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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you .

So let’s get started!

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How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

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How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

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If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away.
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C.

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

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This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

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Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)

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Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later.

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too.

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What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Focus on Homework and Actually Get Things Done: 12 Hacks for Busy Students

  • September 15, 2022

A teen using his laptop and learning how to focus on homework

Chances are, you’ve had some days when you felt overwhelmed after a long day at school. You couldn’t imagine doing anything other than plopping down in front of the television, let alone finding out how to focus on your homework. 

How can you overcome the resistance and get it done? How do you get your mind to include this task in your day as well?

With just a few adjustments, you will be able to expand your capacity to concentrate.

Why Can’t I Focus on My Homework?

Countless factors constantly fight for your attention : social media, people, overthinking, and anxiety. All of this can make you feel as though you have little control over your mind. 

If you want to start to focus better on your homework, you’ll need to set your mind up for success. Remove all distractions .

Here are two key principles that can help you be more successful in your studies:

1. Identify the distractions in your surroundings

What are the things in your daily life that take your mind away from your studies? Clearly identifying these distractions can help you understand both the problem and what causes it.

Among our environmental distractions, digital distractions are one of the worst kinds, and according to a number of 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 how social media 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 Instagram. The sound of new notifications can be enough to reroute our attention from the task at hand.

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.

A teenager learning how to focus on homework

How to Focus on Homework: 12 Things You Can Do to Be More Indistractible

Here are 12 tips on how to stay focused while completing your homework, taught by superbrain coach Jim Kwik and habit transformation expert Nir Eyal .

  • Make a routine
  • Set up a study-friendly environment
  • Avoid heavy meals
  • Organize your study notes
  • Tell others to stay away
  • Listen to study music
  • Set deadlines
  • Take brain breaks
  • Use discomfort as motivation for productivity
  • Use time blocking
  • Let go of thoughts that distract you
  • Reimagine your task

Let’s look at each study hack in more detail.

1. Make a routine

Routines help you be productive without exerting as much effort. When you have homework to do, a study routine can be the reason you actually sit down, set enough time aside, concentrate, and stay focused until you 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. 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. Set up a study-friendly environment

A place for everything and everything in its place. That applies to studying, too.

Lying in bed with your notebook is considered 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, keep it organized, keep it clean, and consider putting up some motivational posters or positive affirmations .

3. Avoid heavy meals

It’s not advisable to have a big meal beforehand. Big meals can ruin your focus and make you feel sluggish and lazy because it takes a big amount of time and energy for your body to digest. A snack is okay.

There are also some foods , though, that are just plain bad for your productivity. For example, soda, candy, and fried foods are all full of sugar and have no nutritional value. They make your insulin spike up, but then it crashes very fast, which makes you feel depleted of energy.

4. Organize your study notes

Prioritize your work. Keep lists and place the most important items on top. Then work on the items that you should get done first.

It helps to outline what you need to do, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Use colors to highlight the essentials . 

This makes it all look much simpler and you’re more likely to actually get started. The brain loves organization and it won’t be so likely to procrastinate when it knows you have a structure set in place.

5. Tell others to stay away

Don’t be afraid to let others know that you’re studying and require some time and space to get your work done. Decide on fixed hours for studying and tell your friends and family members that you won’t be available during that time of the day.

If others respect your study time, you’ll be more inclined to respect it as well. 

6. Listen to study music

There are many tracks out there designed to help your mind focus. Whether you use binaural beats or just instrumental music, the right sounds can really help to tune your brain into a productive frequency.

This meditation 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. Take brain breaks

Frequent breaks actually increase your productivity and focus. You’ll see that after each study session, the brain needs to be engaged with something different —  you need to activate other parts of your brain before going back to your studies so that you can reach top performance.

You can also use the Superbrain Yoga Technique. In the Superbrain Quest, Jim talks about implementing it during your breaks. It goes as follows:

  • Massage the left lobe of your ear with your right hand, and the right one with your left hand
  • Inhale and squat down
  • Exhale and come back up while continuing massaging your opposite ear with the opposite hand
  • Keep going for a few minutes
As your body moves, your brain grooves. — Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest

9. Use discomfort as motivation for productivity

The brain is wired to protect us from danger, and our ancestors needed this function of the psyche to survive. Discomfort is associated with danger, and whenever they felt it, they knew it was time to run away or protect themselves in one way or another.

In today’s world, danger isn’t so imminent. However, discomfort is, and the brain still works to protect us in the same way. 

So why not use it to your advantage?

Once you have this mindset shift, you can see the discomfort that comes with doing your homework as fuel for moving forward, from pain to pleasure. So instead of procrastinating and avoiding the discomfort, just use it as motivation to get things done.

And maybe you can even save yourself a fun activity to do later in the day, so you have something to look forward to.

10. Use time blocking

You can use time blocking and set a specific amount of time for parts of your homework that needs to be done. For example, you block 30 minutes of reading, then another 30 minutes of writing down highlights from the text. 

This method will give you more structure and support you when you need to focus on school work, as you will have a dedicated structured time to do so.

11. Let go of thoughts that distract you

When you need more concentration, but your thoughts keep getting in the way, here’s a fun visualization exercise you can use:

  • Before you start working on your homework, close down your eyes and imagine a flowing river in front of you. 
  • Now, place every thought on a leaf and let it run down the river while watching it move away from you. 

Do this repeatedly for 5-10 minutes and see how your mind becomes clearer, more productive, and more inspired.

12. Reimagine your task

How can you make the process of doing your homework more fun? Is there any way you can think of to make it more exciting and engaging?

As you introduce play and fun into any task, your capacity to stay focused will increase. So just try out different methods to engage more in your homework. 

For example, what if you made a trivia quest about your history lesson homework? Or what about riddles to make you remember all the characters from the novel you have to read? 

Once you play around with these kinds of games, you might find that focusing on your homework isn’t as boring as you thought it would be.

Unleash the Power of Your Focus

Discovering how to focus on your homework can go beyond schoolwork and actually support you in many other activities you want to do. Concentration is one of the best skills to nurture for your growth.

If you need a little guidance at the beginning of your focusing journey, Mindvalley has it in store for you. 

By unlocking your FREE Mindvalley access , you can check out sample classes from quests that help you develop better focus and study habits, such as Becoming Focused and Indistractable by Nir Eyal and Superbrain by Jim Kwik. You can also immerse yourself in beautiful sounds and guided meditations designed to improve concentration and help you enter the flow state.

The earlier you start, the greater your journey of self-discovery will be. Welcome in.

— Images generated on Midjourney.

Recommended Free Masterclass For You

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Jim Kwik is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain and Super Reading Quests. He’s a brain coach and a world expert in speed reading, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance. Known as the “boy with the broken brain” due to a childhood injury, Jim discovered strategies to dramatically enhance his mental performance. He is now committed to helping people improve their memory, learn to speed-read, increase their decision-making skills, and turn on their superbrain. He has shared his techniques with Hollywood actors, Fortune 500 companies, and trailblazing entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Richard Branson to reach their highest level of mental performance. He is also one of the most sought-after trainers for top organizations like Harvard University, Nike, Virgin, and GE.

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why i can't do my homework

Why Can’t I do My Homework With Solutions

Why Can't I Do My Homework

  • Post author By admin
  • August 30, 2023

Struggling with homework? Explore common challenges for why can’t I do my homework. From procrastination to focus issues, discover how to tackle ‘Why Can’t I Do My Homework’ head-on.

Imagine this: You’re cozied up at your desk, surrounded by textbooks, with a daunting pile of homework staring you down. Your brain feels like it’s taken a vacation, and you can’t help but wonder, “Why can’t I do my homework?”

If that scenario sounds familiar, welcome to the club! We’ve all been there, and it’s like homework has this magical power to turn us into amateur detectives trying to solve the case of the vanishing motivation.

But here’s the good news: you’re about to embark on a journey to demystify the reasons behind the “homework struggle.” Think of us as your friendly tour guides, here to unravel the mysteries, expose the culprits, and offer you some killer strategies to conquer the homework conundrum.

So, get ready to uncover why homework sometimes feels like a cryptic puzzle and learn how to transform it from a dreaded chore into a manageable mission. It’s time to dive in, have some fun, and crack the code on “Why can’t I do my homework?”

Table of Contents

Why Can’t I Do My Homework?

There are numerous reasons why someone might struggle with completing their homework. Here’s a list of common factors that can contribute to the challenge of “Why can’t I do my homework?”

Overwhelming Workload

A heavy workload can leave students feeling buried under a mountain of assignments. For instance, imagine a high school student juggling multiple advanced classes, each assigning substantial homework.

The sheer volume of work can be intimidating and make it difficult to manage time effectively, leading to incomplete or rushed homework.

Lack of Motivation

When a topic doesn’t spark interest, motivation can dwindle. Consider a student who loves history but dreads algebra.

The excitement for history homework may result in diligent completion, while the algebra assignment might be delayed or avoided due to lack of enthusiasm.

Procrastination

Procrastination is the art of delaying tasks until the last possible moment. Take, for instance, a college student who decides to binge-watch a TV series instead of starting their term paper.

This can result in a panic-induced rush to complete the paper, often leading to subpar work.

Distractions

An environment filled with distractions, like a noisy dorm room or a bustling café, can hinder concentration.

For example, a university student trying to study for an important exam in a crowded coffee shop may struggle to focus amidst the cacophony.

Time Management Issues

Poor time management can mean allocating too little time for homework. Consider a scenario where a student spends too much time on social media or extracurricular activities, leaving minimal time for academic tasks.

Difficulty Understanding the Material

If a student struggles to grasp concepts from class, completing homework becomes an uphill battle. For instance, a high school student may find calculus homework challenging if they don’t comprehend the underlying principles taught in class.

Fear of Failure

The fear of not meeting expectations can create anxiety around homework. Imagine a college student afraid of disappointing their parents with low grades. This fear can paralyze them, making it difficult to start or complete assignments.

Personal Problems

Personal issues such as family conflicts or relationship problems can be emotionally draining. Suppose a high school student is experiencing family troubles; their emotional distress may make it nearly impossible to focus on homework.

Health Issues

Physical or mental health problems can impact the ability to concentrate on homework. For example, a college student dealing with depression may lack the energy and motivation to complete assignments.

Perfectionism

Striving for perfection can lead to excessive time spent on a single assignment. Think of a high-achieving student who meticulously edits and revises an essay, constantly second-guessing themselves and ultimately missing deadlines.

Lack of Resources

Insufficient access to study materials or a quiet study space can hinder homework completion. Suppose a student lacks internet access at home for research purposes; this limitation can impede their ability to complete assignments that require online resources.

Language Barriers

For students learning in a non-native language, understanding and completing assignments in that language can be especially challenging.

For instance, an international student may struggle with English-language assignments, leading to slower progress.

Negative Peer Influence

Peer pressure can tempt students to prioritize social activities over homework. Imagine a high school student invited to a party on a homework-heavy night; the temptation to attend the party may lead to incomplete assignments.

Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, may require specialized support to complete their homework effectively. Consider a student with dyscalculia attempting math homework without the necessary accommodations, which can result in frustration and incomplete work.

Teacher-Student Mismatch

Sometimes, a student’s learning style doesn’t align with the teaching style of a particular teacher, making homework more challenging.

For example, a student who learns best through hands-on activities may struggle with a teacher who primarily uses lectures for instruction.

Lack of Interest in the Subject

If a student lacks interest in a particular subject, they may find it hard to motivate themselves to do the associated homework.

For instance, a high school student passionate about literature may struggle to engage with physics assignments, leading to procrastination.

Lack of Support

Some students lack a support system at home or school and may not have someone to turn to for help when they’re stuck on a problem.

Imagine a middle school student without access to a tutor or supportive parents; they might struggle to complete challenging assignments independently.

Insufficient Feedback

Without timely feedback from teachers, students may struggle to understand their mistakes and improve. Consider a scenario where a college professor rarely provides feedback on assignments; students may miss the opportunity to learn from their errors, leading to repeated difficulties.

