Yesterday, while in the kitchen getting some coffee, I noticed my son on the couch watching videos. I knew he had homework he was procrastinating on so I called him over for a heart-to-heart conversation.
It started out easily enough. He knew he was about to hear some version of a lecture on why procrastinating is a bad idea. He's heard it many times before. I tried to make it sound fresh. I tried to let him bring his own thinking to the conversation. I asked questions.
"How long will the homework take, in hours?" I asked.
"I'm not sure." he said.
If you're not sure, how could you know when to start - especially if you're only giving yourself the last day to work on it?
He thought that was a solid point.
If it's hard to start right now, won't it be just as hard to start tomorrow, if not more difficult, because then, you'll have the pressure of knowing you have to do it all at once.
He acknowledged that as well.
You know Personal Fitness Trainers are hired by people who want more from themselves than they can get themselves to do - right? Yes. He understood the concept. The trainer will be there helping you get that extra rep in, resting a little less, and reminding you to drink water and eat right. He got it.
Can I be the personal trainer for you and your homework? Can I help you become the guy you want to be but aren't able to be on your own?
Okay, let's turn the games off. Let's just sit down and start. There's no time when it'll be easier, so we just need to get started.
It wasn't perfect. He realized he needed to eat and then he could begin. He paused and took a break then came back to it later. The home work isn't due until Monday, but he had a birthday party to attend to on Saturday and he's got family at the house. It made the most sense to get it done on Friday.
As I was busy in my office, throughout the day, I heard sounds of him doing pushups and pull-ups and school work and cleaning. He understood that with a little positive inertia, he could become stronger and more competent in several different areas - especially the areas that made him feel good and made me acknowledge him as well. Becoming stronger is an easy visual to grasp. He embraced it.
This morning, he confirmed all the homework is complete.
"How does it feel?" I asked.
"It feels great." he said.
I could tell in his posture and the look on his face that he's more confident today than he ever is when just watching other people do awesome stuff on YouTube.