Jack, 11th grader struggling with chronic procrastination,
missing assignments, and deteriorating grades
Jack is a bright student who earned good grades throughout middle school without spending too much effort. However, procrastination from video gaming and YouTube, along with the increased demands of more challenging courses in high school, finally caught up with him. John could not curb his use of distracting technology, and his self-esteem and confidence took a tumble as he couldn’t control the downward spiral of his grades. Being strong-willed, Jack did not like to be told what to do, and his mother’s efforts to restrict his gaming only exacerbated the nightly battles around homework that took a toll on the entire family.
His lack of structure with schoolwork further enabled procrastination as Jack constantly told himself he would do his work later. Unfortunately, later would never come, and the number of missing assignments only grew larger.
On days that Jack did schoolwork, he usually started late, disrupting his sleep schedule and creating other avoidable issues.
Ultimately, Jack’s reactive approach to academics caused him to feel high levels of anxiety as he frequently thought about his missing assignments and the overwhelming amount of work he needed to make up.
Jack’s anxiety with missing assignments was made much worse by his negative self-talk that he would never get accepted to a good university.
his inability to manage his procrastination.
Jack and his coach immediately set out to create structure and routines around doing schoolwork. It includes specific start times for when he would start doing schoolwork as well as alarms that would prompt Jack when it was time to get started.
Another layer of structure to help Jack stay on task was using timers to regulate the length of breaks. To minimize distracting technology, Jack’s coach recommended using Internet restriction software that only Jack could activate.
Jack also began using a daily action plan containing the tasks he agreed to complete and the specific days he agreed to complete them. Jack would then check off on his progress toward completing his tasks in the action plan on a daily basis.
Using the action plan created multiple layers of accountability as Jack would hold himself accountable for what he agreed to do and allow Jack’s coach to act as his accountability partner.
“I wanted my son to be college-ready, and I am happy to report that he finished his first semester in college with a 3.8 GPA!”
- Jack’s mother
In contrast to the semester before working with his coach, where Jack struggled to earn Cs and Bs, he completed his final semester of high school with straight A’s.
The long list of missing assignments essentially came to a halt, with only the odd late work showing up on his grade portal occasionally. His confidence in his abilities to succeed had reached a level he could not have imagined before working with his coach.
Jack’s anxiety, while not completely gone, had reduced to a very manageable level as he had concrete systems and processes in place to ensure he knew every upcoming assignment and had a concise plan for how and when he would complete all of his work.
Jack matriculated to a 4-year university, finishing his first semester with a 3.8 GPA.