Test Anxiety

Worrying about upcoming tests can distract students from focusing on their homework. Think of a high school student with a major exam approaching; their anxiety about the test may lead to procrastination or difficulty concentrating on other assignments.

Environmental Factors

Living in a noisy or chaotic environment can make it challenging to concentrate on homework. For instance, a university student sharing a small apartment with roommates who frequently host loud gatherings may struggle to find a quiet space for focused study.

Lack of a Structured Routine

A lack of a structured routine can lead to inconsistency in homework completion. Imagine a college student without a regular schedule; their homework habits may become erratic, impacting productivity.

Financial Stress

Students facing financial stress may need to work part-time jobs, leaving less time and energy for homework.

Suppose a college student must work long hours to cover tuition costs; this can result in exhaustion and insufficient time for assignments.

Technology Addiction

Excessive use of technology for non-educational purposes can interfere with homework completion. Consider a high school student addicted to online gaming; this addiction may lead to prolonged screen time and delayed homework.

Lack of Rewards

When students don’t see rewards or benefits from doing their homework, they may question its value. Think of a middle school student who receives no feedback or recognition for completed assignments; this lack of positive reinforcement can diminish their motivation.

Excessive workload and high expectations can lead to burnout, making it impossible to approach homework with enthusiasm. Suppose a college student takes on a heavy course load, participates in extracurricular activities, and works part-time; this overwhelming schedule can result in burnout and reduced productivity.

These factors illustrate the diverse challenges students face when tackling homework. It’s essential to recognize that homework struggles are not uncommon, and they can result from a combination of these factors.

Identifying the specific obstacles at play is the first step toward finding effective strategies to overcome them and enhance the homework experience.

What to do if I can’t do my homework?

Have a close look at what to do if I can’t do my homework.

Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and difficulty. Break the workload into smaller, manageable chunks, focusing on one subject at a time.

Find ways to make the assignment more engaging. Connect it to your interests or future goals. Set rewards for completing tasks.

Set clear goals and deadlines. Use techniques like the Pomodoro method to work in short, focused intervals with breaks.

Create a dedicated study space free from distractions. Consider noise-cancelling headphones to block out external noise.

Use planners or digital tools to schedule study sessions and allocate time for each assignment. Stick to the schedule.

Seek help from teachers, tutors, or online resources. Break down complex topics into smaller, more understandable parts.

Shift your focus from perfection to learning. Remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process. Seek support from teachers or counselors.

Communicate with teachers about personal challenges. Consider counseling or therapy to manage emotional stress.

Prioritize self-care. Seek treatment if needed, and communicate with teachers about health-related limitations.

Set realistic goals and time limits for assignments. Aim for improvement rather than perfection.

Utilize online resources, libraries, and educational websites. Ask teachers for additional materials if necessary.

Seek language support resources, such as language classes or tutoring. Use language learning apps to improve proficiency.

Set boundaries with friends and communicate your homework commitments. Prioritize academic responsibilities.

Work with school counselors to access appropriate accommodations and support.

Adapt your learning style by seeking additional resources and discussing challenges with the teacher.

Find relevance in the subject by exploring real-world applications or connecting it to personal interests.

Reach out to teachers, classmates, or academic support services for assistance. Join study groups for collaborative learning .

Request feedback from teachers or peers, and actively seek ways to improve.

Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, before studying and tests. Seek test anxiety management strategies.

Create a peaceful study environment. Consider studying at a library or during quieter times at home.

Establish a daily routine that includes specific homework times. Stick to it consistently.

Balance work commitments with schoolwork. Seek support from school financial aid or scholarships.

Use apps and tools to block distracting websites during study sessions. Set screen time limits.

Set personal rewards for completing homework, such as enjoying a favorite snack or watching a short video.

Prioritize self-care, including sufficient sleep, exercise, and relaxation. Adjust your workload to prevent overexertion.

By tailoring these strategies to your specific challenges, you can significantly improve your ability to tackle homework effectively and reduce stress associated with assignments.

Remember that seeking support from teachers, counselors, or peers is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can be a valuable resource in overcoming these challenges.

Why wont my brain let me do my homework?

Ah, the age-old struggle of the brain resisting homework – we’ve all been there! Here’s why your noggin might be playing hard to get, and some tips to outsmart it:

If the homework feels about as exciting as watching paint dry, your brain’s probably hitting the snooze button. Try making it more interesting – relate it to something you’re into, or break it down into bite-sized, less yawn-inducing chunks.

If you’ve been in the procrastination party, your brain’s probably protesting your last-minute panic. Set a schedule, try the Pomodoro Technique (work for 25 minutes, break for 5), and chip away at it bit by bit.

In today’s digital circus, distractions are the headliners. Your brain might prefer cat videos to calculus. Create a study sanctuary, and consider apps that block Facebook or Instagram when you’re in study mode.

When the homework pile looks like Mount Everest, your brain’s understandably in panic mode. Prioritize your tasks, tackle them one by one, and suddenly, it feels like a series of small hills instead.

Lack of Understanding

If the material’s about as clear as mud, homework’s a no-go. Don’t hesitate to ask for help – teachers, tutors, and that nerdy friend are your allies.

Stress or Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can make your brain do a vanishing act when it’s homework time. Try some Zen techniques like deep breathing or a quick jog to shake off the nerves.

A tired brain’s like a grumpy toddler – it won’t cooperate. Ensure you’re well-rested, eating right, and staying hydrated. A happy brain is a productive brain.

Just remember, homework resistance is a universal experience. The trick is finding your unique hacks to outsmart your brain’s games and make the homework mountain a molehill. You’ve got this!

Why can’t I just do my homework ADHD?

Why is it so darn tough to buckle down and tackle homework when you’ve got ADHD in the mix? Well, let’s break it down.

Attention Difficulties

With ADHD, concentrating on a single task can feel like herding cats. Homework might seem about as interesting as watching paint dry, making it extra tough to stay focused.

Impulsivity

Your brain might hop from one thought to another like a ping-pong ball, leaving homework in the dust. This impulsivity can make starting and finishing assignments a real challenge.

Hyperactivity

Sitting still for ages? Yeah, not exactly your ADHD brain’s favorite activity. That restlessness can make homework time feel like a marathon of discomfort.

Executive Functioning Woes

ADHD can throw a wrench in your executive functions – the stuff that helps you stay organized, manage time, and prioritize tasks. These skills are like homework superheroes, and when they’re not cooperating, it’s tough.

Frustration and Anxiety

Repeated homework battles can lead to frustration and anxiety. It’s like a vicious cycle – homework is hard, so you avoid it, which makes it even harder the next time.

But hey, you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve

Break It Down

Chop your homework into bite-sized bits. Completing these mini-goals feels like winning small battles in the war against procrastination.

Routine, Routine, Routine

A structured routine can be your secret weapon. Set specific homework times and stick to ’em. It’s like training your brain to get into homework mode.

No Distractions Allowed

Clear your workspace of distractions. Shut off those pesky notifications, use website blockers, and let your family or roommates know when you’re in “focus mode.”

Visual Aids

Visual tools are your buddies. Calendars, to-do lists, and color-coding can help you wrangle your tasks and keep track of time.

Take Breathers

Short, regular breaks can help you recharge. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? Work for 25 minutes, then chill for 5 – it’s science!

Treat Yourself

Reward yourself after finishing a task. It’s like giving your brain a high-five for a job well done.

Talk to the Pros

If you haven’t already, chat with a pro about ADHD treatments like medication and therapy. They can be total game-changers.

Get Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers or counselors for extra help or accommodations. You’re not in this alone.

Remember, homework and ADHD might be a challenging combo, but you’re not powerless. With these strategies and some support, you can take on the homework dragon and come out victorious!

Alright, fellow homework adventurers, we’ve journeyed deep into the realm of “Why can’t I do my homework?” and uncovered a treasure trove of challenges that can turn homework time into a real quest.

But here’s the secret sauce: every challenge we explored has a potential solution. From taming procrastination monsters to battling the distractions dragon and seeking the wisdom of mentors (a.k.a. teachers), we’ve armed ourselves with knowledge and strategies to conquer these homework foes.

So, the next time you’re stuck with a tricky assignment and that question pops up, remember this journey. Homework isn’t an unsolvable riddle; it’s a puzzle waiting for you to unlock. With determination, a pinch of motivation, and a dash of support, you can transform homework into a rewarding adventure.

Now, go forth, young scholar, armed with newfound wisdom, and may your homework quests be filled with curiosity, growth, and the sweet taste of victory!

Frequently Asked Questions

What can i do to overcome homework procrastination.

Procrastination can be overcome by breaking tasks into smaller, manageable parts and setting realistic deadlines. Creating a quiet, organized study space can also help.

How Can I Improve My Time Management for Homework?

To improve time management, use tools like planners or apps to schedule study sessions. Prioritize tasks and avoid multitasking to stay focused.

Is Getting Homework Help Considered Cheating?

Getting help with understanding homework concepts or solving difficult problems is not cheating. It’s a valuable part of the learning process. However, copying someone else’s work is unethical.

What Should I Do If I Don’t Understand My Homework?

If you don’t understand your homework, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Reach out to your teacher, a tutor, or classmates for clarification.

How Can Parents Support Their Children with Homework?

Parents can support their children by creating a conducive study environment, setting a regular homework routine, and offering assistance when needed. Encouragement and positive reinforcement are also crucial.

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How to Find Motivation to Do Homework

Last Updated: January 31, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,704,535 times.

Even if you love school, it can be hard to stay excited about doing homework. Just like with any other kind of work, it’s important to set personal goals and find your own inspiration to keep going. You can also help yourself focus by minimizing distractions and caring for yourself while you work. Finally, organize your time wisely and break your homework up into manageable pieces so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Finding Your Drive and Inspiration

Step 1 Reward yourself when you meet a homework goal.

  • Give yourself bigger rewards for bigger accomplishments. For example, you might go out for pizza with a friend after handing in an important paper.

Step 2 Treat yourself before you start working, too.

  • Just make sure you limit yourself to a specific amount of time (like 10 minutes, for example) so that you don’t end up getting totally distracted and wasting a few hours.

Did you know? Researchers in Japan recently discovered that looking at pictures or videos of baby animals before you start working can make you much more productive. [3] X Trustworthy Source PLOS ONE Online peer-reviewed, open access scientific research journal Go to source So, go ahead and watch a couple of cute kitten videos on YouTube the next time you need to work on a boring assignment. It might help!

Step 3 Work with a motivated study buddy.

  • Doing homework with a friend doesn’t necessarily mean collaborating on the same assignments. You can just spend time together while you each do your own work. Only get your parent to help you if you need help.
  • Check with your teacher first before working together with a friend on an assignment. They may want you to do the work by yourself.

Step 4 Determine when and where you work best.

  • For example, if you’re a morning person, try doing your homework right after you eat breakfast.
  • If you tend to get distracted while working at your desk at home, experiment with doing your homework in the library or a coffee shop instead.
  • Some people also find it helpful to change their routine from time to time. If you find yourself getting bored, try working at a different time from usual or finding a new study space.

Step 5 Set some SMART...

  • Setting vague goals can lead to frustration. Instead of saying, “I’m going to get all my homework done this week,” try something more specific—e.g., “I’m going to work on my English essay for 1 hour every day this week.”

Step 6 Remind yourself of why you’re in school in the first place.

  • For example, maybe you want to get good grades so you can get into your dream college, or possibly you’re working towards an exciting career.
  • Doing a good job in your classes can also be its own reward—knowing that you worked hard and did your best is a great self-esteem booster!

Keeping Yourself Focused and Alert

Step 1 Take care of your physical needs before working.

  • If you feel physically tense, do some yoga or light stretches before you begin to work.
  • Doing breathing exercises can also help you feel more comfortable and alert.
  • If you’re not already in comfy clothes, get changed before you start working. This may mean joggers, sweatpants, pjs, shorts, underwear, or even being completely naked. It's your choice.

Step 2 Find a quiet and comfortable work space.

