homework tips

7 Great Tips on How to Focus on Homework Assignments

You really need to finish that English paper on Milton that’s due tomorrow night, not to mention the lab report due at midnight. On top of that you still have a packet of calculus problems for that math class you decided to cram into your schedule. Oh, and did I mention? You just got home from a band rehearsal that ran late. It’s already 9:00 and you’re already daydreaming of warm fuzzy blankets and a soft pillow. Sound familiar?

If so, you may want to consider the following seven tip on how to focus on your homework assignments and get them done faster and more efficiently.

  1. Don’t Study In A Dump
  2. Ever hear your mom say, “I can’t think of this mess?” as she walks from room to room surveying the chaos, ready to pull some hairs out? Cleaning and organizing your study area can clear away not just the clutter of candy wrappers and discarded papers, but the mental clutter as well. Pick a place to study where you can be comfortable (but not too comfortable), with a bit of fresh air, and some peace and quiet, and then spend a few minutes tidying it up. They’ll pay off later.

  3. Make a Schedule
  4. Sometimes putting it all down on paper can be daunting. Your list may seem to control you, but it helps you clear your mind and focus to have it all down in one place and nothing beats the satisfaction of conquering it one item at a time as you cross them off.

  5. Prioritize
  6. There are a number of ways to do this. My preferred method is to highlight the ones that have the closest due dates and then number them starting with the hardest one, moving down to the simplest. Then number the rest of the items on your list in the same manner. No one wants to start with the hardest, but your brain is more focused in the beginning. Then you can have the easy tasks for when your brain is to quit. If you’re having a tough time getting started, you can put a quick, easy item at the top of your list just to give you a little boost.

  7. Take a Break . . .
  8. . . . But not all the time. Set a timer and then set it aside. Don’t look at it while you work, it can be distracting. When you’re timer goes off, a lot yourself a short break to stand up, stretch, get some fresh air, or play one round of that addicting app on your iPhone. But just one round, mind you.

  9. Lock Up Facebook
  10. Or, in other words, get rid of distractions. Silence your cell phone and put it somewhere out of reach. Log out of your social media accounts. If that gives you separation anxiety, don’t worry, it’s just for a short while.

  11. Work with Like-Minded People
  12. This could mean working in a study group, or just working in the presence of others who can respect your need for some quiet study time and can even monitor your work and catch you when you slip out your cell phone for one break too many.

  13. Be Innovative
  14. Most often, the best way to get things done is one thing at a time, but if you’re losing focus while reading Milton. Find a podcast and clean your room while you listen or read out loud to help you focus. Some people focus better with classical music or rain sounds in the background (I’ve found rainycafe.com to be a great site for this). Keep trying until you find something that works for you.