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6 Ways To Help Your Kids Overcome Their Tech Dependency

6 Ways To Help Your Kids Overcome Their Tech Dependency

The Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2015 focusing on how much teens use technology, social media, and the internet in general. It showed that 56% of teens aged 13 to 17 go online several times a day, while only 6% said that they go online weekly, and only 2% go online less often. Kids are addicted to chatting, texting, and being online all the time.

Going online, searching for various information, and playing games is actually good for them and their development. However, the problem occurs if your children spend too much time using technology. This leads to them having poor social skills, health issues due to a lack of physical activity, and bad grades at school, so you need to find the right way to help them overcome their tech dependency.

1. Have a tech-free hour during the day

Forbidding the use of technology is completely ridiculous. The best thing to do is to limit screen time, but do not label it this way. Just focus on having an hour with no gizmos turned on.

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You can reach an agreement where, for one hour out of each day, no one in the family uses any tech, which includes watching the TV. So, no TV, no computers, no smartphones, and no tablets. Use this hour to bond with your family and talk about your day at work or about something that is bothering a member of your family.

2. Only allow texting and social media scrolling on the computer while at home

As you shouldn’t just outrightly forbid the use of computers or smartphones, you can allow only the use of a laptop when at home for chatting, scrolling the newsfeed, and so on. Make it an experiment and take 4 days from one week and make them smartphone and tablet free when at home.

It is too harsh to take away your kids’ social lives by banning chatting, as this is how the world works today. Most common apps can be installed on your home computer. You can download WhatsApp for your computer, or other apps like Viber and Snapchat.

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Your children won’t find it logical at first, as they can carry their laptops with them around the house. However, when having lunch and dinner, your children won’t be holding their smartphones, and that’s a win.

3. Sign them up for a class they will enjoy

If your kids are teenagers, they’ll probably hate every activity that doesn’t involve them hanging out with their friends. So, you need to come up with something that they’ll actually like, something they will continue to practice. If your kids like painting, acting, singing, or dancing, you can sign them up for some creative classes. They’ll benefit a lot if they work on developing their creative side.

On the other hand, if they are sporty, talk to them about which sport they would like to start playing.

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Don’t expect them to be professional basketball players or Oscar-winning actors. Just encourage them to do what they love and to follow their dreams. This way, you’ll definitely help them to forget about their phone and laptop for at least an hour or two.

4. Offer small rewards for every book read

Many kids don’t like reading, but at a certain age, we all come across a book we fall in love with and we start really cherishing the time we have just for reading. If your kids don’t like reading, don’t think that they’ll never experience the magic of the world of books.

Think about what kind of movies they like and recommend a book in the same genre. You can even give them the book their favorite movie was based on. Once they read their first book (for the pure enjoyment, not because they had to read it for school), they’ll get addicted to reading.

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In order to ensure that they’ll continue reading, you can offer small rewards for every book they read. For example, after they finish one book, you can give them some extra pocket money. The reward system has always been successful, as it is a great source of motivation.

5. Organize 30-minute family workouts

Many children spend hours sitting in front of a computer and playing games or mindlessly browsing online. In order to keep them healthy and fit, you can organize 30-minute family workouts which will encourage them to exercise. After some time, doing these exercises will become their habit, and they’ll realize just how good they feel. If they are bored when working out, then you can go to the swimming pool or play sports like tennis or basketball.

If sports are not your thing, the whole family can take lessons. This way, you’ll introduce a new family tradition and some quality bonding time.

6. Plan hiking trips on the weekends

Today, the only nature many children see is on their wallpapers. This has to change. Plan some hiking trips, but make sure to add a place of historical value, a waterfall, a cave, or an amazing view to the itinerary. They’ll complain while hiking, but when you reach the main attraction, they’ll realize that it was all worth it.

These are 6 of the most efficient ways to make your kids leave their phones and engage in some other activity. You shouldn’t take away their tech, but you should introduce them to new activities which will help them develop some new skills, meet new people, and stay healthy.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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