  • You’ll want a place where you can sit comfortably, but don’t get too comfortable. If you do homework in bed or on a cozy couch, you may be tempted to fall asleep!
  • If you have to work at home, ask anyone who lives with you to give you a little quiet time while you do your homework.

Step 3 Put away your phone and other distractions.

  • If you can’t resist messing around on your phone or visiting time-wasting websites on your computer, consider installing an app or a browser extension that blocks tempting apps and sites.
  • Don’t try to work with a TV or radio on. If you listen to music while you do your homework, choose something that’s quiet and not too exciting, like some gentle classical music.

Step 4 Energize yourself with water and healthy snacks.

  • Whole grains
  • Healthy proteins, like fish, beans, or nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Leafy greens

Step 5 Take frequent breaks while you work.

  • During your breaks, you can go for a walk, have a snack, do a little meditation , or even put your head down for a quick power nap .
  • You can also use your breaks to reward yourself with a fun video or a quick game on your phone.

Did you know? Walking can improve your thinking skills. If you’re feeling stuck on a problem, going for a quick walk or even hopping on a treadmill can help! [13] X Research source

Step 6 Switch between different tasks to help you stay sharp.

  • For example, if you’ve been working on an essay for an hour or two, take a break and then switch to doing some math problems.
  • Don’t try to do more than one task at once, though. Trying to multitask will disrupt your focus and cause you to make more mistakes.

Organizing Your Time Effectively

Step 1 Create a daily work and study schedule.

  • Setting a schedule also makes it easier to avoid procrastinating .
  • Make sure to schedule in time for breaks and relaxation, too!

Tip: You can avoid unpleasant surprises by writing important dates and deadlines into your schedule. For example, make note of when you have tests or quizzes coming up or when different assignments are due.

Step 2 Prioritize your assignments and do the most urgent or difficult ones first.

  • Make an ordered list of all your tasks. Try to prioritize ones that are due soon, count towards a major part of your grade, or seem like they will be the most complicated to complete.
  • Put assignments that aren’t due for a while or that you know you can finish quickly and easily at the bottom.

Step 3 Break your assignments down into manageable pieces.

  • For example, if you’re writing a big paper, you might break it up into pieces like doing the research, composing a bibliography, writing an outline, drafting the introduction, and so on.

Step 4 Try a productivity app to help you stay organized.

  • Productivity apps are helpful for some people, but they’re not for everyone. Make sure you don’t spend so much time worrying about the app that it starts to cut into your homework time! [19] X Research source

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

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Tips from our Readers

  • Start your homework as soon as you get home from school (you may need a small snack first) instead of watching tv or using the computer. If you start another activity, it will be harder to stop it to switch to homework. Go straight to homework and think of TV and the computer as your reward for finishing.
  • Sometimes I have a lot of work to do and it seems overwhelming, even if the work isn't hard. If I close my eyes and imagine myself doing my homework, it doesn't feel as intimidating and gives me the feeling that I can do it.
  • Make a homework playlist in your music app and play every time you sit down to study. If music with lyrics distracts you, try looking up "study playlists" and "homework playlists," as they're usually just instrumentals.
  • If you can, have your parents drop you off at the library after school for an hour (or however long your homework would take) so you can stay focused. There isn't much to do at the library and it's quiet.
  • Take short breaks to rest your mind for a little while so that it is ready to get back to work. This works for a lot of people who just need to decompress after a long period of working and hard thinking!
  • Think about having free time after the homework to do what you want. Also, think about having the homework done, being stress-free, and not getting in trouble because you didn't do your homework.
  • Dedicate a space in your house to homework and decorate it. Make your homework space a place you like to be.
  • Work with a buddy who doesn't get as distracted as you. This way, your buddy can help you stay focused.
  • Chewing on gum can help you stay alert and focused if you're feeling tired or distracted.

You Might Also Like

Do Your Homework on Time if You're a Procrastinator

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/tips-studying-motivation.html
  • ↑ https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0046362
  • ↑ https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/how-should-students-study-tips-advice-and-pitfalls
  • ↑ https://www.umassd.edu/fycm/goal-setting/resources/smartgoals/
  • ↑ https://allianzassistancehealth.com.au/en/living-in-australia/studying-motivation-tips-university/
  • ↑ https://www.wgu.edu/blog/improve-online-study-environment1712.html
  • ↑ https://share.upmc.com/2019/08/healthy-snacks-to-power-studying/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ https://news.stanford.edu/2014/04/24/walking-vs-sitting-042414/
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/studying-101-study-smarter-not-harder/
  • ↑ https://www.aiuniv.edu/blog/2016/april/4-steps-to-prioritize-tasks
  • ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/18/time-management-apps-work-life-balance-productivity

About This Article

Jake Adams

To find the motivation to do your homework, give yourself small rewards after you accomplish a goal, like a 5 minute video after finishing a reading assignment. For larger accomplishments, like completing an important paper, give yourself a bigger reward, like going out for pizza with friends. You can also try giving yourself a treat, like a scoop of ice cream or 10 minutes to text your best friend, before you begin working to lift your mood and make you more productive. If you have a friend who won’t distract you, see if they want to do homework together so you can keep each other on track. To learn how to pick the best time and place to do your homework, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Daniel Wong

30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

Updated on June 6, 2023 By Daniel Wong 44 Comments

Student

To stop procrastinating on homework, you need to find motivation to do the homework in the first place.

But first, you have to overcome feeling too overwhelmed to even start.

You know what it feels like when everything hits you at once, right?

You have three tests to study for and a math assignment due tomorrow.

And you’ve got a history report due the day after.

You tell yourself to get down to work. But with so much to do, you feel overwhelmed.

So you procrastinate.

You check your social media feed, watch a few videos, and get yourself a drink. But you know that none of this is bringing you closer to getting the work done.

Does this sound familiar?

Don’t worry – you are not alone. Procrastination is a problem that everyone faces, but there are ways around it.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to overcome procrastination and consistently find the motivation to do the homework .

So read on to discover 30 powerful tips to help you stop procrastinating on your homework.

Enter your email below to download a PDF summary of this article. The PDF contains all the tips found here, plus  3 exclusive bonus tips that you’ll only find in the PDF.

How to stop procrastinating and motivate yourself to do your homework.

Procrastination when it comes to homework isn’t just an issue of laziness or a lack of motivation .

The following tips will help you to first address the root cause of your procrastination and then implement strategies to keep your motivation levels high.

1. Take a quiz to see how much you procrastinate.

The first step to changing your behavior is to become more self-aware.

How often do you procrastinate? What kinds of tasks do you tend to put off? Is procrastination a small or big problem for you?

To answer these questions, I suggest that you take this online quiz designed by Psychology Today .

2. Figure out why you’re procrastinating.

Procrastination is a complex issue that involves multiple factors.

Stop thinking of excuses for not doing your homework , and figure out what’s keeping you from getting started.

Are you procrastinating because:

  • You’re not sure you’ll be able to solve all the homework problems?
  • You’re subconsciously rebelling against your teachers or parents?
  • You’re not interested in the subject or topic?
  • You’re physically or mentally tired?
  • You’re waiting for the perfect time to start?
  • You don’t know where to start?

Once you’ve identified exactly why you’re procrastinating, you can pick out the tips in this article that will get to the root of the problem.

3. Write down what you’re procrastinating on.

Students tend to procrastinate when they’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But you might be surprised to discover that simply by writing down the specific tasks you’re putting off, the situation will feel more manageable.

It’s a quick solution, and it makes a real difference.

Give it a try and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.

4. Put your homework on your desk.

Homework

Here’s an even simpler idea.

Many times, the hardest part of getting your homework done is getting started.

It doesn’t require a lot of willpower to take out your homework and put it on your desk.

But once it’s sitting there in front of you, you’ll be much closer to actually getting down to work.

5. Break down the task into smaller steps.

This one trick will make any task seem more manageable.

For example, if you have a history report to write, you could break it down into the following steps:

  • Read the history textbook
  • Do online research
  • Organize the information
  • Create an outline
  • Write the introduction
  • Write the body paragraphs
  • Write the conclusion
  • Edit and proofread the report

Focus on just one step at a time. This way, you won’t need to motivate yourself to write the whole report at one go.

This is an important technique to use if you want to study smart and get more done .

6. Create a detailed timeline with specific deadlines.

As a follow-up to Point #5, you can further combat procrastination by creating a timeline with specific deadlines.

Using the same example above, I’ve added deadlines to each of the steps:

  • Jan 30 th : Read the history textbook
  • Feb 2 nd : Do online research
  • Feb 3 rd : Organize the information
  • Feb 5 th : Create an outline
  • Feb 8 th : Write the introduction
  • Feb 12 th : Write the body paragraphs
  • Feb 14 th : Write the conclusion
  • Feb 16 th : Edit and proofread the report

Assigning specific dates creates a sense of urgency, which makes it more likely that you’ll keep to the deadlines.

7. Spend time with people who are focused and hardworking.

Jim Rohn famously said that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

If you hang out with people who are motivated and hardworking, you’ll become more like them.

Likewise, if you hang out with people who continually procrastinate, you’ll become more like them too.

Motivation to do homework naturally increases when you surround yourself with the right people.

So choose your friends wisely. Find homework buddies who will influence you positively to become a straight-A student who leads a balanced life.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! It just means that you and your friends know when it’s time to get down to work and when it’s time to enjoy yourselves.

8. Tell at least two or three people about the tasks you plan to complete.

Group of students

When you tell others about the tasks you intend to finish, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your plans.

This is called “accountability,” and it kicks in because you want to be seen as someone who keeps your word.

So if you know about this principle, why not use it to your advantage?

You could even ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. At the beginning of each day, you could text each other what you plan to work on that day.

Then at the end of the day, you could check in with each other to see if things went according to plan.

9. Change your environment .

Maybe it’s your environment that’s making you feel sluggish.

When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Or is your distracting computer within easy reach?

If your environment is part of your procrastination problem, then change it.

Sometimes all you need is a simple change of scenery. Bring your work to the dining room table and get it done there. Or head to a nearby café to complete your report.

10. Talk to people who have overcome their procrastination problem.

If you have friends who consistently win the battle with procrastination, learn from their experience.

What was the turning point for them? What tips and strategies do they use? What keeps them motivated?

Find all this out, and then apply the information to your own situation.

11. Decide on a reward to give yourself after you complete your task.

“Planned” rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to do your homework.

The reward doesn’t have to be something huge.

For instance, you might decide that after you finish 10 questions of your math homework, you get to watch your favorite TV show.

Or you might decide that after reading one chapter of your history textbook, you get to spend 10 minutes on Facebook.

By giving yourself a reward, you’ll feel more motivated to get through the task at hand.

12. Decide on a consequence you’ll impose on yourself if you don’t meet the deadline.

Consequences

It’s important that you decide on what the consequence will be before you start working toward your goal.

As an example, you could tell your younger brother that you’ll give him $1 for every deadline you don’t meet (see Point #6).

Or you could decide that you’ll delete one game from your phone for every late homework submission.

Those consequences would probably be painful enough to help you get down to work, right?

13. Visualize success.

Take 30 seconds and imagine how you’ll feel when you finish your work.

What positive emotions will you experience?

Will you feel a sense of satisfaction from getting all your work done?

Will you relish the extra time on your hands when you get your homework done fast and ahead of time?

This simple exercise of visualizing success may be enough to inspire you to start doing your assignment.

14. Visualize the process it will take to achieve that success.

Even more important than visualizing the outcome is visualizing the process it will take to achieve that outcome.

Research shows that focusing on the process is critical to success. If you’re procrastinating on a task, take a few moments to think about what you’ll need to do to complete it.

Visualize the following:

  • What resources you’ll need
  • Who you can turn to for help
  • How long the task will take
  • Where you’ll work on the task
  • The joy you’ll experience as you make progress

This kind of visualization is like practice for your mind.

Once you understand what’s necessary to achieve your goal, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get down to work with real focus. This is key to doing well in school .

15. Write down why you want to complete the task.

Why

You’ll be more motivated when you’re clear about why you want to accomplish something.

