How to Not Procrastinate With Homework

Three Methods:Removing Distractions and TemptationsEncouraging Yourself to ActCreating a To-Do List

Do you have a problem with procrastination when doing homework? If you nodded your head, you're not alone. Most people have the same problem from time to time. Lack of motivation, failure to utilize time effectively, zero structure, the causes of procrastination are nearly endless. It's time to stop procrastinating!

Method 1
Removing Distractions and Temptations

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    Turn off social media updates. We are all plugged into the matrix today, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another way to connect. Regardless of the form of social media or game, turn off updates. If you can't resist temptation, there are software tools and router settings to limit internet usage.[1][2]
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    Pull in your email. Email automatically delivered to you based on receipt or software timeline is pushed, because it's sent without your interaction. When you must look or check for new email, it's called pulling email. Every email client has a setting to stop automatic email push and notification. Remove the distraction by seeing emails only when you deem necessary.[3][4][5]
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    Shut down the TV and radio. The allure of TV and radio is stronger than homework. Hearing the opening jingle of your favorite TV show, or a great quote from an intense movie, can lead to complete distraction. It's even possible the TV and radio are subliminally distracting you. [6]
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    Wear noise-cancelling headphones. Isolate yourself completely from sound and distraction. Noise-cancelling headphones are perfect for 100% focus on the task at hand. Choose one you believe will help you really focus.[7]
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    Change your physical work environment. Try to make it as much like a library as possible. Bright lights will help avoid sleepiness, which can hinder motivation. Working at a desk instead of your recliner, sofa, or bed will help you stay on task. Keep only homework related items near you. Clear off the desk or your work area so the only possible temptation is homework completion.

Method 2
Encouraging Yourself to Act

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    Put pressure on yourself by making intentions public. Tell anyone who will listen you intend on finishing your homework by a specific time and ensure they hold you accountable. Assign a consequence (for you) and reward (for them) if the deadline is not met.
    • Tell friends to post an embarrassing story of you online if you don't finish on time.
    • Ask your mother to create a fair punishment for delaying.
    • Ask your father to concoct something even more devious if you don't finish after your mother's punishment.
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    Keep track of assignments in the moment. Write down on a piece of paper (or in a planner) what homework you have or what project needs to be finished while you are still in class. When you get home, start on it immediately! Touch the pencil to the paper or get your fingers on the home-keys. Getting started is the most difficult step.
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    Reassure yourself! The homework would not be assigned if not applicable to your class. If second-guessing or a negative thought pops into your head, it's important to focus on the positive. Imagine your future self engaging in your favorite activity, feet kicked in the air, completely relaxed because of how quickly and correctly homework was finished!
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    Reward yourself for any progress. Write a title for the report? High five yourself. Finish the first paragraph? Maybe some candy is in order. Solve a complicated math problem after several failed attempts? Pat yourself on the back and take a quick break. Positive reinforcement can be very effective if used properly.

Method 3
Creating a To-Do List

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    Plan ahead and separate your task into smaller, identifiable tasks. Lists are a great way create structure and order to goals that appear chaotic or impossible.[8]
    • Think of your list as an assembly line where each step reinforces your ability to complete the list, to focus on the importance of each task, and commit yourself to finishing the homework.
    • If procrastination persists, make the tasks even smaller. Remember, every waterfall starts with a drop of water, and every marathon starts with the first step. If motivation eludes you, keep breaking things down until the first step is so simple you can't help but to succeed.
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    Do the small tasks first. Accomplishing even the most simple, mundane task is important. If you do a small task as you awaken, it's more likely to encourage further accomplishments. The same applies to homework. Writing your name or a title, highlighting something important, creating an outline, whatever it is, doing a small portion will instill pride and lead to lead to other tasks.
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    Associate a timeline with your tasks. Without a timeline, procrastination is possible until the homework is due, or until you are forced to cram. Put the timeline requirements on your list. Integrate a calendar into your timeline and assign specific work for each day remaining before the deadline.
    • A 1000-word essay due at the end of the week could be 100 words every hour if you have a lot of time, or 500 words per hour if your homework is due sooner.
    • Determine the number of days left on the homework and divide it into equal parts. For instance, five days means you have five equal parts on which to work.
    • Math homework with 25 questions could easily be completed in an hour if each question were given two minutes.


  • Even if all electronic alerts are turned off, you may be tempted to look at a device's screen. Turn it over or put it away in a drawer.
  • If you happen to take a break to eat or do something else, set an alarm to begin working again. Don't let a pause become a stop.


  • Everyone procrastinates from time to time. Don't beat yourself up if everything doesn't work out perfectly the first time. It may take multiple efforts to overcome procrastination.

Article Info

Categories: Homework Skills