I am going to go ahead and assume that, if you are on this website right now, you are not doing your homework. And I am also going to assume that, if you are a student of any sort, you probably have at least one assignment that you should be tending to right now. (But you know that they say about making assumptions! Let me know if I am making an ass out of you and me right now!) I don’t say this to stress you out–I say this because, well, doing the work you technically have to do can be really hard. I mean, sure, sometimes you have those days in which you feel like you’re the most motivated person on the planet, and you get all of your homework done right after school, and you seriously consider starting a studyblr. Other days? Uh, not so much. But I’ve got some good news for you if you happen to be stuck in one of those “not so much” days right now–you don’t actually have to do your homework.
At least, not this very second. You will need to do your homework at some point, and that’s just a given. And, if you’re a master procrastinator (like, um, not me, why do you ask?), you will already know that doing “productive” things before you get started on whatever you really have to do is often just a way to put off doing the work without feeling too guilty about it. Still, we all have those days in which you can tell that homework or studying just isn’t going to happen for whatever reason, and trying to sit down and force yourself to do it is only going to make the situation worse. So, check out these things that you can do when homework really doesn’t seem possible, but you still want to do something productive:
1. Get some exercise:
If you’re feeling too sluggish and tired to do your work, doing some quick exercising will actually help you out, since exercise helps your brain produce endorphins, which actually help you prioritize your activities. Don’t interrupt your homework to do, like, a killer bootcamp class or ten mile run–it’ll take a long time and you’ll feel too exhausted afterwards to focus on your work–but doing something that gets your blood moving like a yoga class or quick jog will help you feel more energized and make it easier to focus on your work.
2. Clean your room:
So, cleaning your room is probably the ultimate fake-productive means of productivity. But if your room looks like a bomb went off in it, and your mom has been nagging you to clean it for weeks, it’s probably not doing you any favors in terms of focusing. Give yourself thirty minutes to pick some things off the floor and hang up the clothes you have laying on the floor in your closet–this way, you’ll feel like you’ve actually accomplished something, and you won’t have as many distractions as you did before.
3. Specifically, clean off your desk:
A messy desk does not make for effective studying. Clear off old pictures and tchotchkes that you know will distract you (you know the ones) and wipe it over with an antibacterial wipe to clear off any residual sludge you have on the desk.
4. Do some cooking:
I often find that doing something like cooking or crafting helps me focus later on, since they create an actual tangible object that doesn’t happen with doing homework. You need to eat anyway, so I recommend cooking–look up some recipes based on things you have in your fridge and get to work. The whole thing should take about an hour or less, and then you’ll feel more ready to do your homework.
5. Write a to-do list:
I am a big proponent of to-do lists–first of all, they often make a super busy day seem a lot less stressful, since writing things out makes them seem like less of a big deal. And, of course, there are very few things that are more satisfying than crossing things off your to-do list, which will motivate you do actually do them.
6. Do the most menial things on said to-do list:
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Whatever activities you have on your list that you can do easily, try and get them done right away–maybe you have to call your grandma, or take the dog for a walk, or take the dishes out of the dishwasher. Getting them done will make you feel productive (you get to cross them off your list!) and help motivate you to do other stuff, too.
7. Book your appointments:
If your parents still make your appointments for you, you can skip this one. But if you’re responsible for booking your doctor’s and dentist’s appointments, go ahead and make them now.
8. Write things in your planner:
And, once you’ve booked your appointments, write them down. Whether you have a planner, a Google calendar, or a bullet journal, it’s important to use one to keep all your dates straight.
9. Send that one email you’ve been putting off for days:
You know the one–maybe you have to write a teacher asking them for a recommendation, or send a thank you note, or ask for a refund on a weird top you got from a sketchy online store. Whatever it is, get it done now–I promise you’ll feel good about it afterwards.
10. Purge your closet:
If you really need a distraction, try going full Kondo and clearing old things out of your room. This is something that I recommend doing only under extreme circumstances, since it tends to take a while, but you’ll probably feel better after you finally get rid of all of your soccer camp t-shirts from fifth grade.
11. Practice an instrument:
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Play an instrument? If so, you probably need to practice. Don’t play an instrument? Take one up! (You have an old keyboard lying around the house, right?) This will exercise a different part of your brain than the one you use for studying, so you’ll feel more ready to do homework when you finish.
12. Start a blog:
It’ll look good on college applications. (Probably.)
13. Read the news:
You’ll need to know the information if you’re doing college interviews, or just talking to your teachers anytime soon.
Do you often have trouble getting motivated to do our homework? Do you have any tips for dealing with it? Let us know in the comments!
You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.
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Do you ever feel overwhelmed after the school day is over and can’t find a way to shut off your brain? Focussing on homework might be last thing you want to do at that point. How can you overcome the resistance and get it done either way?
It seems like there’s always work to be done for your studies. Also at times when you can’t seem to concentrate.
