focus on doing my homework

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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Discover Powerful Hacks to Unlock Your Superbrain to Learn Faster, Comprehend More and Forget Less

Join the foremost expert in memory improvement and brain performance, Jim Kwik, in a free masterclass that will dive into the one skill you will ever need — learning how to learn Reserve My Free Spot Now

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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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focus on doing my homework


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.

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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!


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 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. 


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 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! 


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. 


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. 


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!)


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.


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 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 Stay Focused on Homework: 13 Easy Tips

Whether you’re a 15 year old and trying to pass the 10th grade or doing your Master’s degree and trying to complete the required reading, learning how to stay focused on homework is a lifelong skill that can feel boring and painful at times, but is necessary.

We learn to dread homework growing up, viewing it as the thing that gets in the way of our recreational time.

Who wants to be doing math problems when they could be outside playing with their friends?

Who wants to deal with pages of required reading or worry about staying focused when studying when they could be watching the latest bingeworthy shows on Netflix?

I’m not here to argue for or against the necessity of homework itself, but instead that sometimes, doing homework is a part of life.

And if we want to succeed in life, we have to do the homework.

We have to get motivated to write that essay , we have to get motivated to study , and we have to learn to stay focused on our goals .

Staying focused on homework when there are so many other distractions competing for our attention can be difficult, so in this post we’re going to get real, get honest, and talk about how to stay focused on homework even when you’d rather be doing anything else.

woman doing homework with ruler

Study Tools You Need RIght Now

focus on doing my homework

1. See How Fast You Can Get it Done Accurately

Getting your homework done quickly is usually the goal for most people, and while you don’t want to sacrifice accuracy, making a game out of it and seeing how fast you can get your homework done is usually a great way to stay focused on your homework.

There is a theory that we use as much time for tasks as we give ourselves, so it may be that actually you can write a good essay in 2 hours, when normally you would take 6 hours.

How much of that 6 hours is spent being distracted and wandering around your room aimlessly?

When we limit our time, we can get things done faster.

This isn’t to say that you should try and do 56 math problems in 2 minutes or sacrifice actually learning the material, but making a game to see how fast you can accurately do your homework is a great way to stay focused because now instead of just trying to focus on the content, you are focused on the goal of completing it and that will carry you through when it gets hard to stay focused.

school books

2. Give Yourself a Reward When You Finish

It’s the only trick in the book, but that’s because it works and is one of my best productivity tips .

If you’re find it difficult to stay focused on your homework, make sure to promise yourself some sort of award when you finish.

For example, if you finish your book report, you can watch 30 minutes of your favorite TV show.

If you finish your math problems, you can have the snack you’ve been wanting since you got home.

Those of us adults with homework can also do this, but in bigger ways.

When you finish your dissertation, reward yourself by buying the new purse you’ve been keeping your eye on.

When you finish your physics problems, you can call a friend and go meet up for dinner.

Human nature is to work best when we are working towards something, and this is another way of keeping you focused on your homework by keeping you focused on the reward that will come from staying focused and completing your goal.

math problems

3. Find a New Way to Study

Sometimes, focus comes down to what you’re actually doing to learn the material.

For instance, I never learned well just rereading my notes to study for tests, and I found it much easier to use index cards to create questions and quiz myself with.

If part of your homework is studying for a test or something that you’re able to do in a way that makes more sense to you, do that!

We had quite a few projects that I was able to be more creative on that really helped keep me focused on working on them because I was much more interested.

If you’re having major problems focusing on your homework, check to see that you’re picking topics that really interest you, where possible, or talk to your teachers or professors to let them know that you’re struggling and see if they have any creative suggestions on how you could learn the material.

You can also use something like ClickUp to help you organize your homework and studying virtually.

writing homework with pencil

4. Create a Study Group and Set a Goal

Study groups aren’t always good for focusing on homework because by the end of it, you’ve devolved into planning your Spring Break and no one has stuck to the plan or gotten much work done.

However, I like study groups as a way to stay focused on school work when you have a goal in mind. For instance, you could meet up and say you’re not going to leave the library until you’ve finished the project or you could say you’re not going to leave until you all feel confident that you could pass a test on Chapter 7 or you won’t finish until everyone has finished and understands how to do all of the math problems.

Having a study group just to have a study group isn’t always helpful, but with a clear outcome in mind, you can at least try and keep the socializing to a minimum until you go out and celebrate later for having finished.