To motivate yourself to do your homework, think about all the ways in which it’s a meaningful task.

So take a couple of minutes to write down the reasons. Here are some possible ones:

  • Learn useful information
  • Master the topic
  • Enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed the task
  • Become a more focused student
  • Learn to embrace challenges
  • Fulfill your responsibility as a student
  • Get a good grade on the assignment

16. Write down the negative feelings you’ll have if you don’t complete the task.

If you don’t complete the assignment, you might feel disappointed or discouraged. You might even feel as if you’ve let your parents or your teacher – or even yourself – down.

It isn’t wise to dwell on these negative emotions for too long. But by imagining how you’ll feel if you don’t finish the task, you’ll realize how important it is that you get to work.

17. Do the hardest task first.

Most students will choose to do the easiest task first, rather than the hardest one. But this approach isn’t effective because it leaves the worst for last.

It’s more difficult to find motivation to do homework in less enjoyable subjects.

As Brian Tracy says , “Eat that frog!” By this, he means that you should always get your most difficult task out of the way at the beginning of the day.

If math is your least favorite subject, force yourself to complete your math homework first.

After doing so, you’ll feel a surge of motivation from knowing it’s finished. And you won’t procrastinate on your other homework because it will seem easier in comparison.

(On a separate note, check out these tips on how to get better at math if you’re struggling.)

18. Set a timer when doing your homework.

I recommend that you use a stopwatch for every homework session. (If you prefer, you could also use this online stopwatch or the Tomato Timer .)

Start the timer at the beginning of the session, and work in 30- to 45-minute blocks.

Using a timer creates a sense of urgency, which will help you fight off your urge to procrastinate.

When you know you only have to work for a short session, it will be easier to find motivation to complete your homework.

Tell yourself that you need to work hard until the timer goes off, and then you can take a break. (And then be sure to take that break!)

19. Eliminate distractions.

Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:

  • Delete all the games and social media apps on your phone
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone
  • Mute your group chats
  • Archive your inactive chats
  • Turn off your phone, or put it on airplane mode
  • Put your phone at least 10 feet away from you
  • Turn off the Internet access on your computer
  • Use an app like Freedom to restrict your Internet usage
  • Put any other distractions (like food, magazines and books unrelated to your homework) at the other end of the room
  • Unplug the TV
  • Use earplugs if your surroundings are noisy

20. At the start of each day, write down the two to three Most Important Tasks (MITs) you want to accomplish.

Writing a list

This will enable you to prioritize your tasks. As Josh Kaufman explains , a Most Important Task (MIT) is a critical task that will help you to get significant results down the road.

Not all tasks are equally important. That’s why it’s vital that you identify your MITs, so that you can complete those as early in the day as possible.

What do you most need to get done today? That’s an MIT.

Get to work on it, then feel the satisfaction that comes from knowing it’s out of the way.

21. Focus on progress instead of perfection.

Perfectionism can destroy your motivation to do homework and keep you from starting important assignments.

Some students procrastinate because they’re waiting for the perfect time to start.

Others do so because they want to get their homework done perfectly. But they know this isn’t really possible – so they put off even getting started.

What’s the solution?

To focus on progress instead of perfection.

There’s never a perfect time for anything. Nor will you ever be able to complete your homework perfectly. But you can do your best, and that’s enough.

So concentrate on learning and improving, and turn this into a habit that you implement whenever you study .

22. Get organized.

Procrastination is common among students who are disorganized.

When you can’t remember which assignment is due when or which tests you have coming up, you’ll naturally feel confused. You’ll experience school- and test-related stress .

This, in turn, will lead to procrastination.

That’s why it’s crucial that you get organized. Here are some tips for doing this:

  • Don’t rely on your memory ; write everything down
  • Keep a to-do list
  • Use a student planner
  • Use a calendar and take note of important dates like exams, project due dates, school holidays , birthdays, and family events
  • At the end of each day, plan for the following day
  • Use one binder or folder for each subject or course
  • Do weekly filing of your loose papers, notes, and old homework
  • Throw away all the papers and notes you no longer need

23. Stop saying “I have to” and start saying “I choose to.”

When you say things like “I have to write my essay” or “I have to finish my science assignment,” you’ll probably feel annoyed. You might be tempted to complain about your teachers or your school .

What’s the alternative?

To use the phrase “I choose to.”

The truth is, you don’t “have” to do anything.

You can choose not to write your essay; you’ll just run the risk of failing the class.

You can choose not to do your science assignment; you’ll just need to deal with your angry teacher.

When you say “I choose to do my homework,” you’ll feel empowered. This means you’ll be more motivated to study and to do what you ought to.

24. Clear your desk once a week.

Organized desk

Clutter can be demotivating. It also causes stress , which is often at the root of procrastination.

Hard to believe? Give it a try and see for yourself.

By clearing your desk, you’ll reduce stress and make your workspace more organized.

So set a recurring appointment to organize your workspace once a week for just 10 minutes. You’ll receive huge benefits in the long run!

25. If a task takes two minutes or less to complete, do it now.

This is a principle from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done .

You may notice that you tend to procrastinate when many tasks pile up. The way to prevent this from happening is to take care of the small but important tasks as soon as you have time.

Here are some examples of small two-minute tasks that you should do once you have a chance:

  • Replying to your project group member’s email
  • Picking up anything on the floor that doesn’t belong there
  • Asking your parents to sign a consent form
  • Filing a graded assignment
  • Making a quick phone call
  • Writing a checklist
  • Sending a text to schedule a meeting
  • Making an online purchase that doesn’t require further research

26. Finish one task before starting on the next.

You aren’t being productive when you switch between working on your literature essay, social studies report, and physics problem set – while also intermittently checking your phone.

Research shows that multitasking is less effective than doing one thing at a time. Multitasking may even damage your brain !

When it comes to overcoming procrastination, it’s better to stick with one task all the way through before starting on the next one.

You’ll get a sense of accomplishment when you finish the first assignment, which will give you a boost of inspiration as you move on to the next one.

27. Build your focus gradually.

You can’t win the battle against procrastination overnight; it takes time. This means that you need to build your focus progressively.

If you can only focus for 10 minutes at once, that’s fine. Start with three sessions of 10 minutes a day. After a week, increase it to three sessions of 15 minutes a day, and so on.

As the weeks go by, you’ll become far more focused than when you first started. And you’ll soon see how great that makes you feel.

28. Before you start work, write down three things you’re thankful for.

Gratitude

Gratitude improves your psychological health and increases your mental strength .

These factors are linked to motivation. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it will be to find motivation to do your homework. As such, it’s less likely that you’ll be a serial procrastinator.

Before you get down to work for the day, write down three things you’re thankful for. These could be simple things like good health, fine weather, or a loving family.

You could even do this in a “gratitude journal,” which you can then look back on whenever you need a shot of fresh appreciation for the good things in your life.

Either way, this short exercise will get you in the right mindset to be productive.

29. Get enough sleep.

For most people, this means getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. And teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night to function optimally.

What does sleep have to do with procrastination?

More than you might realize.

It’s almost impossible to feel motivated when you’re tired. And when you’re low on energy, your willpower is depleted too.

That’s why you give in to the temptation of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos more easily when you’re sleep-deprived.

Here are ways to get more sleep , and sleep better too:

  • Create a bedtime routine
  • Go to sleep at around the same time every night
  • Set a daily alarm as a reminder to go to bed
  • Exercise regularly (but not within a few hours of bedtime)
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible
  • Remove or switch off all electronic devices before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime
  • Use an eye mask and earplugs

30. Schedule appointments with yourself to complete your homework.

These appointments are specific blocks of time reserved for working on a report, assignment, or project. Scheduling appointments is effective because it makes the task more “official,” so you’re more likely to keep the appointment.

For example, you could schedule appointments such as:

  • Jan 25 th , 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Math assignment
  • Jan 27 th , 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Online research for social studies project
  • Jan 28 th , 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Write introduction for English essay

Transform homework procrastination into homework motivation

Procrastination is a problem we all face.

But given that you’ve read all the way to here, I know you’re committed to overcoming this problem.

And now that you’re armed with these tips, you have all the tools you need to become more disciplined and focused .

By the way, please don’t feel as if you need to implement all the tips at once, because that would be too overwhelming.

Instead, I recommend that you focus on just a couple of tips a week, and make gradual progress. No rush!

Over time, you’ll realize that your habit of procrastination has been replaced by the habit of getting things done.

Now’s the time to get started on that process of transformation. 🙂

Like this article? Please share it with your friends.

Images: Student and books , Homework , Group of students , Consequences , Why , Writing a list , Organized desk , Gratitude

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January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

Ur tips are rlly helpful. Thnkyou ! 🙂

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January 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

You’re welcome 🙂

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August 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

Thanks very much

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February 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm

The funny thing is while I was reading the first few steps of this article I was procrastinating on my homework….

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November 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

same here! but now I actually want to get my stuff done… huh

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December 4, 2022 at 11:35 pm

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May 30, 2023 at 6:26 am

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October 25, 2023 at 11:35 am

fr tho i totally was but now I’m actually going to get started haha

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June 6, 2020 at 6:04 am

I love your articles

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January 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Thanks soo much. It’s almost like you could read my mind- when I felt so overwhelmed with the workload heap I had created for myself by procrastination, I know feel very motivated to tackle it out completely and replace that bad habit with the wonderful tips mentioned here! 🙂

January 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

I’m glad to help 🙂

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January 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

You have shared great tips here. I especially like the point “Write down why you want to complete the task” because it is helpful to make us more motivated when we are clear about our goals

January 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Glad that you found the tips useful, John!

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January 29, 2016 at 1:22 am

Thank you very much for your wonderful tips!!! ☺☺☺

January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

It’s my joy to help, Kabir 🙂

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February 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Always love your articles. Keep them up 🙂

February 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Thanks, Matthew 🙂

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February 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm

There are quite a lot of things that you need to do in order to come out with flying colors while studying in a university away from your homeland. Procrastinating on homework is one of the major mistakes committed by students and these tips will help you to avoid them all and make yourself more efficient during your student life.

February 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Completely agreed, Leong Siew.

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October 5, 2018 at 12:52 am

Wow! thank you very much, I love it .

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November 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

You are helping me a lot.. thank you very much….😊

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November 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I’m procrastinating by reading this

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November 29, 2018 at 10:21 am

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January 8, 2021 at 3:38 am

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March 3, 2019 at 9:12 am

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! Please keep up your excellent work!

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April 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

We should stop procrastinating.

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September 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Thank you so much for the tips:) i’ve been procrastinating since i started high schools and my grades were really bad “F” but the tips have made me a straight A student again.

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January 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for the tips, Daniel! They’re really useful! 😁

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April 10, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I have always stood first in my class. But procrastination has always been a very bad habit of mine which is why I lost marks for late submission .As an excuse for finding motivation for studying I would spend hours on the phone and I would eventually procrastinate. So I tried your tips and tricks today and they really worked.i am so glad and thankful for your help. 🇮🇳Love from India🇮🇳

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April 15, 2020 at 11:16 am

Well I’m gonna give this a shot it looks and sounds very helpful thank you guys I really needed this

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April 16, 2020 at 9:48 pm

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! keep up your excellent work! May you give more useful content to us.

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May 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm

nice article thanks for your sharing.

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May 20, 2020 at 4:49 am

Thank you so much this helped me so much but I was wondering about like what if you just like being lazy and stuff and don’t feel like doing anything and you don’t want to tell anyone because you might annoy them and you just don’t want to add your problems and put another burden on theirs

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July 12, 2020 at 1:55 am

I’ve read many short procrastination tip articles and always thought they were stupid or overlooking the actual problem. ‘do this and this’ or that and that, and I sit there thinking I CAN’T. This article had some nice original tips that I actually followed and really did make me feel a bit better. Cheers, diving into what will probably be a 3 hour case study.

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August 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Nicely explain each tips and those are practical thanks for sharing. Dr.Achyut More

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November 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Thanks a lot! It was very helpful!

