a break, to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, to a walk outside.
- Try setting deadlines for yourself.
Interruptions and distractions can make us less productive and more stressed. Distractions of all kinds can decrease concentration and interrupt us while performing tasks. Even brief interruptions can cause problems because, after the interruption, it takes extra time to re-focus on what you were doing before Teach your students these tips to minimize or eliminate distractions that get in the way of completing tasks:
- make it known that you are busy and do not want to be distracted
- turn off things that distract you
- establish specific times to tackle certain tasks
Set deadlines for yourself and reward yourself for meeting them
Teach your students that if they are truly committed to a goal, they will need to spend the time it takes to accomplish it. There are many things your students can do to help make this process easier. Here are some ideas you can teach them to help them stay motivated:
- Set milestones and then give yourself a reward when you reach various milestones along the way of a goal.
- Let others know about your deadlines. You are more likely to stick to a deadline you have set if someone else knows about the deadline or is expecting you do to it.
- Reward yourself. Rewards are more effective at keeping up your motivation than punishment. Depriving yourself of things or punishing yourself for not meeting deadlines is not an ideal way to motivate yourself. Stick to rewarding yourself whenever possible.
Thanks for tuning into our series on teaching planning and time management to your students. If you want to learn more about developing or teaching soft skills, sign up for a free soft skills webinar here.