You can also do it virtually with a platform like Zoom , which I talk about in my list of productivity tools .

This is also a great time to actually be honest with yourself about who that you know would make a good study group.

girl doing homework on laptop

5. Do the Hardest Homework First

Our ability to focus goes down the longer we work on something, so if you have 4 hours of homework in 4 different subjects, you should start with what you find hardest first when your focus can be at its peak.

By the time you reach the fourth hour, you may be really wishing you had something that was much easier to focus on because you will naturally lose the willpower and ability to stay focused for that long.

This sometimes goes against our natural inclinations to save the hardest homework for last because we don’t want to deal with it until later, but putting it off makes it even harder to focus.

boy doing homework at computer

6. Listen to Instrumental Music

For some people, music can help keep them stay calm when stressed and is a good idea when trying to focus on homework, but make sure it’s the right kind of music.

For me, music with words is actually really difficult to have on in the background while I work on something also related to words (reading or writing or trying to understand concepts) because it uses that part of my brain to try and sing along.

I find that instrumental music is much better, whether it’s just basic instrumental music, instrumental covers of my favorite songs, or dedicated study playlists that use music that is actually thought to improve your concentration based on the tones of the sounds it creates.

You can find tons of these on Youtube and just put it on in the background as you try to get to work.

homework planning to stay focused on homework

7. Create Your Perfect Environment

Equally, some of us find it super hard to focus with any noises in the background.

The aim of the game when it comes to focusing on homework has to do with creating your perfect environment and testing different environments to see what works for you.

Some people will find it easy to work in a library filled with other people working and walking around, while others will want to be in a cubicle with nothing else going on around them.

Some will want complete silence, others will want to blare music.

You should also think about the actual physical way you do your homework and whether that’s helping you.

There is a big difference for some people in the ability to focus when you’re laying down on your bed versus sitting at a dedicated desk, or working outside versus working inside.

Create the best environment you can before you get started on your homework and you’ll make it that much easier for yourself to focus.

homework sitting on picnic table

8. Complete It In 20 Minute Chunks

Most people can focus for about 15-30 minutes before needing a quick break to look at something else or just stop looking at whatever they’re working on for a minute or two.

If you chunk your homework down into 20 minute chunks and aim to complete one at a time, this is actually a really useful way to stay focused because it’s not as daunting and you can focus on getting through one chunk at a time.

You can do this in so many ways, like chunking down the math problems and doing 10 at a time before you take a break, or reading a certain number of pages before you take 5 minutes to look up from your book.

Do everything in your power to make focusing seem less challenging, and your mind and body will more easily cooperate.

homework and procrastination stop sign

9. Get a Tutor

Sometimes, a study group of your friends isn’t necessarily the best idea under many circumstances, but a tutor almost always is.

Unlike a social companion, they’re there basically to help you focus on studying and to help coach you through anything you find difficult.

Having that external person who is sitting with you and helping you chunk down your work and setting goals for you is exactly what some people need to get their homework done in a productive way.

The level of tutor you need depends on what you’re working on.

If you just want someone to help you with the material who has done it before, you could ask someone a few grades above you to help out.

Equally, some families hire tutors for children with learning disabilities or those who are really struggling in a topic, and in this case the tutor may have a lot more experience in behavior and helping people to get the work done that goes beyond having done it beore.

woman doing homework in library

10. Plan to Teach it to Others

Teaching the material to others is always a great way to help yourself stay focused when learning, because believe it or not, you’re learning to!

I used to teach my stuffed animals the material after I had done some homework on it, but you can also try and teach it to anyone to see how much you remember.

Many times, this transition into an active way of learning rather than passive is a great way to stay focused on studying and get things done instead of just hoping you remember it.

woman doing homework at laptop

11. Use Website Blockers on Your Computer

If your problems with staying focused on your homework come down to other distractions, you can install plenty of software on your computer or phone that actually block certain websites when you tell them to.

You could block social media so you’re not taking breaks to scroll Instagram, block the entire internet or turn off the WiFi if you’re trying to focus on reading but can’t help continue to go on Reddit every couple of minutes, etc.

Staying focused isn’t just a “you” problem, it is a pretty prevalent human problem, especially in the modern world where we have more distractions than ever before.

So be strong, block the websites and apps, and then get down to business.

Not giving yourself the option to go on them means you don’t have to use up willpower trying not to.