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November 15, 2020 at 9:11 am

I keep catching myself procrastinating today. I started reading this yesterday, but then I realized I was procrastinating, so I stopped to finish it today. Thank you for all the great tips.

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November 30, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Woow this is so great. Thanks so much Daniel

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December 3, 2020 at 3:13 am

These tips were very helpful!

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December 18, 2020 at 11:54 am

Procrastination is a major problem of mine, and this, this is very helpful. It is very motivational, now I think I can complete my work.

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December 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Daniel Wong: When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Me: Nope, my super-comfortable bed is one step away. (But I seriously can’t study anywhere else. If I go to the dining table, my mum would be right in front of me talking loudly on the phone with colleagues and other rooms is an absolute no. My mum doesn’t allow me to go outside. Please give me some suggestions. )

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September 19, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I would try and find some noise cancelling headphones to play some classical music or get some earbuds to ignore you mum lol

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March 1, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Thank you very much. I highly appreciate it.

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May 12, 2023 at 3:38 am

This is great advice. My little niece is now six years old and I like to use those nice cheap child friendly workbooks with her. This is done in order to help her to learn things completely on her own. I however prefer to test her on her own knowledge however. After a rather quick demonstration in the lesson I then tend to give her two simple questions to start off with. And it works a treat. Seriously. I love it. She loves it. The exam questions are for her to answer on her own on a notepad. If she can, she will receive a gold medal and a box of sweets. If not she only gets a plastic toy. We do this all the time to help her understand. Once a week we spend up to thirty minutes in a math lesson on this technique for recalling the basic facts. I have had a lot of great success with this new age technique. So I’m going to carry on with it for now.

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Alice Boyes Ph.D.

How to Get Things Done When You Have No Motivation

No motivation need to be productive try these solutions..

Posted March 22, 2021 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

  • What Is Motivation?
  • Find a therapist near me
  • A lack of motivation can have many sources, from fatigue to anxiety to feelings of overwhelm. Identifying the root cause is key to overcoming it.
  • Low motivation makes it harder to dive into unpleasant tasks. Start with quick, easy, or satisfying tasks, even if they're not high-priority.
  • Once you've warmed up, tackle the work that needs to get done, making sure to take regular breaks and reward yourself for each achievement.

No motivation ? You're not alone, especially now. The five steps below can help you overcome the roadblock.

1. Accurately diagnose your feelings.

Many other emotions masquerade as low motivation. If you accurately diagnose your emotions, the path forward will be much clearer.

Your underlying feeling might be:

  • Overwhelmed
  • Social comparison

If you're overwhelmed, shrink your goal for today until you don't feel overwhelmed. If you are expecting yourself to work for longer than 90-minute blocks, or to get more than three-four hours of highly productive (intensely focused) work done per day, you're potentially psyching yourself out by having unrealistic expectations.

Mel Elías/Unsplash

If you're suffering from social comparison, talk to yourself compassionately (explained here ). Are you expecting yourself to perform as well as someone who has practiced more than you have?

If you're feeling fatigued, make sure the problem isn't that you've been resting too much. When people feel low, they sometimes rest a lot and then feel less energetic because of this. (This is easy to do. It actually happened to me over the weekend. There is no shame in it.)

These suggestions don't cover all scenarios, but when you accurately diagnose what you're feeling, you'll likely see a solution.

2. Don't "eat the frog."

The idea of eating the frog refers to doing the task you're least motivated to do first. This can be a great strategy, but if you're feeling low, trying to do your hardest task first can lead to you not getting out of bed.

Ask yourself, "What's the most productive task that is within my capacity right now?" For example, if you'd like to go for a run but you can't get yourself to do that, then going for a walk is better than staying in bed.

No productivity strategy is right for all circumstances. Varying your strategies can be beneficial rather than expecting yourself to always stick to the same robotic system for prioritizing.

3. Do a few minutes of quick but satisfying tasks.

Sometimes you need to warm up into action . To do this, try quick, satisfying tasks, like ordering the vitamins you've run out of, picking up dirty clothes, or changing your sheets.

If you do these tasks too long, they can distract you from more substantial work you need to get done. Five to ten minutes of these types of tasks is great, but don't do in excess of 30 minutes when you have more important things to do. When we overdo busy work, we risk being too tired to start more important work.

4. Plan your reward.

Plan to work on a high-priority task for 90 minutes, then take a break. How do you want to spend your break? Would you like to take a walk or lie out in the sun? Would you like to check a Reddit sub or Slack channel you visit daily? Would you like to message a friend? Would you like to browse swimsuits for a vacation you have coming up? Would you like to do a few minutes of yoga?

Planning and choosing take tremendous mental energy. If you wait to choose what you will do for your break until you're already exhausted from a period of focused work, you may not make a very satisfying choice. Plan your fun from the outset, when you have the cognitive energy to do that. When you choose in advance, you're likely to make a more rewarding choice.

5. Fuel yourself.

Understand how fuel influences your personal concentration , focus, and motivation. Currently, I like drinking electrolyte water in the mornings. Test out what works for you. For example, try eating a high-protein yogurt and see if that gives you the little boost you need. Physical boosts may have meaningful but small effects. For example, they might increase your energy by 10 percent. Small improvements like these can be hard to notice if you're not paying close attention, Consider structured self-experimentation like trying a strategy every day for a week, then no days for a week, and comparing.

why i can't do my homework

Low and no motivation can be a sign of a serious problem like depression or anxiety . For example, for people who are chronically anxious, everything they need to do can feel scary and hard because they're constantly thinking of what could go wrong or ways they're inadequate.

For more serious problems like clinical depression or anxiety, you'll need more than just "tips," but tips like these can be part of the solution. (For more practical ideas along these lines, try this post , which includes a story about how I dealt with low motivation after a major disappointment .)

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LinkedIn image: pathdoc/Shutterstock

Alice Boyes Ph.D.

Alice Boyes, Ph.D., translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives.

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Can’t Focus on Homework? Reasons why and Tips to Concentrate

Can’t Focus on Homework? Reasons why and Tips to Concentrate

How to Concentrate On Your Homework

How to Concentrate On Your Homework

It is challenging to focus on homework, especially when you would rather be doing something else. Many things will divert your attention away from the task at hand.

Whether friends are texting you about the latest game release or music, you must consider your surroundings. Sometimes the source of the distraction is something internal.

why i can't do my homework

Food and sleep deprivation can affect your capacity to function in ways you may not understand. Medical difficulties might be challenging and unavoidable. It is easy to allow physical, mental, or emotional pain overtakes your mental focus.

People Also Read: Research Paper Graph: How to Insert Graphs, Tables & Figures

Why Can’t I Focus on My Homework?

If you can’t focus on your homework, chances are that you may have lost your concentration on your study work or your prioritization of assignments is not up to par.

You could also be having too many assignments or you lack the understanding and knowledge of the subject. To solve this, study hard, plan well and consult your tutor.

Concentration issues are a frequent problem that will plague you throughout your academic career. It may occur due to various factors, including:

Doing homework.

1. Excessive Stimulation

Stimuli are anything that makes you react, whether or not you realize it.

The warmth of space, the texture of your clothes, flashing lights, or background music are all examples of stimuli.

Your brain senses each of these cues that your body is experiencing.

2. Inadequate Sleep

Sleep helps you focus and remember things, which are two things you need to finish your homework. Sleep deprivation hurts your capacity to think clearly and perform.

3. Overwhelmed

Some students struggle with many issues outside of school, including figuring out what they want to do with their lives, social development, family issues, and other issues that many individuals face. 

4. Lack of Prioritization Skills

Prioritizing entails selecting the most appropriate activities to fill your day. Students who can prioritize their responsibilities will be less stressed.

5. Poor Time Management Skills

You will acquire the critical lesson about the necessity of time management skills as you improve your prioritization skills. The ideal time to finish your homework is soon after you arrive home. It is because your brain is still in learning mode.

6. Multitasking

multitasking while studying

When you try to multitask, you put additional strain on your brain to perform multiple tasks. It can make you feel nervous.

7. Lack of Nutrition

Doing your homework requires a lot of brainpower. So, proper nutrition supports healthy brain function.

8. Mental Illnesses

Some mental health problems, such as ADHD and depression, lead to shorter attention spans. It can cause you to have a difficult time focusing.

9. No Passion about the Subject

Your capacity to get things done, including your homework, is influenced by your level of enthusiasm.

10. Physical Pain

Pain might make it hard to perform well. If you ever experience discomfort that prevents you from performing daily responsibilities such as homework or chores, you should notify your doctor, parents, or legal guardian.

People Also Read: Is using an Essay Writing Service Cheating? Is it Ethical?

Reasons Why Students Can’t Focus on Homework

There are a wide variety of reasons why students may not focus on their homework, including:

Lack of Understanding

It is one of the primary reasons’ students can’t focus on their homework. Students need to receive enough instruction to comprehend and complete an assignment.

Social Media use or Excessive Television Viewing

watching tv while studying

Some students waste hours of their leisure time on social media and television, ignoring their assignments.

A troubled Home Life

Students may feel unmotivated to focus on their assignments if their home life is hectic or challenging.

An Environment that is Noisy, Distracting, or Congested

Some students can’t focus on their homework due to a lack of a conducive working environment.

Role Models are Lacking

Some pupils lack role models in their lives. People that respect education and encourage them to finish their assignments.

Part-time Work or Extracurricular Activities

Typically, students who participate in after-school work or activities struggle to focus and finish assignments.

Lack of Stability

If a student’s family moves frequently, they may not have the constancy they require to sit down and focus on their homework.

Mental Disorders

Mental disorders like ADHD, OCD, and depression affect mental focus.

Lack of Input

Many students thrive on feedback, which is why if they do not receive any praise or constructive criticism, they may not do their schoolwork.

Drugs Addiction

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a delicate topic that can be difficult to discuss.

People Also Read: Is Using a Test Bank Cheating or illegal: Can you be Caught?

How to Concentrate on Homework

There various ways to improve your concentration, including:

While Working, Move about or Stretch

Research suggests that moving helps you learn and think better. It is easy to become bored, restless, and distracted when you stay stationary for an extended period.

Get up and walk or stretch now and again, or do some jumping jacks or run in place for a few minutes. Standing up while working can also help you concentrate.

Hydrate and Eat Nutritious Snacks

drinking water

Hunger or thirst make it hard to focus and study. While working, keep a water bottle or thermos nearby and take sips if you feel fatigued or distracted. In case you are hungry, have some healthy snacks on hand.

Remove Anything that can Hamper your Concentration

If you can’t avoid staring at your phone, put it away. Unless you need your computer or tablet for homework, switch them off.

Turn off the television and any music that can make it difficult for you to concentrate.

Block Distracting Apps and Websites on your Computer or Tablet

It can be challenging to concentrate when doing homework on a device. Turn off any alarms or notifications on your device to prevent them from distracting you.

Focus on one Task at a Time

Finish a task before moving on to the next. Multitasking makes you less effective. You may think you are getting more done, but you are slowing yourself down!

Divide your Assignments into Manageable Chunks

Concentrating on a single activity at a time makes the work go faster. Make a list of the steps you will need to complete each task. Before going on to the next mission, you must complete the previous one.

You can also use a timer to ensure that you don’t spend too much time on each step.

At Least Every hour, take a Break

You can set a timer for yourself. Sitting for an extended period affects concentration. Take a few moments to relax before trying again.

Try having a Study Buddy

Choose a dedicated study partner who won’t distract you. It may be a classmate, a friend, or even a sibling. You could even form a small group to complete your homework together.

People Also Read: Term Paper vs Research Paper vs an Essay: Differences & Tips

How to Plan Your Homework and Finish it faster

If you cannot do your homework , and you have lost focus on them, try to avoid things that make you not handle them. To make your homework fun and complete it faster:

Make a list of everything you want to do : This should be a comprehensive list of everything to accomplish that evening. It can include everything from rereading notes from the morning’s lecture to quizzing oneself on foreign language vocabulary.

organized study table

Calculate how much time each item on your list will take : You can be a little ruthless in this situation. Try shaving five or ten minutes off whatever time you believe a task will take.

