Helping Teens Learn Productivity Skills, Interview with Melanie Wilson

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Helping Teens Learn Productivity Skills, Interview with Melanie Wilson.

Helping Teens Learn Productivity Skills, Interview with Melanie Wilson

Helping Teens Learn Productivity Skills, Interview with Melanie Wilson

Productivity skills do not come naturally to every single person, and that’s okay! That’s why there are organization experts among us to teach us creative hacks and to give us useful tips. One of these experts of productivity is Melanie Wilson from The Homeschool Sanity Podcast and Psycho With 6. Melanie can juggle flaming bowling pins in an organized structure if you let her. Learn some neat tips for helping teens learn productivity skills – and you can pick up a thing or two along the way as well!

About Melanie Wilson

Melanie is our wonderful friend from the Homeschool Sanity Podcast as well as Psycho With 6. She teaches workshops on organization skills for teens in a way that does not intimidate you. She has a gift of presenting information in a user-friendly way that can be applied towards several areas. 

Melanie is a psychologist who gave up her practice to become a homeschooling mom

She calls homeschooling her “most gratifying occupation ever.” Melanie has six children with three who have already graduated from homeschooling high school. The remaining three are still at home in their high school years.\.

As mentioned, she has a podcast and a blog, and she also writes books, such as the popular Grammar Galaxy language arts curriculum for elementary students. In addition to creating curriculums and books, Melanie is a public speaker as she does workshops, videos, and various types of activities that keep her busy, all on top of homeschooling her kids.

Now at this point, you may be thinking she has a full plate, but we are not done yet. That is not all Melanie does! She also loves playing tennis, playing pickleball with her husband and other couples, and she does scrapbooking with a friend on a regular basis. Of course, she also makes sure she has time for her family and her own personal development and reading time…

Some teens are automatically wired with productivity skills...some, not so much.

Tips For Helping Teens Learn Productivity Skills

You may have noticed this, even in your own teens perhaps, but some teens are automatically wired with organizational and productivity skills. Some teens are magnificent at analyzing situations and setting priorities with efficiency and productivity. 

However, many teens struggle in the productivity area. For these teens, the following organizational skills should help build productivity skills.

Make detailed lists of the things

Have your teens start making a detailed list of things that he needs to do on a regular basis. This will help them understand what is coming up and give them a sense of accomplishment when they have checked it off. 

But at the same time, it will help them stay organized in their mind, seeing the list of tasks they do on a regular basis serving as reminders for them. 

Understand there is more than one way to get things done

It is important to note that a lot of times as parents, we think there is only one way of getting work done – which is your way. But this is not true.

Teens who do notuse planners or lists can also get things done just like those who do use lists and organize details in planners. 

Meet your teen’s learning style and personal characteristics

As we all know, there’s not just ONE kind of teen. In fact, we could go as far as to say that not one single teen is the same! And this goes for their own set of characteristics too!

Understand your teen’s learning style so you can approach them with their own unique way towards productivity. For example, if your teen is a hands-on type of learner, you will teach him strategies for how to compensate for his style.

Help your teens notice how they are wired without them feeling judged

Teens can be sensitive or feel like they are being constantly judged at that age and stage of growth. Approach this by having a conversation with your teen about how you learned to do certain things as well as telling them some changes that have occurred in their particular productivity style. 

Give them examples of your own personal experiences

Give them examples of how you handled certain tasks lists while you were in college or how you did things when you first began working in high school. Let them understand that your own personal style has changed and adapted over time to your circumstances. 

This is a great way to open up the conversation because you are telling your teen that not only does your approach differ from the approach that will work best for them, but your approach has changed for you over time. And because of that, explain how you are constantly having to adjust to your new responsibilities and even a new season of life. 

Approach your child with an experimental mindset

Try to approach your child with an experimental mindset as it will give you a nonjudgmental attitude. By engaging your child in this way, you can offer them tips and tweaks on the things they’re currently doing. 

You can ask them questions, like:

“Have you thought of tweaking it this way?” Or,

“Have you ever tried another approach?” 

Notice how your teen responds to situations so you can help them with these tweaks. For example, if your teen likes the pressure of a deadline, let them know that, although there is nothing wrong with that, there are other approaches that can also help them get their work done in time. These approaches might not have so much stress attached to them. You could ask them to try one of these different methods and see how it feels for them afterward.

Try having genuine conversations about productivity

Try having genuine conversations

Stay curious about what as going on for them. Also, stay humble enough to offer what has worked for you without preaching to them. In this way you are inviting them into the process.

This will help your teen realize that they:

  • can grow
  • need to grow 
  • accept the fact that they are allowed to grow.

When you do this, you are letting your teens evaluate and come up with their own conclusion about what works and does not work for them.

About her book “A Year of Living Productively”

In 2013, Melanie had an idea that she could use her blog to help her become more productive. She learned that when she is accountable to other people, she becomes much more productive than if she is not. So she tried a different method for getting things done every week by writing about her results on her blog.

By doing this, she knew she could be consistent about blogging, even though she had no idea how many people were reading her blog (which turned out to be quite a few people!). But just the notion that one person was waiting for her and wondering where she was got her motivated. 

From this year-long process, after learning so much about the process, she started planning on writing a book at the end of that year. However, interestingly enough, when she attempted to write that book, she still had the wrong concepts in her head about getting things done. 

This spurred her on to discovering five-star methods of productivity!

Melanie’s book encourages other so find their own formulas for productivity

 A Year of Living Productively helps make this process a lot quicker by making a list of eighty different approaches – with full instructions – so that moms do not have to read the whole book to put the approach into practice.

With the book, she provides trackers for others to track their approaches and write them down so they can remember it.

Her book is personal and encouraging and feels like a big sister walking you through the approaches with tips along the way. It has a mentoring tone to the book with Melanie assisting with the approaches and then reminding you to look in the mirror and review what you did.

You can learn more about A Year of Living Productively here and connect with her at Psycho With Six and the Homeschool Sanity Podcast.

For more ideas on productivity, check out these:

Thank you Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post!

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