• Parenting Tips: Ending Procrastination Once And For All | Leslie Josel | Episode 51

  • Does your child procrastinate? Probably. Everyone does it sometimes but some kids do it all the time. This is a frustrating issue for many families and it can be a cause of discord, possibly on a daily basis. This can leave us wondering why our kids procrastinate so much or how to get them moving. But what’s the real problem here? How can we help our kids? Should we help our kids? And what about us, can we procrastinate less? This episode of the Mighty Parenting podcast explores these questions. Hosts Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler get parenting tips for ending procrastination forever as they interview teen time management expert Leslie Josel.



    A Favorite Quote from the Show:

    “We feel we have to be in a better mood to get done the things we have to do so we end up procrastinating on things that don’t interest us in the moment.”

    High Points from Ending Procrastination Once And For All:


    Procrastination happens to all of us but you can be a functional procrastinator or a dysfunctional procrastinator.

    The determining questions are:

    • Do you know you’re pushing it off?
    • Do you get things done when they need to be done?

    A dysfunctional procrastinator is a teen or adult who doesn’t see what’s coming on their time horizon or, even if they do see it, they drop the ball and just don’t get it done.


    3 questions for parents to ask themselves before getting worried about their child’s procrastination:

    1. Did they get it done?
    2. Was it done properly?
    3. Did they get it done without stressing themselves out?

    If your teen meets deadlines but doesn’t complete other things, they may be a mood-based procrastinator.

    Activities must be on a teen’s time horizon in order to not procrastinate.

    Mood-based procrastination: We feel we have to be in a better mood to do things we have to do so we go do something that will put us in a better mood. Those activities take over and we end up procrastinating.

    Your child knows what they need to do but they don’t always know how to get it done.

    Procrastination leads to upset parents—arguing and fighting with their kids—and it’s very demoralizing for a child.

    Words to use when your child is procrastinating or misses a deadline:

    • Can you tell me what got in your way? (What do you think might get in your way? Instead of When will you get this done?)
    • How can we avoid that happening?

    It’s not what you do, it’s how you clean it up. When they make a mistake, ask them how they’ll clean it up and if they need help figuring out how to handle it.

    Getting started is the hardest part. Help them do that by lowering the bar—get rid of the barriers to entry. Then ask them what they need to do to GET STARTED. Don’t look at the whole situation at once. Focus on the one thing to do to get started.

    If your child has a problem getting started on a task, find out if they understand the steps for doing the task. If they don’t understand, help them see the steps as well as how to move from one step to the next.

    Remember, procrastination issues are brain based so parents have to do certain things to help their child strengthen that part of their brain.

    We all need positive energy around our tasks in order to get motivated. Help your child create a positive environment and the environment will do some of the work of motivating them to get started. Music, color, a space, etc. can become an external cue to our brain to start a task. Create an environment that has motivating enthusiasm around it.

    We want our children to have some time awareness; do some future traveling. Help them look at time 2 hours or 2 days or 2 weeks from now and ask how they’ll feel when they meet their deadline. Conversely, ask how they’ll feel 2 hours from now when they wasted this time and could have done this work.

    Ask: Does this make sense to you? Do you understand what is being asked of you?

    Leslie’s first interview about time management intertwines with this interview and is a must-listen. Click here for Parenting Problem – The Surprising Solution Might Be Time Management for Teens | Leslie Josel | Episode 21

    You have to play Eye Spy with your child. Everyone talks about procrastination when it may not be a procrastination issue. We need to dig deeper, peel back the layers and see what the real issue is; it may be an organizational issue.

    Our Guest:

    Leslie is an academic/life coach, an award-winning author and internationally acclaimed speaker. She is the creator of the award-winning Academic Planner: A Tool for Time Management®, a planner that helps students develop and master time management skills, and the author of “What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management”, a parents’ step-by-step guide to help teach their students the time management skills they need to succeed in school, home and in life.

    A respected resource on ADHD and Executive Functioning in students, Leslie writes a weekly column called “Dear Organizing Coach by Leslie Josel” for ADDitude Magazine, and is also a contributing writer for Family Circle Magazine.

    She brought “Order Out of Chaos” to life from a very personal mission. Leslie is the mother of a time-and-organizationally-challenged teen who was diagnosed with ADHD. She founded the company 15 years ago with the goal of providing professional organizing, time management and coaching services; parent and family education, products and resources to families and their students to help them bring order out of chaos to their lives.

    To learn more or connect with Leslie, visit https://orderoochaos.com.