Gather all of your supplies: Gather all of the materials you need for your homework, including your laptop, pencils, and writing pads. Getting up for supplies throws you off track and makes it even more challenging to return to your assignment.

Unplug, and switch off your devices: The frequent bleeps and beeps from your devices can make it difficult to concentrate on your task. Switch off or silence your phones and tablets, or put them in another room.

Stay focused on the task at hand: When fact-checking online, it is too easy to get distracted and visit an entirely unrelated site. A better technique is to list what material you need to look up online and complete it at the end of the study session.

Time yourself : Keeping track of how long things take will help you better predict and organize your next study session.

Take frequent breaks: Active breaks are an excellent method to maintain your energy levels. Keep a ten-minute break schedule in mind.

Give yourself a treat! If you set aside 30 minutes to read a chapter but only got through it in 20, you can take a ten-minute break or move on to the next job.

Josh Jasen

When not handling complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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Can’t do Homework: What to do When Scared, Stressed or Unable

  • by Joseph Kenas
  • February 6, 2024

can't do homework

Assignments might be a pain, but it’s necessary to maintain good marks and stay on course in education.

Whether you’re a little overwhelmed with the number of assignments or simply a procrastinator, you may find yourself in a situation where you simply can’t complete your homework on time.

While you should always start your homework as early as possible, late assignments can be made up without too much trouble, provided you’re willing to put in the extra time.

In this article, we discuss various reasons why students can’t do their homework and some things to do when you are unable to complete it.

What to Do When you can’t do Homework

Failure to do Homework

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably in a pickle. You’ve got homework to do, but you just can’t seem to get it done.

It’s not that you don’t want to, you just can’t get yourself to do it.

It’s a problem for a lot of students. The good news is that there are solutions when can’t do your homework. Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Ask for a Deadline Extension

From time to time many students have to do something important that prevents them from being able to study for a test, complete an assignment or participate in an online class.

The solution is to ask your teacher for an extension. You can do this by email , in person, or even over the phone. If you know you will not complete your assignment in time, reach out to your teacher before the date of the submission.

Assignment extensions are almost always granted when you tell your instructor in time and give them a valid reason.

2. Hire a Writer

If you’re short on time, you may be considering hiring homework help. This can be a great alternative to giving up or making excuses for your teacher.

However, if you are going to hire a homework helper, you need to know what you are looking for. You might have friends or relatives who can do your work, but it is important to find an expert who can do the job right.

You need to make sure that the person you hire has the qualifications and experience to write a top-notch paper. There are a lot of homework services out there. The going rate for a homework help site is between $10 to $20 per page.

Some sites will also provide you with a free sample and a free revision, so you can make sure that the work is completed to your satisfaction. 

3. Defer the Course

If you are facing the problem of not being able to do your homework always, you should consider the option of deferring the course.

In some cases, it might result in more severe consequences than dropping the class, but if you are determined to pass the course and can’t do your homework due to some legitimate reasons, you should consider deferring it.

These reasons include some financial difficulties and other family problems.

4. Study more

Sometimes the homework is too hard and you cannot get the right answer for it. However, doing homework requires you to study.

You can do some research on the internet to find out more information about the homework. You can also refer to textbooks and class notes.

5. Take a Break to Relax

When you feel like you are tired of doing your homework, it’s time to take a break. Take a walk outside, go talk to your friends or have a snack.

You can also take a quick nap to rejuvenate yourself. Your brain will be able to think better if you give it some time to relax.

6. Friends to help

Doing Homework

When you cant do your homework, there is always a friend who can help you tackle it. It can be either a relative or someone who has passed the level of education you are in.

Try to get someone who is an expert in that field to help you. You can also get your friend from the same course so that you can help each other with ideas.

7. Consult your Teacher

If you’re stuck on a homework problem and you don’t have anyone to turn to for help, it’s always a good idea to consult the teacher.

Your teacher will have the answers you’re looking for and will be able to help you get back on track. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your teacher, you can always go to another teacher at the same school or another school.

Reasons why Students can’t do their Homework

Students fail to complete their assignments for a variety of reasons. This understanding can help instructors change their teaching methods and help students more. Below are some of the reasons why students fail to do their homework:

1. Lack of Enough Time

Most students participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities. Although these activities are beneficial and can help children stay interested in school, they can also make it difficult for them to complete homework in time.

Also, some older students may have other obligations such as jobs.

2. Failure to Know the Importance of the Homework

If students recognized the importance of their assignment, they would be more motivated to complete it. Everyone, even students, wants to get involved in activities that will benefit their life.

Students can rebel because they see schoolwork as a waste of time. They believe that if they can successfully solve a few math questions, then fifty problems is a waste of time.

3. Failure to Understand the Homework

Doing Homework

One of the most common reasons students fail to do their assignments is a lack of comprehension.

If students don’t get adequate teaching, they don’t learn the fundamental abilities they require to do a project.

To ensure that learners understand the assignment at hand, teachers should make sure assignment directions are as explicit as possible.

4. Assignments from other Teachers

This is especially dangerous in high school when pupils have a variety of teachers instructors at this level frequently have no idea if students have assignments from other teachers.

They assume that students need only thirty minutes to do their assignments. However, if they have eight topics and each professor assigns thirty minutes of assignment, the learner will be working on them for three to four hours which is hard.

5. Lack of Feedback from Teachers

If a student complete homework, they anticipate receiving feedback. They may receive a grade, and they also desire feedback, particularly on written homework.

When the instructor fails to give this feedback, most learners do not see the point of the homework.

It’s therefore important for teachers to provide feedback either in writing or include the homework revisions in ca class discussion for the students to benefit.

6. Family Issues 

Some learners come from homes where education is not valued. The student is unlikely to receive help or inspiration to do assignments as a result.

Other homes place high importance on education, yet their parents are either unable or unwilling to assist their children with schoolwork.

Some students also reside in chaotic circumstances where they may lack a tranquil location to study or the necessary resources to complete their assignments.

why i can't do my homework

Joseph is a freelance journalist and a part-time writer with a particular interest in the gig economy. He writes about schooling, college life, and changing trends in education. When not writing, Joseph is hiking or playing chess.

Solving Procrastination

why i can't do my homework

Homework Procrastination: Why You Procrastinate on Homework and How to Stop

Homework procrastination involves unnecessarily postponing working on homework assignments. For example, if a student delays starting a homework assignment until right before its deadline for no good reason, even though it would have been better for them to start earlier, that student is engaging in homework procrastination.

Homework procrastination can take various forms, from wasting hours trying to bring yourself to start writing an essay, to putting off an important project until the end of the semester. This is a problem not only because it can harm your performance at school, and therefore cause you to receive lower grades , but also because it can cause you to suffer from various other issues , such as frustration, anxiety, and stress .

If you often procrastinate when it comes to doing homework, know that you’re not alone. Procrastination is a common problem among students ; in terms of statistics, studies show that approximately 80%–95% of college students engage in procrastination to some degree, approximately 75% consider themselves to be procrastinators, and approximately 50% say that they procrastinate in a consistent and problematic manner.

Fortunately, however, there are some things that you can do to solve this problem, as you will see in the following article. Specifically, you will first see an explanation about why students procrastinate on their homework, so you can understand your own behavior better. Then, you will see what you can do in order to stop procrastinating on your homework, so you can start getting them done on time.

Why you procrastinate on homework

You procrastinate on homework because issues such as exhaustion and anxiety outweigh your self-control and motivation. These issues include personal factors, like fear and perfectionism, and situational factors, like distractions and unclear instructions.

Specifically, when you need to get homework done, you rely primarily on your self-control in order to get yourself to do it. Furthermore, your self-control is sometimes supported by your motivation, which helps you complete your homework on time.

However, in some cases, you suffer from issues that interfere with or oppose your self-control and motivation, such as exhaustion and anxiety . When these issues are stronger than your self-control and motivation, you end up procrastinating, until you reach a point where the balance between them shifts in your favor, or until it’s too late.

This explains why you might end up procrastinating on your homework even when you have the necessary motivation and you truly wish that you could just get started. This also explains why you might end up procrastinating on your homework until right before deadlines , when the increased motivation, often in the form of stressful pressure, finally pushes you to get to work.

Accordingly, common reasons for procrastinating on homework include the following :

  • Abstract goals , in terms of being vague about how and when you intend to do the homework.
  • Feeling overwhelmed , often while being unsure of how to complete the homework.
  • Perfectionism , in the form of refusing to create work that has any flaws.
  • Fear of failure , often because of concerns over how such failure might reflect on you.
  • Anxiety , often in light of potential negative feedback.
  • Task aversion , especially in cases where you find the homework boring or unpleasant.
  • Lack of motivation , often as a result of feeling disconnected from your future self or having rewards that are far in the future.
  • Physical or mental exhaustion , often due to a combination of reasons, such as a high academic workload and associated stress .
  • Resentment , generally toward the homework, toward its source, or toward something related, such as a parent pushing you to do well in a subject that you’re not interested in.
  • Sensation seeking , generally in the form of enjoying working on things right before the deadline, when there’s intense time pressure.
  • Problematic work environment , generally as a result of having many distractions or temptations around.
  • Lack of sufficient communication from instructors, for example when it comes to not having clear directions and due dates for a certain class project.

In addition, other issues can also make you more likely to procrastinate on your homework. For example:

  • Problematic behaviors like self-handicapping , which involves procrastinating so that if you fail you can blame your failure on procrastination rather than your abilities, and self-sabotaging , which involves procrastinating as a result of a tendency to sabotage your progress.
  • Personality traits like distractibility and impulsivity .
  • Underlying issues like lack of sleep , ADHD , and depression .

Finally, note that some of these issues can lead to problematic procrastination cycles . For example, this can happen if you’re anxious about your homework, so you procrastinate on it, which makes you even more anxious about your homework due to the added negative emotions that you now associate with it (e.g., guilt and shame), which in turn makes you more likely to keep procrastinating on your homework in the future.

Understanding why you procrastinate on your homework can help you learn how to overcome your procrastination. However, while understanding why you procrastinate can be helpful, in many cases you can reduce your procrastination even without figuring this out. As such, if you find that you’re struggling with this step, don’t worry, and don’t get stuck; simply move on to the next step, which involves trying out various anti-procrastination techniques, until you find the ones that work best for you.

How to stop procrastinating on homework

To stop procrastinating on your homework right now , you should identify the smallest possible thing you can do to make progress on it, and then modify your environment to make it as likely as possible that you will do it.

For example, if you need to write a paper for a university course, the smallest possible step that you can take toward finishing it might be opening the relevant document on your computer, and writing just a single opening line, even if it’s poorly phrased initially. Once you realize that this is all you need to do, you can start modifying your work environment to help yourself achieve that, for example by going to a room with no distractions, leaving your phone outside, and turning on airplane mode on your laptop to disable your access to online distractions .

There are many other anti-procrastination techniques that can help you stop procrastinating on your homework. You don’t need to use all of these techniques, since some won’t be relevant in your case, and since you will generally need only a few of them in order to make significant progress toward overcoming your procrastination. As such, try skimming through this list, and finding the techniques that you think will work best for you.

Improve your planning:

  • Set concrete goals for yourself. For example, instead of a vague goal, such as “finish my psychology paper over the weekend”, set a concrete goal, such as “start writing an outline for the psychology paper on Thursday at 5 pm in the library, right after I finish the last class for the week”).
  • Break your homework into small and manageable steps. For example, if you need to write a research paper, you can start with steps such as “(1) brainstorm three potential topics, (2) figure out which topic I like best, and (3) find five relevant sources”. If the project that you’re dealing with is large and will therefore require a large number of steps, don’t worry about outlining the whole thing from the start; simply identify the first few steps that you need to take, and add new ones as you go along, to avoid feeling overwhelmed or getting stuck.
  • Set a series of milestones and deadlines for yourself. This will help you be accountable and plan ahead, and can also motivate you and give you a rewarding feeling of continuous progress.
  • Identify your productivity cycles. Different people are more productive at different times, based on factors such as whether it’s morning, noon, or evening. To reduce procrastination, you should take your personal productivity patterns into account, and schedule your homework for times when you’re most likely to be able to actually work on it.