So how do we get our minds to understand how to focus on homework? Especially when it’s is the last thing we feel like doing. Yet, we know that if we leave it for tomorrow, it will pile up and create even more pressure…
The right study habits and concentration techniques will most definitely help you out — and that’s exactly what we are going to explore in this article.
How To Focus On Studying In A World Of Distractions
We live in the era of distraction.
Countless factors are constantly fighting for our attention: social media, other people, things we could potentially be doing at any moment, our doubts, our overthinking, our anxious thoughts and expectations, the temptations around us (such as buying something shiny or eating junk food)… And all of this makes us feel as though we lose control over our mind.
If you’re wondering how to focus on homework and get better grades, then focus is something you need to get back at all cost.
Every student needs this skill.
We will discuss specific study habits later in this article, but first you need to understand how to focus on studying. For that, here are the two key principles that will make you (more) successful in your studies:
1. Identify The Distractions In Your Surroundings
What are the things in your daily life (and in your head, for that matter) that take your mind away from your studies (or any other task in front of you)?
Clearly identifying these helps you understand both the problem and what causes it. Understanding these leads us to finding the right solution to overcoming them.
While many of these types of distractions were mentioned earlier, digital distractions are one of the worst kind— and according to studies, their effect is on the rise in the classroom. If you’re looking to gain more concentration and thus, form better study habits, question your online behavior first and foremost.
2. Limit The Use Of Technology To Find Focus
What’s the role of social media in your daily life? Have you ever sat down to calculate not just how much time you spend on social media daily, but also how horribly it distracts you from doing the things you should be doing? When you are wondering how to focus on homework long after you’ve put your phone away, you’re still thinking about the last posts you saw on Facebook. The sound of new notifications might cause anxiety, or your own eagerness to see the reactions to a comment you left might distract you.
And then comes the information overload, the fear of missing out, and the all-too-common signs of addictive behavior. Technology is affecting your mind more than ever, and it’s taking your focus away.
But once you understand that you can improve your concentration by ditching the distractions, then it’s time to think about forming the right study habits. . .
4 Study Habits To Help You Learn How To Focus On Homework
1. Have a routine.
Routines help us be productive without exerting too much effort. When having homework to do, a study routine can be the reason we actually sit down, set enough time aside, concentrate, and stay focused until we complete the project.
This process doesn’t need to be complicated: just tell yourself that you will sit at your desk at home once you’re back from school (after a small meal and some rest, of course). Put your phone on silent, make an outline of the work that needs to get done, and simply begin with what’s most important.
2. Create an environment that breeds creativity and productivity.
You need a special place for studying. Don’t think you can just study anywhere, that’s not how our brain works. Lying in bed with your notebook is a distraction, as is being in the living room with your laptop while others are doing their activities.
You need an isolated place when you decide to focus on your homework. Make it feel comfortable, such as adding plants, organizing everything on your desk, decluttering (and keeping it clean), letting more light in, perhaps hang up some motivational posters/daily affirmations, etc.
3. Avoid certain things beforehand.
Wanna know how to focus on homework?
Don’t have a big meal beforehand. Big meals can ruin your focus and make you feel sluggish and lazy. A snack is okay. There are also some foods, though, that are just plain bad for your productivity; you can check them out here.
Avoid doing anything too engaging, as well, as then it can be hard to leave it and find willpower for your studies. Your better study habits are also affected by your self-control. So know when to stop doing something, calm your mind with some deep breathing, stretching, or even taking a walk, and then go do what needs to be done.
4. Organize your study notes.
One of the main reasons students avoid doing homework when the time comes, is that the “big picture” scares them. It seems like a lot to do, and they are overwhelmed on where to start.
So, prioritize. Keep lists and put the most important items on the top. Then work on the items that you should get done first.
Make an outline for everything and break it down into smaller steps. Then, use colors to highlight the essentials. This makes it all look much simpler and you’re more likely to actually get started.
5. Tell others to respect your study time.
People entering the room or calling you when you are trying to study isn’t good for your mind and creative energy. So simply let them know you need some privacy.
Decide on fixed hours for studying and tell them you won’t be available during that time of the day.
6. Try listening to study/focus music.
There are many tracks out there designed to help your mind focus. Whether you use binaural beats or just instrumental music, they can really help to tune your brain into a productive frequency.
This meditation music from OmHarmonics is also great to listen to; it puts your mind in a clear, concise, and ready-to-take-on-the-world mode:
7. Set deadlines.
Even if your teacher has already given you deadlines for each assignment, set new ones yourself at earlier dates. This helps you build discipline, learn how to focus on studying, and prioritize every day.
8. Have “brain breaks” more often.
You might not know this, but frequent breaks actually increase your productivity and focus. By understanding the science of homework, you’ll see that after each study session, the brain needs to be engaged with something different — you need to keep active another part of it, before going back to your studies, so that you can reach top performance.
So there you have it— that’s how to focus on homework when you really aren’t in the mood for it and feel more distracted than ever.
What other suggestions do you have?
And what study habits do you want to build next to improve your concentration?
Share with us in the comment section below!
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