Sunny blue skies, a dip in the pool, the pull of an impromptu road trip… even the strongest among us can be lured by summer’s appealing distractions. However, we all know that the joys of summer don’t make our responsibilities magically disappear, so it’s critical to develop a strategy for staying on course to meet our obligations and address our greatest priorities.

The task-planning skills needed to accomplish our goals are beneficial at any stage of life. But in college, cultivating those skills is an especially important endeavor: without them, a student may flounder, fall behind, and ultimately lose the motivation to complete an assignment, a course… or even college as a whole.

How can you as an instructor help students retain their motivation and stay on a trajectory toward success? In his webinar “Creating Doers and Finishers: Cultivating Task Planning Skills with Your Students,” Gary J. Williams, Ed.D. of Crafton Hills College (Yucaipa, CA) shares how he instills the value of planning in his students’ minds. Through a variety of activities and exercises, Williams teaches students to resist procrastination, recognize “time traps,” be proactive about addressing matters before they become urgent, and increase their sense of control over their own lives. His practical instruction helps students adopt practical means of managing their activities and responsibilities, and enables them to see how setting a plan to complete tasks isn’t simply a chore; it’s a means of taking action toward reaching their personal and professional goals. Once that personal connection is in place, students can develop the motivation and level of engagement necessary to becoming a “doer” and “finisher.”

How do you encourage your students to become “finishers”? What task-planning strategies do you personally employ? Share your ideas below.