Improve your environment:

  • Change your environment to make it easier for you to focus. For example, if you know that you work best when there are no distracting noises, go somewhere quiet, or put on some noise-blocking headphones.
  • Change your environment to make it easier for yourself to get started. For example, if you know that you will need to write an essay tomorrow after you wake up, then leave the document open on your computer before you go to bed.
  • Change your environment to make it harder for yourself to procrastinate. For example, if you tend to procrastinate by browsing apps on your phone , leave your phone outside the room where you plan to work.

Change your approach:

  • Start with a tiny step. For example, if you need to write an essay, help yourself get started by committing to only write a single sentence at first. This can help you push yourself to get started on homework, and often, once you do so, you’ll find it easy to keep going.
  • Start with the best or worst part first. Some people find that starting with the most enjoyable or easiest part of an assignment helps them get going, while others find that getting the worst part out of the way first helps them avoid procrastinating over time. Use either approach if you feel that it works for you.
  • Add a time delay before you procrastinate. If you can’t avoid procrastinating entirely, try committing to having a time delay before you indulge your impulse to do so. For example, this can involve counting to 10 before you’re allowed to open a new tab on the social media website that you usually use to procrastinate.
  • Use the Pomodoro technique. This involves alternating between scheduled periods of work and rest. For example, you can work on your homework for 25-minute long stretches, with 5-minute breaks in between, and a longer 30-minute break after every 4 work sets that you complete.

Increase your motivation:

  • Make doing the homework feel more rewarding. For example, you can gamify your work, by marking down streaks of days on which you’ve managed to make sufficient progress on your assignments, and potentially also give yourself some reward once you reach a sufficiently long streak.
  • Make doing the homework feel more enjoyable. For example, you can do your homework in a pleasant location, while listening to energizing music.
  • Visualize your future self. For example, you can visualize yourself being able to relax after you finish working, visualize yourself being rewarded for getting a good grade in a course, or visualize yourself having to handle the issues associated with not finishing your homework on time.
  • Focus on your goals instead of your assignments. Instead of focusing on the fact that you have an aversion to your homework, for whatever reason, try focusing on your end goals for completing the homework, such as getting a good grade in an important class so you can have a better application for grad school.

Change your mindset:

  • Give yourself permission to make mistakes, and accept the fact that your work won’t be perfect, especially at first. This can be helpful, for example, when it comes to assignments that involve writing, where you can give yourself permission to write a bad first draft, and then edit it afterward.
  • Address your fears. If you’re procrastinating because you’re afraid of something, try to identify your fears and resolve them. For example, if you’re afraid that your writing won’t be good enough, you can say to yourself that your goal is to just start by getting something written down, and that you can always improve it later.
  • Develop self-compassion.   Self-compassion can help reduce your procrastination, as well as various issues that are associated with it, such as stress. It consists of three components that you should develop: self-kindness , which involves being nice to yourself, common humanity , which involves recognizing that everyone experiences challenges, and mindfulness , which involves accepting your emotions in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Develop self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief in your ability to carry out the actions that you need to achieve your goals, and it can help you reduce your procrastination. To develop self-efficacy, try to identify the various strategies that you can use to finish your homework, and think about your ability to execute those strategies successfully.

When deciding which approach to use in order to overcome your procrastination , keep in mind that anti-procrastination techniques are especially effective when they’re tailored to the specific causes of your procrastination. For example, if you procrastinate because you set abstract goals for yourself, you should focus on setting concrete goals instead. Similarly, if you procrastinate because of available distractions, you should remove those distractions from your study environment, or go work somewhere else instead.

In addition, note that if you suffer from an underlying issue that leads to procrastination, such as lack of sleep , depression , or ADHD , you will likely need to resolve that issue, using professional help if necessary, if you want to successfully overcome your procrastination.

Finally, keep in mind that most people need more than one technique in order to overcome their procrastination , and that different techniques work better for different people in different circumstances. Accordingly, don’t expect a single technique to solve all your problems, and don’t feel that if some technique works well for others then it will necessarily also work well for you. Instead, try out the various techniques that are available to you, until you figure out which ones work best for you, in your particular situation.

CodeAvail

Why Can’t I Do My Homework?

Why Can't I Do My Homework

“Why can’t I do my homework?” is a common question that some students ask themselves everyday. But its solution is also easy, which students think they are not able to do. 

If you are like most people, you’ve probably had times when you just couldn’t do your homework. Sometimes, you might not have the motivation to do your work, or you might not be interested in it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

There are some things you can do to get yourself into the habit of doing your homework. There are several reasons why some people cannot do their homework, and one of the most common problems is that they are not able to process information.

This blog will discuss the reasons that cause hindrances in doing homework. Also, we will discuss the solution.

Need homework or assignment help? Hire Codeavail experts now!

Table of Contents

Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a big problem in children. Among other things, it can lead to anxiety, social stress, and negative behaviors. If you suspect that your child is a perfectionist, you should seek professional help.

Educators need to educate their students about perfectionism. It can make learning less fun and can interfere with their ability to complete important assignments. Developing a growth mindset in your child can motivate them to strive for excellence.

The root of perfectionism is a fear of failure. Oftentimes, perfectionism leads to a sense of inadequacy and a deep sense of self-criticism. This can lead to a downward spiral that leaves your child feeling unsatisfied and depressed.

The first step to combating a ruminating habit is to identify the triggers. Once you know what triggers a perfectionism, you can better control ruminating.

A good therapist can help you understand the deeper reasons behind your perfectionism. They can also teach you coping skills.

Lack of motivation

There are numerous reasons why kids of all ages are not motivated to do their homework. The most obvious reason is a lack of interest in school. Another common cause of disinterest is chronic stress. 

Students who have experienced chronic stress may lose interest in almost everything. In the long run, this can have a significant impact on their academic performance.

If your child isn’t showing the signs of motivation, it might be time to seek professional help. A therapist can be a great resource to determine the underlying cause. Whether the problem is due to trauma, psychological forces or other factors, it is important to look for the right solutions to get your child back on track.

Having high expectations will motivate your kids. However, excessively high expectations can lead to depression. They can also be counterproductive. To avoid these pitfalls, define the criteria of what makes your kids unmotivated.

One of the simplest ways to determine if your kid is motivated is to look at their behavior. Oftentimes, parents may notice that their kids aren’t doing what they should in school. It’s also helpful to identify the sources of their motivation, as this can help them to improve.

Excessive homework can be a source of stress

Homework is one of the biggest sources of stress for students. Too much homework can cause a variety of health problems, including headaches, stomach disorders, exhaustion, and weight loss. 

In addition, it can cause mental and emotional fatigue, which can interfere with students’ ability to perform in school and on the job.

Excessive homework can also hurt the social skills of students. Some experts say that the amount of homework today is too high and that it promotes less active learning. The National Education Association recommends that students spend no more than 10 minutes a night on their homework.

A recent study of 4,300 students at 10 high-performing schools found that more than half of the students surveyed reported feeling stressed out. Students reported that they did not have enough time for extracurricular activities, family time, or hobbies.

Also read: 20 reasons why homework should be banned

Another study, conducted by Denise Pope, a clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut, found that nearly a third of the students surveyed reported that their homework was the primary source of their stress. Other studies indicate that the average student spends over three hours a day doing homework.

Problematic behaviors from instructors

If your student’s behavior in class is problematic, you may have to try several methods to get your students back on track. These tactics can be especially helpful if your students are in high needs.

Getting students to engage in a task takes time. In some cases, they may just want to escape. To prevent this from happening, teachers can set up a productive climate on the first day of class. They can also use alpha commands to prevent conflict.

While it may not be the most effective strategy, it is a good idea to avoid arguing with your students. Arguments will only escalate the problem and make it worse. You should also try to establish eye contact and describe what you are asking in a firm, yet respectful, tone.

Another option is to wait for a reasonable amount of time. This will help preserve your teaching time and minimize the damage to your relationship with the student.

Lack of focus

The reason why some people cannot do their homework is because they have a hard time focusing. 

One way to overcome this problem is by setting a timer for a short amount of time and doing your homework while the timer is running. Another way to get through your homework is by using flashcards or other activities that require persistent focus.

Solutions You Can Adopt To Develop Interest in Homework

Reframing how you think about a subject.

Reframing your thoughts about a subject is one of the smartest things you can do. As a result, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to do your homework. 

Having a more positive outlook can mean the difference between getting a good grade or failing miserably. In fact, having a better attitude will increase your chances of acing that test.

What’s more, this technique is easy to implement. Just keep in mind that if you’re the type who suffers from a major case of perfectionism, you’ll want to take things slow. The key is to be proactive and not reactive. This means being more observant of your thought processes. 

For example, you’ll need to take note of what’s working in your favor, and what’s causing your problems in the first place. By doing so, you’ll be able to proactively nip the problem in the bud before it even has a chance to blossom.

Of course, not all students are the same. You can start by giving your students the requisite information and tools. One way to do this is by providing them with an open forum for asking questions.

Making time for extracurricular activities to refresh the student’s mind and body

If you are a student, it is important to make time for extracurricular activities to refresh your mind and body. It is often difficult to balance schoolwork and a healthy lifestyle, and many students become burnt out. However, extracurriculars can help you build professional and personal skills while fostering friendships with peers. 

This helps you learn how to manage your time more effectively and can give you a fresh perspective on your academics. You can improve your social skills by participating in debate clubs, leadership-oriented clubs, or sports.

Students who are part of an extracurricular activity are often more likely to plan their schedules and engage in their activities, and they are less likely to procrastinate during downtimes.

Extracurriculars also strengthen the mind and build a sense of resilience. In addition, they can expose students to new interests and introduce them to other people with similar interests. They can also provide a social network, which can be difficult for part-time students.

Creating a homework group

Creating a homework group may sound daunting to some, but in reality it’s a simple process. A homework group manager is tasked with scheduling meetings, distributing materials and refreshments, and checking in absent team members. 

The most important part of the job is ensuring that each member of the group completes his or her assignments on time. If a member misses a meeting, he or she can still submit his or her work later.

Using the Groups panel, a teacher can add, delete, or rearrange students in his or her groups. For example, a teacher can override the maximum number of students in a group by adding more or removing students. 

To prevent a group from becoming too big or too small, the teacher might consider assigning a maximum of two or three groups per class. This ensures that each student gets a chance to earn a grade.

In a nutshell, a homework group is an excellent way to get your students to engage in some collaborative learning. Students can take turns answering a question, and a group member can save and then resume work at a later date.

Finding a new place to do your homework

If you are having trouble doing your homework at home, you may want to consider finding a different place to study. It is always best to be in a quiet, comfortable environment. ( ultram ) There are many different places you can visit to get some work done, but you will need to be aware of distractions.

A bookstore is a great option because it offers a community atmosphere. This gives you the opportunity to work with other students and learn from a variety of books. You will find that the ambiance of a bookstore will help you focus and feel more inspired to study.

Another good option is to go to a library. Most libraries will allow you to use their computer and printer without any fees. They will also give you free Wi-Fi. However, you may have to turn off your phone. Phones can be a big distraction when it comes to studying.

One other option is to go out in nature. Not only can you spend some time in the fresh air, but you can also get some inspiration from the scenery.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, many students face difficulty completing assigned homework because of various reasons, including forgetfulness, anxiety, or shyness. 

Although it can be difficult to persist through the process, it is important to remember that there are ways to overcome any difficulty. 

By using strategies such as breaking down assignments into smaller tasks and paying close attention during class, students can more effectively complete their work. 

Additionally, using a homework planner or assigned worksheets can help students manage their workload and stay organized.

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I Hate Myself for Not Doing My Homework

Photo of Dr George Simon, PhD

Reader’s Question

I’m in high school and would consider myself to have above average intellect. Still, I’m getting Ds and Es in school.

