How to Do Your Homework on Time if You're a Procrastinator
How to Do Your Homework on Time if You're a Procrastinator
Procrastinating on your homework assignments can make school more stressful and can hurt your grade if you're always finishing homework at the last minute. Once you learn a few techniques to beat procrastination can make homework much easier for you! By keeping organized, setting specific goals, and asking for help, you can transform yourself into an academic star who still has time to watch TV and catch up with friends on Facebook.

Getting Organized

Organize your notes and files into categories. Procrastinating is easy if your notes are such a mess that you can't find anything you need! Take the time to organize your notes and files. Keep one binder or file folder for each class, and put your notes and assignments in chronological order.

Write your assignment due dates in a planner. Go through your class schedule or syllabus and record every due date in a planner. You can use a paper planner, an online calendar, or even an app on your phone. If you're prone for forgetfulness, put your calendar on your phone and set it to alert you before assignments are due.

Prioritize your assignments. Not all assignments are equally urgent! If you have several assignments due at once, list them in order of urgency in your planner. Assignments that are due the next day or are for subjects you struggle with should be scheduled for the earliest dates. Do these assignments first!

Plan ahead for lower-priority assignments. Schedule time in the future for assignments that aren't due for awhile or will be very easy for you to finish. Write down a time in your planner to finish each assignment. For example, if you have an English essay due in one month, you can schedule two hours a week to work on it until it's finished.

Establishing a Routine

Set up a regular workspace. Designate a room, a desk, or even a seat at your kitchen table as your regular workspace. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, but you should have one place you regularly work at and it should be big enough to let you use everything you need to get your homework done. Make sure that it isn't cluttered or crowded with things you don't use for homework.

Get started at the same time every day. Make homework part of your routine by scheduling a specific time to get started every day. If you have an irregular schedule, set a weekly schedule in advance as soon as you know what your other obligations are.

Create a homework schedule. Set aside time for each subject during your regular study hours. Make sure you give yourself enough time to finish each subject, but not enough time to procrastinate or waste time! Most people will need at least an hour for each subject.

Store all your study supplies in the same place. Don't let yourself get distracted by having to hunt for a missing textbook or folder every day. Make a routine of storing all your supplies together, so you always know where they are. You can put them on a special shelf for cupboard, or just leave them in your backpack.

Schedule regular breaks. Going from procrastinating all day to working all the time isn't realistic! Help yourself get into a homework routine by giving yourself regular breaks. If you're only doing homework for a couple of hours, give yourself a five-minute break every hour. If you're working on a bigger project, add in an hour break every three hours. Use the time to eat, check your phone, or say hi to your friends. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to get back to work!

Setting Goals

Set a goal of getting one assignment done before the due date. Beating procrastination takes a lot of work, and it's best to start with a small goal. Look through your planner for an assignment that's due in a few weeks. Set a personal goal to get that assignment completely finished at least three days before it's due. Write down the days you plan to work on the assignment in your planner, and stick to them.

Set goals for your other assignments. Once you've achieved the goal of getting one assignment done early, do it again! Keep setting new goals until all or of your assignments are scheduled to be done before they're due.

Limit distractions until you're finished working. Getting distracted with your phone, video games, or friends is a big part of why people procrastinate. If this is you, set a goal of being distracted as little as possible. Put your phone on silent and move it to another room, shut down any computer programs or apps you aren't using for work, and don't keep the TV on in the background. If you can, shut the door to the room you're in to prevent further distractions. Very few people can actually work effectively with music playing. If you like to listen to music while you work but find you aren't getting anything done, try going without it for an hour to see if your concentration improves.

Reward yourself for meeting your goals. It's hard to get over procrastination, so make sure you reward yourself for a job well done! Rewards can be big or small. You can get yourself a cookie for working for an hour without looking at your phone, or you can splurge on a new outfit for handing in all of your assignments at least a day early. Even if you haven't finished a task or project yet, you can reward yourself for sticking with it and accomplishing a little bit each day.

Asking for Help

Ask a classmate to do homework with you. If you're having trouble staying on task, ask one of your classmates to do homework with you regularly. Sometimes, having a person working on the same thing as you can help you keep pace. This doesn't work for everybody. If you find another person distracting, quit working with them.

Ask a friend to hold you accountable. If you have a close friend, sibling, or parent who is responsible and organized, ask them to help hold you accountable by checking in with you regularly to see if you're keeping up with your assignments. Ask them to tell you to get back to work if they see you slacking off, and have them ask you for updates on big assignments.

Talk to your teacher about study tips. Your teacher might have some good ideas for how to study more effectively. Talk to them and see if they have any useful techniques for you. This is also a good way to let them know you're trying your best to do better!

Go to a tutor for classroom help. Some people procrastinate because they're having problems understanding the course material. If this is you, don't be afraid to ask for help! It's much easier to get help and understand your homework if you talk to someone early instead of waiting until the last minute.

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