According to studies by the APA, teens are much more stressed compared to teens 30 years ago. Higher divorce rates, lack of sleep, and increased homework are key factors. Twice as many teens experience episodes of depression or anxiety, compared to 30 years ago. Current research shows that stress causes procrastination, and inhibits many other processes required for effective learning.
These statistics are particularly high for students in Australia and the US, where teens are suffering more exam anxiety than students in most other countries (OECD, 2017). A small amount of stress can be good, but large amounts of stress can cause chronic anxiety and depression, as well as a range of physical ailments.
Motivation is determined by goals. Over the generations, a shift from more personal, intrinsic goals, to more material, extrinsic goals, has left teens not only having less control over their goals, but also feeling they’re less likely to achieve them - and this lack of control correlate significantly with anxiety and depression.
Dr Peter Grey’s hypothesis (Free to Learn, 2013) is that increases in extrinsic goals, anxiety, and depression are all caused largely by an increased emphasis on schooling and less time for free play and relaxation.
Put simply, stress and time management will help to reduce procrastination, anxiety and depression and increase motivation.