You could also do this by giving someone else your password to your social media accounts and having them change it and not telling you what it is so it’s impossible for you to get in.

boys doing homework with pencils

12. Make a To-Do List with Color Coding

For us visual people, making color coded to-do lists isn’t just an Instagrammable organizational tip, but a big life hack that helps us stay on track and be more productive.

If you’re struggling with your homework and staying focused, make a list each day of exactly what you need to do and use color codings, post-it notes or another visual way of checking things off to work through your list.

The more that you visually see completed on the paper, the more motivated you’ll be to keep staying focused and getting through the rest.

When you don’t have a list, it can feel like you’re not making any progress.

13. Use a Highlighter When Reading

If your homework involves reading or studying, you can also take an active role in this by using a highlighter to highlight important passages or use a pen to make notes next to the reading as you go.

This is proven to keep you more engaged in the material, which in turn will keep you more focused on your reading.

When you’re forcing yourself to engage with and respond to the material, you’re much more likely to remember and stay focused on it as opposed to what happens when you just passively read a book or read over your notes.

How to Stay Focused on Homework: 13 Easy Tips via @allamericanatlas

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9 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Focused on Your Schoolwork

These focus strategies for students are proven to peak your concentration.

Do you find it hard to focus on homework? Do certain subjects make your mind drift off to other things? If you want to know how to focus on schoolwork, we've studied the science behind keeping your concentration and have discovered some keys to success! These research-backed focus strategies for students will help you concentrate and even boost your productivity.

Determine Your Learning Style

If you're not engaging your brain in the right way, it can make it hard to focus and understand the material. This can lead to anxiety, which can further distract you. The first step in honing your attention on schoolwork is determining the best ways for you to absorb the information.

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  • Fun Listening Activities for Middle School Kids They'll Tune In For

Most people fall into one of three main categories - visual, auditory, and tactile. If you want to find out your learning style, there's a simple self-assessment to determine where you land. Studies show that this information can help you study smarter .

Have a Designated Study Space

While the kitchen table may seem like an obvious place to study, this large space may not do you any favors. First, it's in a communal area, so it's likely there will be a lot of foot traffic in the room. Second, this is also the place where dinner will soon be served.

This will bring an abrupt stop to what you're doing and it will force you to pack up your stuff and get reorganized later. This can shatter your focus, especially if you're in the middle of reviewing a difficult concept. Research shows that by having a designated space to study , students can focus better on their work.

Remove Distractions

Once you've found your designated study space, it's important to get rid distractions in order to get the most out of your study time. This, of course, means turning off your phone and the television, but it can also mean other external diversions like large messes. Keeping a clean work area helps students to better maintain their focus and improve their productivity.

Pay Attention to Your Needs Before Studying

Don't forget about internal distractions as well. If you're hungry, thirsty, tired, or stressed, it can also obstruct your ability to concentrate. Obviously, if you are hungry or thirsty, there's a quick fix, but if you are tired, take a nap.

The key is to rest for the perfect amount of time - 10 to 20 minutes . Less than this and you will feel groggy. Much more, and you'll not only feel fatigued, but you'll also struggle to get back to sleep at night.

For those who are feeling stressed about their assignment, simply take ten minutes to stretch and then ten more to practice mindful meditation . This practice requires participants to let go of the past and focus on the present. Remind yourself:

  • You can only control what is right in front of you.
  • Previous struggles in this subject don't dictate how you will do moving forward.
  • Your instructors designed this schoolwork to help you better understand the concepts.
  • If you continue to struggle, there are other resources to tap into so that you can grasp the specific topic.

Set the Mood

Did you know that listening to classical music while you study can help to hone your concentration and even absorb information more effectively? However, not all melodies are effective. Experts recommend that students "skip over large orchestral pieces, particularly those with a dynamic that ranges from whispers to booming cannons." These can actually cause more distraction.

Instead, they recommend elevator-style music that provides a consistent and relaxing background melody. We also advise that you snag some noise-canceling headphones to listen to these instrumental tunes. These can help to further remove distraction and keep you focused on the task at hand.

Set Specific Work and Break Times

Sometimes, the hardest part about staying focused is having the feeling that the period of study will never end! You can only cram so much information into your brain at one time. Thus, set a timer and then put it in a drawer. When it goes off, take a break!

Want to perform better? Follow the 52-17 rule ! