Oh, homework. It sucks, but we gotta do it. You know this, I know this, and even your teachers know this, although very few of them would openly admit it. There are approximately a million other things that most of us would rather be doing than calculus equations, memorizing the periodic table, and learning Shakespeare quotes, but it has to be done.
When you’re finally ready to do your work, the issue is not having one of those million other things distract you from doing your work. I know it’s a lot easier said than done. When you’re sitting with that science textbook in front of you, watching paint dry on the walls seems more exciting.
Regardless of how boring it is, you need to get that work done and you need to do a good job and you need to do it within the time frame your teacher specified. That means distractions just aren’t going to cut it. To keep the distractions to a minimum, here are 15 easy ways to stay focused while doing your homework. Good luck.
1. Shut your phone off and leave it in another room.
Yes, you heard me. Power. It. Down. Putting it on silent doesn’t count. And you need to put it in a room that you’re not in. If your phone is within arm’s reach, you’re going to be grabbing it regardless of what you tell yourself.
2. Work in a quiet space.
Do you like to have some company while you’re doing your homework? If you’re sitting at the kitchen table, it’s probably taking twice as long for you to do your work because of all the people around. Try to find a spot where the only company you’ll have is occasionally from your cat or dog.
3. Shut off the TV and radio.
No, they aren’t white noise. They’re distractions. And while you’re at it, turn off any other electronics that could fall into this category. Save them all for later when you can devote 100 percent of your attention to enjoying them.
4. Don’t do work on an empty stomach.
If your stomach is growling and your head is feeling a bit fuzzy, go and have a sandwich or something before you continue. When you’re hungry, you will never be able to focus properly. Start your work when your belly is full.
5. Keep your homework zone neat and clutter-free.
Clutter not only makes it harder to work, it also makes it easier to get distracted. Suddenly you might find yourself with a compulsive urge to straighten up. Or maybe you will suddenly become very into a particular pen.
6. Be wary of study groups or working with other people.
Study groups are great, but they can also basically be big gossip sessions. If you find that is why you want to go to one, stick with doing your homework by yourself. You can meet up with people when the work is done.
7. Allot yourself a break.
We cannot work forever. If you’re working on a big project that is going to take a couple of hours, make it a promise to yourself that after a certain amount of time you will take a breather. Not only will it help your sanity, it will actually help you become more focused when you start up again.
8. Write a to-do list.
To-do lists are great for keeping you organized, but they’re also brilliant for keeping you focused. When you’re sitting there with your list in front of you and you can see what needs to be done, you’ll be more likely to crack on.
9. Figure out your “prime” hours.
Are you a night owl or are you the sort of person who likes to wake up and get on with it? Doing your homework when you feel the best makes it easier to stay focus. Sometimes you may not have the luxury to choose when to do your work, but take full advantage when you do.
10. Break things into chunks.
Are you distracted because the thought of having to do all of this work before the deadline makes your head swim? Getting distracted can sometimes be because you’re a bit afraid and don’t know what to do. So, when you break a project down into more manageable parts, it will seem easier to achieve and you’ll hopefully be less likely to wander off to do something else.
11. Only keep relevant internet tabs open.
Are you the sort of person who likes to have 52 tabs on the go at once? Only keep those 52 tabs open if they all pertain to your project. If you have anything else up, exit off and resume looking at another time. Those cat videos can wait.
12. Be wary of windows.
Windows are great for letting light in, but they can also be just as distracting as your phone. Everything from the mail carrier to the leaves on the trees can serve as a distraction. You know yourself whether you can get by it or whether it’s best if you face something a little less exciting. (Read: A wall).
13. Inform people you’re doing work.
It sounds so simple, but it’s often forgotten. If people know you’re busy, they probably won’t bother you which means less distractions. Because let’s face it, once someone distracts you, you’re done.
14. Don’t plan something after you’re working on a big project.
Do you want to celebrate being done that big essay/diorama/speech? That’s great, but schedule your party after the project is due. If you arrange to have the celebration when you think you’re going to be done the project, you will usually find that you aren’t finished when you thought you were going to be. And the closer it gets to the time of the party, the more preoccupied you’ll be about it than on the work at hand.
15. Forgive yourself for getting distracted.
I know it might sound cheesy, but how many times do you get distracted then spend the rest of the day feeling guilty about it and curse yourself? Forgive the slip up, it happens. Once you do that, you will hopefully be able to move on so your brain can be occupied with homework knowledge instead of guilt.
How do you stay focused while doing homework? Let us know in the comments!
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