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- Article author: Anna Ren
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I was bedridden the past few days - something I haven't experienced in many years. It was also my first time being this sick after having kids.
As each day passed, I started to stress about the work I had to catch up on and how my kids were depending on me to get them to school the next day, especially since they had Valentine's Day parties at school. Thinking of all this made me not want to do anything, which brings me to the point.
Are we procrastinating or are we simply overwhelmed?
My high school students are sometimes blamed for being "lazy" or "procrastinating" by their parents. However, what I've realized is - they are simply overwhelmed in most cases. It's not that they don't know how to do the work. They just don't know where to start. So here's some advice that have gotten my students taking action again and also got me back into the swing of things again after being derailed.
Day 1: Start with one easy win - just one. For the first day, pick one thing you want to prioritize. Something you will be proud to have finished and is easy for you to do. For me, this Tuesday, it was simply getting everyone dressed and dropping my kids off at school on time. Anything after that was gravy. (I mostly napped) For my students, it may be simply taking 30 minutes to brainstorm ideas for their paper or simply laying out the steps to write a paper.
Day 2: Pick 2 priorities. You can keep the one you had from the day before and simply add one more. So for me, that was getting everyone to school and opening my laptop to respond to emails for an hour.
Day 3: Pick 3 priorities. Again, you can build on the two things you did before or pick three new things, but just make sure they are tasks you would feel accomplished completing and that at least one of them is reasonably easy for you to finish. For me, it was dropping my kids off, working for half the day, and taking a walk.
Building confidence in our abilities starts with accomplishing three things. After all, an object at rest stays at rest, but an object in motion stays in motion. It’s the foundation for building momentum.
I also recommend capping it at three priorities a day - it’s the way we structure the daily pages in our Journey 180 Planner. While it has space to list other tasks too, which helps reduce overwhelm mentally, by seeing them on paper, finishing them is simply a bonus.
I hope this tip helps you or the students in your life. Let me know in the comments.