This is a guest post contributed by Jessica Freeman.
You’re relaxed with your friends after classes. You’re laughing at their jokes and having a good time. Suddenly, some of them mention the bad word: homework! You start sweating. You forgot all about that important assignment that’s due tomorrow.
Your first reaction is to panic. Will that solve anything? No. You should do the opposite: relax! It’s not too late to do whatever you can to complete that project.
The good news is that you’ll learn your lesson. Next time, you’ll start working on the homework assignments way ahead of the deadline. Or will you?
In this post, we’ll talk about completing assignments on time. It’s all about developing a strong routine. We’ll cover these important points:
- Why we all procrastinate;
- How you can develop a routine that will keep you going, and
- What you’ll achieve if you start doing your homework on time.
The Issue of Procrastination – It’s Real for All of Us
20% of people are chronic procrastinators. They constantly avoid challenging tasks, convincing them there’s something really important to do in the meantime. You might think the main culprit for procrastination is Twitter, but the phenomenon of procrastination didn’t arise because of the Internet. Thanks to online distractions, however, it’s much easier to lose track of time.
Even if you don’t belong in the category of chronic procrastination, you still fall into that habit from time to time. You’re still going to work on the homework assignment, but you’ll do it in the last minute.
You might think that’s no big deal if the task gets done by the deadline. However, procrastination makes you uncomfortable. When you’re doing something else when you should be writing homework, you constantly have the idea that you have to work on that task later.
Needless to say, the results are also worse when you speed the process of completion. The more you procrastinate, the less time you have to work on the assignment. It’s not hard for the professor to notice you rushed through it.
Why do students procrastinate, anyway?
- There’s a gap between intention and action. You intend to complete the assignment, but you delay the process until the last minute. Due to the lack of self-discipline, your mind will keep finding excuses. Suddenly, arranging all your clothes by color will seem like the most important thing in the world, so you’ll just leave the homework for later.
- Maybe you don’t understand how serious the homework is. An assignment may seem completely irrelevant to the future you want to have. However, you have to keep in mind that all assignments you complete are important not just for grades, but for gaining skills and knowledge as well. The more you know, the better you will be in any profession.
- The most common reason for procrastinating homework assignments is that students don’t know how to handle them. If you have a challenging research paper to write and you know nothing about the topic, the task will seem overwhelming. You want to stay in your comfort zone for as long as possible, so you’ll keep delaying the start. If you keep procrastinating, you’ll realize there’s no way to write the paper. The tips in How To Write a Good Essay in 7 Steps may help you.
Tips: How to Do Your Homework on Time
Tip#1: Set a Timer
If you realize it’s hard for you to start working on the assignment, set a timer and say to yourself: “Okay… let’s see how much I can write in 20 minutes.” This will be a challenge you’ll want to conquer.
If you notice mental barriers that keep telling you “there’s plenty of time later,” remind yourself that 20 minutes is not a lot of time. Stay focused on the assignment and don’t accept calls during that time. Don’t check social media and don’t pay attention to the notifications on your phone. You can stay focused; it’s only 20 minutes.
You’ll realize you can complete an important part of that assignment in such a short time. Take a break, and then set another challenge: stay focused for 30 minutes. Keep this up and you’ll be done with the task before you know it.
Tip #2: Do Your Homework Right After Classes
You might feel tired as soon as you get home from classes. You will want to rest, spend some time with friends, do some exercise, and leave the homework for the evening. The only problem is: you’ll get even more tired by the evening and you’ll just want to go to sleep. As a result, you’ll either procrastinate or rush through the assignment.
Try doing your homework as soon as you get home from classes. Have an energizing meal and remind yourself: you’ll be free to do whatever you want as soon as you get the homework done.
Tip #3: Make a Plan
Before you start writing the assignments, it’s important to have a plan. Predict how long it will take for you to cover each assignment, and plan your daily and weekly schedule. You can use Google Calendar for that purpose.
Tip #4: Don’t Multitask
You might think you could achieve more with multitasking. You’re cooking a meal while doing the research, and watching the last episode of your favorite TV show while you’re writing. Maybe you even work on two assignments simultaneously.
When it comes to completing homework on time, multitasking is not the right thing to do. Plan one task at a time and stay committed to your schedule.
Tip #5: Complete the Most Challenging Assignment First
The most challenging and time-consuming tasks impose the largest risk of procrastination. You’ll want to leave them for later. You should do the opposite: complete them first. Once you’re done with that challenging research paper for history class, it will be easy to complete the brief math assignment.
Tip #6: Ask for Help When You Need It
Are you procrastinating because you don’t know how to complete a particular assignment? Ask a friend for help. If your friends can’t help, ask your professor to clarify the issues you struggle with. You can also look for homework help here.
If there’s no time for that, Quora can always help. You can ask any question there and you’ll get answers from people who know what they are talking about. Ask interesting questions that inspire the users to answer.
Tip #7: Resist the Temptation of Social Media
Do you like to tweet while doing homework? You have an urge to check what’s new on Facebook every 5 minutes or so? Stop doing that!
Tip #8: Create Your Special Space
You won’t focus if you’re sitting on the couch with the laptop in your lap. You need to sit with your back straight, with no distractions around. It’s important to create your distraction-free zone. When you sit on that desk, you’ll immediately launch yourself into a focused mode.
Tip #9: Take Short Breaks
Don’t feel guilty because of your short attention span. Most people struggle with the same problem. You can trick your mind to stay focused for a longer period of time if you take short breaks between the working sessions.
For example, you can take a break of 10 minutes after an hour of doing homework. Use that time to stretch, have a smoothie, or call a friend. Then, get back to work.
Tip #10: Turn Your Phone Off
Seriously, how important can a phone call be? Whoever it is, the conversation can wait for after you finish homework.
Tip #11: Collaborate!
Homework groups are a great thing. Sure, they can get distracting. When you get together with your classmates, you talk about everything except homework.
However, if you promise to stay committed to the assignments and have fun after you finish them, the collaboration will help you all complete the tasks faster. You all know different things, so you’ll help each other out.
It’s Important to Make This Effort!
Many students have the very same question that’s going through your mind right now:
- “Why should I bother doing all homework on time?”
First of all, it’s about the grades. Who doesn’t want higher grades, right? When you complete all homework assignment, you get better chances to improve your academic record. However, getting into a homework writing routine will also make you a more relaxed student. You won’t stress over the assignments when you start early and give yourself enough time to write them. Remember that what you’ll get out of doing your homework is leadership as a result of following your education path.
Now, let’s summarize what you should do:
- Understand why homework is important. Each task is related to your future success in any profession.
- Implement the tips listed above, so you’ll be more productive in homework writing.
- Enjoy the advantages! You’ll be getting higher grades and lots of praise from your teachers.