Can it Wait Until Tomorrow?

Do you find yourself putting off tasks that should be done today? Procrastination can develop from lack of interest, lack of motivation, poor time management or anxiety or fear.


First you have to figure out why you, or your child, are putting off the task, then you can bring in some tools to help!


empoweringparents.com lists some behaviours that may dwell behind the procrastination:

  • Lack of Relevance: Your child may not see the task as relevant to his or her current or future goals.

  • Boredom: Some tasks just aren’t compelling. For instance, most kids don’t find cleaning their room to be a fun or engaging activity.

  • Lack of Self-Discipline: Knowing you need to do something isn’t the same as being able to get started. Kids are faced with an increasing number of distractions, which can make it hard to prioritize and stick to plans.

  • Poor Time Management: Many kids underestimate how long it takes to do something, and do it well. They put off getting started, assuming there’s enough time to complete the task.

  • Anxiety and/or Fear of Failure: Some children are unable to start tasks because they are afraid that their performance won’t meet personal expectations, or the expectations of significant others. Taken to the extreme, this anxiety becomes perfectionism—the paralyzing belief that anything less than perfect is unacceptable.


Certainly we can see it in our own behaviours as we put off doing our taxes, folding the laundry or making necessary appointments. So it is important to be understanding, be aware of possible problems and work together to find tools that can help.


Book recommendation:

Kate the Kitty Beats Boredom features two friends who aren't interested in helping with the chores, they just want to play. But, a very smart Dad shows them how they can make the work into a game, and before long, the jobs are done!


This book is great inspiration for kids to have them think how they could make certain, necessary tasks more fun which in turn will help motivate them to do them!




A conversation with your child is the best place to start. Ask questions about their perspective on the task - do they feel it is irrelevant or unnecessary, how can you help them understand its importance?


Are they unmotivated because the task is boring - discuss different ways that you could perk it up! Can you make it a game, can you put some good music on while the task is being done, can you do it together to make it seem less overwhelming?


There are always things we would rather do than some of the chores we have to do. So can we use those good things to break up the not so fun ones? Why not promise a game after the chore is done, or break up the chore into smaller sized time slots and fit in other things in between - spend fifteen minutes working on the project then lets spend fifteen minutes drawing a picture - then back to the project.


Sometimes the chore may seem overwhelming - like cleaning their entire room. So break up the chore into smaller tasks - can you pick up all the stuffies and put them in the bin. Can you put all the books onto the shelf. Can you collect all the dirty clothes and put them in the basket. Dealing with one task at a time will make it seem more manageable.


Anxiety and fear can create real struggles for kids when they need to finish something, especially if it is something they haven't done before and may fear doing it wrong. Again small steps is a good way to approach the task, understanding the concern, sharing ideas of how to proceed, what happens if it goes wrong and why doing it is easier than ignoring it can all help prepare a child for the task.


Guiding children with tools to help with procrastination can not only help them move forward in the tasks but it can also give them skills for problem solving, time management and goal setting.

Get the conversation started about gathering all that you need to do what has to be done with the

Robot Rules book Be Prepared.

available from the quiteacharacter.ca Bookstore








"Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible."


George H. Lorimer





Waiting for children to complete tasks can be hard, especially if we are on a time schedule. Sometimes, offering them choices can help build their independence but limit the time it takes to finish a task. Check out Allowing for Choice to find out more.

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