How to Efficiently Get Your Homework Done

Four Parts:Creating a Productive Study EnvironmentGetting the Work DoneManaging Your TimeKnowing When and How to Ask for Help

No one likes having to do homework. It can take hours out of your evening and often times it's all too easy to put it off in favor of other activities. But the reality is you have to get your homework done if you want to succeed in school. Staying on top of your assignments and learning how to work more efficiently will make getting your homework done less stressful and much more manageable.

Part 1
Creating a Productive Study Environment

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    Turn off the TV and radio. Though it may seem like having these things on in the background will dull some of the boredom of doing your homework, they will actually make it more difficult to concentrate and your homework will ultimately take even longer to finish.[1]
    • An exception to this rule is soft white noise or classical music.
    • Some people still work better and more efficiently if they have complete silence.
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    Put away social media. Close any browser windows with email, Facebook or Twitter so you are not tempted to take frequent breaks to to check for updates.[2]
    • Turn of the alerts on your phone for social media apps.
    • Applications like Focus Booster and StayFocused can eliminate clutter on your screen and temporarily block access to sites like YouTube and Instagram so you don't get distracted.[3]
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    Find somewhere free of distractions. A library or quiet room in your house is best. If you are the type of person who can focus with a bit of white noise in the background, a quiet cafe might be an option. Avoid loud crowded places like restaurants or bars.
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    Choose a place you can lay out all your materials. Find a large open table or desk where you can have your books open as well as a notebook and other materials spread out and easily accessible.[4]

Part 2
Getting the Work Done

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    Make a list. Write down what you need to get done and in what order you are going to do it. Sticking to this schedule will give you a greater feeling of control over your homework.
    • List items starting with the most difficult.
    • If you have one large assignment with multiple parts, break those down in their own list.
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    Start with the hardest or most boring assignments. Your ability to concentrate will be highest when you first begin doing homework which should make these more difficult tasks take less time.[5]
    • If you are having trouble getting started you might start with a couple of shorter assignments that you can easily cross off your list before tackling the more difficult or more boring work.
    • If you find yourself running out of steam or getting distracted, try taking a break to work on one of your easier assignment. This way you're giving yourself a chance to recharge while still staying productive.
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    Read any chapter summaries or introductions. These will give you a good idea of what material is going to pop up and prepare you for what to look for as you read.[6]
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    Read passages out loud. If you are the type of reader who feels like you always have to go back and reread sections or someone who finds their mind drifting in the middle of paragraphs, reading out loud can be a great way to stay focused on the material and increase your comprehension.[7]
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    Write out an explanation. Rephrase passages or the steps to solving a problem in your own words to help your understand and memorize key concepts.
    • Imagine you are explaining it someone else.
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    Take notes in the margins. Have a pen or highlighter handy to note points that seem important.[8]
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    Be an active reader. Make sure you are asking questions of the text rather than just trying to breeze through the reading. Consider the writer’s intent, organization, voice etc.
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    Change chapter titles and headings into questions. For example Rudiments of Geological Mapping becomes What are the Rudiments of Geological Mapping? Now as you read you can be looking for the answers to this question.[9]
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    Break longer assignments up into smaller tasks. If you have a hundred math problems to do, tell yourself you have to get twenty of them done in the next 30 or 40 minutes. If you have ten chapters to read in a novel, focus on getting through one or two at a time with brief breaks in between. [10]

Part 3
Managing Your Time

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    Set goals. [11] Before you get started write down what you hope to accomplish. Is your goal to finish the outline for a paper? To complete the practice test at the end of the chapter in your math book? Be realistic about what you can get done while still challenging yourself.
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    Give yourself rewards. Setting up small rewards for yourself can be a great motivator as long as you practice restraint and stick to your schedule. [12]
    • Have a granola bar or some almonds as a snack.
    • Listen to some music.
    • Give yourself five minutes to check social media.
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    Take short breaks. Sitting and focusing for a long period of time can be exhausting. Giving your brain and body a break will help you stay alert. Take a ten minute break every hour or so to get up, stretch, walk around or grab something to eat.
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    Set a timer. This can be a helpful way to get started. Tell yourself you need to work for a half an hour straight before you can do anything else. You can increase the time as you go to start training yourself to work for longer periods of time without a break.
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    Don’t rely on too much coffee. Caffeine can make you more alert and help you stay awake, but too much can leave you jittery and anxious which will make getting your homework done even more difficult. Try to stick to one or two cups. [13]
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    Take full advantage of study hall. [14]Most high school students have study hall time. Use this to get as much of your homework done as you can so you won’t won’t have such a daunting amount when you get home.
    • If you are in college, set time aside in between classes to visit the library or another quiet place.
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    Avoid multitasking. Work one assignment at a time. See the assignment through to the end.
    • Don’t do homework and pay bills at the same time.
    • Don’t talk to friends.
    • Don’t try and cook or clean while doing your homework.

Part 4
Knowing When and How to Ask for Help

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    Make sure you’ve done all you can. Don’t just stop at a problem you don’t understand and immediately go out and ask for help. Instead, skip it and move on. You may discover the answer further into the homework. If not, you don’t want to burden someone with too many questions. Stick to the items you truly can’t work out yourself. [15]
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    Don’t fall too far behind.[16] Sticking to your schedule will help you avoid a lot of needless stress
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    Get the email address or phone number of a few classmates. Reaching out to another student in class can be a great way to get a little extra help.
    • Make sure you contact them with specific questions.
    • Offer to be a resource to them as well should they need help in the future.
    • Don’t be a burden. Only reach out after you’ve truly exhausted all other options.
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    Form a study group. Getting together with other students to get homework done can be a great motivator.
    • Find like minded students who are eager to work hard.
    • Try to meet regularly once or twice a week.
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    Get a tutor. If you are having trouble in a particular class, seeking the help of a professional tutor could be helpful. A tutor will be able to give you the one on one attention you need to stay focused on your homework and help you answer any questions you may have along the way.
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    Ask the teacher. Your teacher may be able to meet with you before or after school to give you some extra guidance.

Article Info

Categories: Homework Skills