Parenting for Productivity

3/3/2014 12:28:51 AM

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in my chance encounters with people. It goes something like this:
            Me: “It’s great to see you! How’ve you been?”
            Them: “Busy!” Or,
            Them: “Crazy busy!” Or,
             Them: “Out of control!”
            These days, we’re experiencing a crisis of over-commitment and information overload. For people of all ages, attention spans are shorter and distractibility levels are escalated. Responsiveness has markedly deteriorated, cell phones are virtual appendages, focusing is more difficult, and relational depth is increasingly being replaced by superficial breadth. How do we raise focused, productive, disciplined kids in this crazy environment?

            Our children are bombarded with information, opportunities, and distractions like no generation before. We have to arm them with a strong productivity foundation and personal disciplines to handle this (often chaotic) new world! Whether they go on to college or the workplace, they will eventually be in charge of how they spend their time—how will they fare?

            Studies show time and again that successful people are extremely disciplined with their time, viewing it as a priceless asset they cannot get back. That’s the attitude we want to cultivate in our teens. Another key productivity driver is their ability to focus, and to plan for their achievement. Encourage your children to set goals regarding their career, family, education, finances, service, experiences, recreation/leisure, and daily responsibilities. The more specific, realistic, and measurable they are, the better.

            Have you begun to instill these values in your children? Here are some evaluation questions to consider as you “parent for productivity”:

            If you see some room for growth in this area, here are few ideas to get you started on helping your teen build stronger productivity and personal discipline into his or her life:
            At the risk of sounding like Fred Flintstone, faster and “right now” aren’t always better—especially when they reduce our quality of life and productivity! Let’s communicate this to our younger generation. Help your teens learn excellent time management and personal disciplines and you’ll also be providing them with the ability to experience success in their relationships, academics, and life work.

Have you seen other people’s personal productivity (or your own) drop off proportionate to their busy-ness and distractibility? How about your own? What are ways you and your family are dealing with—or have overcome—this? Please share your ideas, questions, and comments; we’d love to hear your thoughts.