The semester is ALMOST over!
Many students INTEND to get work done over Thanksgiving break because they are trying to get caught up on missing and incomplete assignments.
This is a good idea, especially since the last couple weeks are often filled with end of the semester exams that need to be studied for, long papers that need to be written or big projects that must be completed.
Unfortunately for kids who procrastinate a lot, Thanksgiving break goes by in the blink of an eye and very little progress has been made on catching up.
This video will break it down and give you some solutions.
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Hey, what’s up? It’s me, Seth with SethPerler.com. I hope you having a great day. It is probably Thanksgiving break for you all. So I am sending this out a little bit early this week. And what I wanted to talk about today is how to do your homework over Thanksgiving break. Here’s the problem. (1) It doesn’t happen. Students often, and parents often, intend to get certain projects done over Thanksgiving break or on trips or vacations and stuff like this, but it usually doesn’t happen with kids who struggle with executive function. Now why it’s really important right now is because it is crunch time. It is the end of the semester. After Thanksgiving break, you guys have two or three weeks before winter break. And if your grades are at all borderline grades, like if you have a C that may become a D or an F and you’re trying to bring it back up.
If your grades are not where you want them to be, what’s likely to happen is that things are actually going to get worse right now. So you have to anticipate that in order to plan for it. And what I mean by getting worse is that the last week of school before the break is often filled with exams, papers, projects, and something that has to do with the reading assignments. So there are four things, longer reading assignments that something has to be done with them, big projects, big exams, big papers or essays or what-have-you. So there are four big things aside from the normal homework. But usually on that last week, those things are due and when students struggle with executive function they often don’t get them done or don’t get them done in time. And then they’re rushing to get it in and it’s just not high quality. So one of the problems is (1) that is crunch time. (2) Another problem that’s going on right now, particularly with the break, is that those of us who struggle with executive functioning have an unrealistic expectation of how much time or perception of how much time and energy it will take to accomplish the tasks that need to be done.
So a lot of you right now know that you want to get something done over break and you might be telling your parents, “Yeah. I’m going to get this done. I’ll get it done Saturday or I’ll do it over break. Just leave me alone.” Well, unfortunately having an unrealistic perception of how long and how much energy it’s going to take and not having a real clear plan of when you’re actually going to do it is going to make it more likely that you’re not going to do it and then you’re either going to be rushing at the last minute Sunday night or avoiding it altogether. So here is what I recommend.
Number one: Over your break don’t plan that you’re going to over Thanksgiving break work a half-hour on Thursday, Friday Saturday, and Sunday. Don’t do that. It’s not realistic. A half-hour isn’t even enough time to get started. So what you want to do is you want to plan a large chunk of time to do this work. So you want to plan like a 3 to 5-hour chunk even if it doesn’t take you that long. Plan that chunk of time so that you can really get into your work focus on it and be done with it. I really recommend getting it done in one large chunk. Now you want to plan that early in the day or early in the vacation. So for example, if you can do that on Friday, get it done on Friday. Don’t wait till Sunday, but get it done as early in the break as possible, and then get it done as early in the day is possible. Don’t wait till Sunday night. Don’t wait till Saturday night, Friday night. Do it in the morning. Do it early in the day, the earlier in the day the better.
Number two: Next you’re going to want to make a detailed plan of when you’re going to do it and what you’re going to do. So I recommend using something like this although you certainly don’t have to, but this is my today’s plan sheet that is on my website, but it has your number one priority. It has a list of tasks and then you can write how long you think it’ll take and put what order you want to do them in. So make a very clear plan, a detailed plan of how you’re going to do the work, and what time you intend to do it on what day. So you want to say, “I’m going to work on my stuff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. And I’m going to do this and this in this order.” So the better your plan the more likely you are to do it.
Number three: And then finally you want to use a timer to help you get started. If you’re somebody who procrastinates, get a digital timer that is not on your cell phone and use that timer to help you started. Go ahead and set it for 10 minutes, just to get a 10-minute little push. Or 20 minutes or 15, but whatever it is, but make it so that it’s not an overwhelming amount of time and use it to help you get started. And guess what? You’re going to stop and you’re going to need to get started again. That’s what happens when you struggle with focusing on things for long periods of time. You’re going to get distracted. Well, how do you get undistracted? It’s not rocket science, you just restart. And the timer is just a great way to restart. So recheck your plan see where you’re at on it and restart.
So again, those things were boom: (1) plan large chunks (2) plan them early in the day and early in the vacation (3) make sure your plan of what you’re going to do during that time is detailed and use a timer to start.
I do hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving break. I’m very grateful for you, and I hope you are grateful for the education you’re getting in the end. Just have a great break right now. Take care.