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How To Make Your Kids Responsible And Productive

How To Make Your Kids Responsible And Productive

Raising responsible and productive children can seem like an uphill battle in today’s world. Kids are exposed to technology that provides instant gratification in most areas of their lives. It takes a concerted effort to make kids responsible and productive when it comes to chores, homework, and other responsibilities.

Here are a few ways to make your kids responsible and productive.

Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Children aren’t born knowing how to solve problems. Many kids give up without trying or think there’s only one way to solve a problem. Teach your child that solving a problem can take multiple efforts. Play games that teach your child how to solve problems. Give your child puzzles to solve and play games that encourage creative thinking.

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Give your child a task and ask him to come up with at least five ways to solve the problem. For example, ask him how he could move one object from the chair to the table without using his hands. See how many creative solutions he can come up with and discuss the many solutions to the problem.

Assign Chores

Assign chores to your child to help them behave responsibly. Even young children can perform simple tasks, such as putting their dishes in the sink. Older children should be given daily chores and over time, they should require less reminders to get their chores done.

Avoid nagging your child to get their chores done. If you nag your kids, they’re less likely to take responsibility to remember what they have to get done. Instead, provide consequences if they don’t complete their chores on time.

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Motivate Your Child with Rewards

Give your child rewards for a job well done. Just like adults receive a pay check for showing up to work and doing their job, kids should earn some sort of reward for doing their jobs as well.

Provide your child with an allowance for completing their chores. Create rules about how much of their money they can spend and how much needs to be saved so you can teach your child to be responsible with money.

Establish a Schedule

Create a schedule that will help your child to be productive. Help your child set aside time to do their school work, finish their chores, and complete their daily tasks.

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Teach your child to get their work done before playing. When kids understand that they can have free time to play outside or use their electronics once their work is done, they are much more motivated to be productive.

Set Time Limits on Electronics 

Help your child establish healthy habits by setting time limits on electronics. Usually two hours of screen time, including TV, video games, and computer games, is plenty.

Encourage your child to have other interests and activities that don’t involve electronics. Well-rounded kids are likely to participate in sports, clubs, and other activities that keep them too busy to be glued to the TV.

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Provide Consequences When Necessary

Provide a consequence when your child doesn’t behave responsibly. When you give them a consequence, it will help them learn from their mistakes.

Sometimes natural consequences are enough to teach your child a lesson. If your child doesn’t get their homework done, receiving a zero might be consequence enough for them. However, sometimes, additional consequences need to be imposed. Consider taking away extra privileges, such as electronics, until your child is able to show that they can behave responsibly again.

Make it clear what they needs to do to get their privileges restored. For example, tell them they can earn their electronics back once they make up the work that they are missing at school. That places the responsibility back on them to get it done.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

6 Mistakes That Keep You Struggling in Life And Stuck 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life 10 Simple Ways To Make Positive Thinking Your Habit 12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime

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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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