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2 ways your teen can overcome time management struggles

2 ways your teen can overcome time management struggles

Does this sound familiar to you? Your teen is trying to do some kind of work late at night around 11PM and they sit there for a few hours staring at the assignment or project but unable to get anything productive done. 

They’re frustrated saying, “How come I can’t get anything done even though I’m awake and have been trying for the last couple of hours?”

Many teens run into this issue of trying to be productive late at night but unable to accomplish what they set out to do. 

This happens because we have a set amount of mental energy & run out of it by the end of the day. We start with a full tank of mental energy at the beginning of each day after sleeping. Every decision made throughout the day takes away from our mental energy. 

For example:

  • Deciding on what clothes to wear today
  • Deciding on what to eat for breakfast
  • Speaking to friends & giving advice
 

So after a full day of decision making, we have close to none at the end of the night, which is why even though your teen is awake, they’re unable to be productive.

Good news is there are 2 ways to overcome this struggle!

Your teen can split their days up into ABC tasks. This method enables them to get their most important responsibilities completed first & feel productive.

With ABC tasks, your teen can move about their day confidently, knowing that they are being productive & using their time wisely. This overcomes procrastination and they can take their breaks guilt-free.

How does it work?

A Tasks – These are the tasks that will help your teen progress the most towards their goals. These should be prioritized for the morning, when your teen has the most amount of mental energy to use.

B Tasks – These are the tasks that are important as well, however not as urgent as the A tasks. These can be worked on towards the afternoon. 

C Tasks – These are the “could do” tasks, as in it is a nice to have after your teen has completed their A & B tasks. But if they want to take a break and recuperate their mental energy instead at the end of the day, they can do that.

Repeatable routines help teens build healthy habits into their days & enable them to save on mental energy. With repeatable routines, teens can create consistency & structure that helps them manage time better.

These routines can be short and created for any time of the day. For example, your teen can have a morning routine, where they get up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, and write in their gratitude journal. 

They can also have a night routine where they include choosing their outfit for the next day, so they don’t use their mental energy deciding on what clothes to wear.

Below are tools that can help your teen implement repeatable routines & ABC tasks into their days.

Asana is a free online tool that your teen can access via web browser or download via the app store. This is a great tool to keep their ABC tasks organized throughout the days & weeks. 

They can organize groups of tasks, in this case (A, B, C) and then set dates next to each one. As they complete them throughout the day, they can click the check mark on the left of the tasks, and see a small & rewarding animation. 

There are many templates that Asana provides as well if your teen has specific projects they want to keep track of.

Check out Asana here.

To sign up for the free plan, click here.

Habitica is a gamified task manager that incentivizes users to accomplish their goals through rewards in game. 

Teens can access Habitca on the web browser as well as through a downloadable app. They earn in game rewards such as gold & items that they can use to level up and battle monsters with their friends.

See more on how it works here.

Check out Habitca here.

Streaks is a great application that helps teens form good habits. It enables your teen to set what tasks they’d like to always get done, what days they would like to do so, and how often they want to do them.

For example, 

  • Go to the gym (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
  • Do homework (Monday – Friday)
  • Practice guitar (Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday)
 

If they break their streak, then the counter will reset back to zero. They can also view their stats & results to stay motivated. 

This app is available for iPhone & Mac only, however a few good alternatives with Android are (Simple Habit Tracker, Balanced, Mindset).

Learn more about Streaks here.

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