I seem to do well on all of the tests, but when I get home from school and I have to do my homework, I just can’t make myself do it. My teachers ask me why I don’t do my homework and I tell them I just don’t care anymore. But in reality I do care — I hate myself for not doing the work. Still, when I get home from school I just can’t make myself do the work. Then, when I get my report card, I look at the grades and just cry myself to sleep. I want to do better but I just can’t seem to make myself work harder. Is this just me being lazy or is there something more?

Psychologist’s Reply

Because there could be so many underlying reasons for your quandary, it’s not possible to make an accurate assessment from such a distance. That’s why it would be in your and your family’s best interest to seek out an evaluation by a mental health professional experienced in such issues.

Some of the possible reasons for your difficulties can include:

The aforementioned are just a few of the many possible explanations for your difficulties other than pure laziness. Your problems might be related to some very different causes other than a deficiency of character. My best suggestion: talk openly with your parents and school counselor about your concerns, and seek a professional opinion about the best ways to address the issues.

Please read our Important Disclaimer .

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All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. Originally published by Dr George Simon, PhD on July 29, 2010 and last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on July 29, 2010 .

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Everything You Need to Know to Improve Your Focus While Working From Home

Tips to set boundaries between your work and home life.

why you can't focus working from home

Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

At-home Factors That Make It Difficult to Focus

  • Distractions: family, ambient noise, looming house chores
  • Blurring of boundaries
  • Lack of rituals

So many distractions can potentially arise while you're working from home: your kids bursting into your office requesting lunch, your cat's never-ending duel with your house plants, your neighbor finding the inspiration to mow their lawn during your phone call—it's a pretty exhausting cycle.

Dr. Winsberg shares that the blurring of boundaries between one's professional life and personal goings-on is one of the biggest causes behind a lack of focus. "Some workers are getting things done on a Saturday because the week before, they had to finish laundry in the middle of the day," says Dr. Winsberg.

Another huge component to acknowledge is that not everyone has a designated space to work in their home.

working from home

Is Your Screentime Affecting Your Body?

Zoom fatigue is real, and taking a majority of your morning and nights to comb through emails strains your eyes. According to optometrist Dhruvin Patel, founder of Ocushield , blue light (which is harmful to your peepers) comes primarily from the sun, but can also be found in the products we use daily—from digital screens such as phones, laptops, and monitors. But it also comes from unsuspecting places, such as some lighting fixtures (including the bulbs in your fridge). "Bear that in mind next time you reach for a midnight snack," he cautions.

Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King suggests using SPF and screen protectors that block blue light, which can also wreak havoc on your skin—which means yes, you should apply sunscreen even while you're at home. "HEV light penetrates into the lower layers of the dermis. It is not associated with skin cancer like UV rays are, but it can cause skin to age prematurely (photo-aging). It can also contribute to hyperpigmentation and may play a part in melasma and age spots, like UV rays, HEV light generates free radicals, or reactive oxygen species," Dr. King explains. "These free radicals cause skin cells to produce enzymes that break down collagen and elastin in the skin."

And even if you're a night owl, the increased screen time can take a toll due to lack of sleep and increased exposure to blue light.

How Long Can You Focus?

Realistically, while your workday can run from 8 to 10 hours, high-quality work can be done for about five hours a day. "It's better if you can optimize those five hours, taking breaks in between, rather than sitting in front of a laptop for ten hours and not being productive for most of that time," says Dr. Winsberg.

It's best to think of your to-do list and prioritize what needs to get done. "I like to break things down into the kinds of work that they are. Some are menial—things that don't require much brainpower. Where the things that need dedicated focus, I will slot in the time that I know I'm productive," Dr. Winsberg says. Figure out when your motivation is high and when it isn't!

After you're done with a huge task, stand up, take a break, and stretch. The lull that naturally comes after lunch can be combated with an activity that doesn't require all of your attention. "People like to talk about how much 'willpower' they have. We all have fluctuating levels of willpower, so you want to capitalize on the moments where it's really high to do the hard things," Dr. Winsberg explains.

Another tip? Engage with your screen as if you're working in person. We're staring at screens for more hours in the day than we have ever before. Dr. Winsberg suggests looking away from your screen and taking a moment to think or gaze at a beautiful picture, to give your eyes a chance to readjust. "It's good to emulate that natural shifting gaze you have when in conversation."

Dr. Winsberg adds, "Prioritize tasks not just based on urgency, but also on complexity. Take breaks between hard efforts in order to not spin your wheels. Calendaring time slots for work projects, the way you would a meeting, can help."

Change Your Environment

Your productivity stays higher when you change up your work environment every now and then. "I advise that people do just a little bit of rearranging every three months. It might just be changing the angle of your desk or getting a new plant," Dr. Winsberg explains. Subtle shifts can help maintain the freshness of the space without requiring a huge renovation to your home.

It's tough to be hunched over your laptop in a dim, cluttered area. Natural lighting and good ergonomics can help with focus. "Find a dedicated space, ideally with a door the closes and reserve that space if possible," Dr. Winsberg advises. Don't have a door? We have a list of innovative office ideas that will inspire you to rethink tricky spaces.

"Make the most out of your time. Start your day with a ritual of sorts that's not work-related," Dr. Winsberg continues. "The temptation is to roll out of bed and head right into work." After you hit snooze for the third or fifth time (judgment-free zone), go on a walk! Or cook yourself the best breakfast omelet. Maybe nestle into your reading nook to finally get to that last chapter. Do something that keeps your heartbeat steady, stress low, and eyes fixed on all the positive possibilities of the new day.

Responsibly Clocking Out

To set a clear separation between work and home life: log off and stay off. Respect the boundaries that you set so everyone (your family, housemates, or coworkers) will adhere to the standards you set for yourself. As Dr. Winsberg explains, "set a framework of your expectations. Make family members or roommates aware of your schedule, so that they know when to not interrupt. Also, set a guideline on how those interruptions should happen."

"End each day with another ritual, ideally a walk outside, exercise, or mindfulness session to transition from work mode to home life," she continues. Cheers to the weekend and finally, a hopeful Monday.

"We've seen anxiety levels really increase during the pandemic. Forty percent of Americans are reporting anxiety at this time because there is so much uncertainty in life right now. Working alone from home can create some anxiety, too," says Dr. Winsberg. Difficulty concentrating can be a symptom of anxiety and depression. Take a free assessment at Brightside today and reach out if you need help seeking treatment.

Below, we've included the best ergonomic office lifesavers to help your workflow. There's even an adjustable standing desk that has a tech-savvy outlet and 2 USB portals. Keep your office door closed and your mind open to endless possibilities.

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COMMENTS

  1. [NeedAdvice] I am literally unable to do work

    Even without my Reddit addiction I simply can't do work for more than 5 minutes. I need help very badly, any advice? ... She had no shortage of guys begging to do her homework, drive her anywhere, give her gifts, clothes, and jewelry, and take care of her every wish. She got into college (where suddenly she was not the only pretty girl), and ...

  2. Why Can't I Do My Homework? (10 Possible Reasons)

    Late work won't be allowed in your future career, either. 1. Lack Of Nutrition. One of the reasons that you may be feeling distracted is that your brain doesn't have the proper nutrients it needs to function. Doing your homework requires a lot of brainpower, so you need to feed your brain.

  3. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    Here's how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break.

  4. How to Focus on Homework: 12 Hacks for Busy Students

    Decide on fixed hours for studying and tell your friends and family members that you won't be available during that time of the day. If others respect your study time, you'll be more inclined to respect it as well. 6. Listen to study music. There are many tracks out there designed to help your mind focus.

  5. 16 Ways to Concentrate on Your Homework

    Set aside a spot just for homework, and don't do your work in bed. Finding a good study space can be tough, especially if there are other people around. If you can't find a quiet spot, put on some noise-canceling headphones. Listen to white noise or peaceful music without vocals to help you tune out background sounds.

  6. Why Can't I do My Homework With Solutions

    Procrastination. Procrastination is the art of delaying tasks until the last possible moment. Take, for instance, a college student who decides to binge-watch a TV series instead of starting their term paper. This can result in a panic-induced rush to complete the paper, often leading to subpar work.

  7. Homework Struggles May Not Be a Behavior Problem

    This list is hardly comprehensive. ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, depression, dysregulation, and a range of other neurodevelopmental and ...

  8. 19 Strategies To Overcome Avoidant Behaviors With Homework

    Once you achieve your goal, reward yourself. Example: Goal- Complete questions 1-10. Reward- Check my phone and text a friend. Change The Label To A Description: Example: Change "This homework assignment is going to take forever" to "This homework assignment has a lot of steps involved and I can approach it 1 step at a time.

  9. 3 Ways to Get Homework Done when You Don't Want To

    Get things like pencils, erasers, calculators, rulers, and paper. 2. Keep a homework planner. Write all homework you are assigned in your planner, as well as when it is due. Write the other activities you have also: extracurricular activities, special events, and time with friends.

  10. 3 Ways to Find Motivation to Do Homework

    1. Reward yourself when you meet a homework goal. Rewards can be a powerful motivator! Whenever you accomplish a goal—even a little one—take a moment to reward yourself. [1] Your rewards don't have to be anything elaborate or fancy.

  11. 30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

    Do weekly filing of your loose papers, notes, and old homework. Throw away all the papers and notes you no longer need. 23. Stop saying "I have to" and start saying "I choose to.". When you say things like "I have to write my essay" or "I have to finish my science assignment," you'll probably feel annoyed.

  12. Homework anxiety: Why it happens and how to help

    Use a calm voice. When kids feel anxious about homework, they might get angry, yell, or cry. Avoid matching their tone of voice. Take a deep breath and keep your voice steady and calm. Let them know you're there for them. Sometimes kids just don't want to do homework. They complain, procrastinate, or rush through the work so they can do ...

  13. How to Get Things Done When You Have No Motivation

    The five steps below can help you overcome the roadblock. 1. Accurately diagnose your feelings. Many other emotions masquerade as low motivation. If you accurately diagnose your emotions, the path ...

  14. Can't Focus on Homework? Reasons why and Tips to Concentrate

    It is because your brain is still in learning mode. 6. Multitasking. When you try to multitask, you put additional strain on your brain to perform multiple tasks. It can make you feel nervous. 7. Lack of Nutrition. Doing your homework requires a lot of brainpower. So, proper nutrition supports healthy brain function.

  15. Can't do Homework: What to do When Scared, Stressed or Unable

    Take a Break to Relax. When you feel like you are tired of doing your homework, it's time to take a break. Take a walk outside, go talk to your friends or have a snack. You can also take a quick nap to rejuvenate yourself. Your brain will be able to think better if you give it some time to relax. 6.

  16. I just cannot focus on my homework, no matter how hard I try ...

    Get a jump rope and, when you feel like you are spinning your wheels, put a timer on for 5 minutes, put on some music and jump rope for five minutes. That's what I do and it works. Tip #1: Try meditation. Look up a guide for mindfulness meditation and start doing it daily. It will help improve your focus.

  17. Homework Procrastination: Why You Procrastinate on Homework and How to

    Abstract goals, in terms of being vague about how and when you intend to do the homework. Feeling overwhelmed, often while being unsure of how to complete the homework. ... If you can't avoid procrastinating entirely, try committing to having a time delay before you indulge your impulse to do so. For example, this can involve counting to 10 ...

  18. Can't seem to force myself to do homework : r/college

    Go to the library in the quite area or floor. Step 2. Turn phone off or do not disturb. Step 3. Have pack of chewing gum and chew it. Step 4. Drink coffee/energy drink while studying. Step 5. Study as if your life depends on it.

  19. Why can't I do my homework?

    Lack of motivation. There are numerous reasons why kids of all ages are not motivated to do their homework. The most obvious reason is a lack of interest in school. Another common cause of disinterest is chronic stress. Students who have experienced chronic stress may lose interest in almost everything.

  20. I Hate Myself for Not Doing My Homework

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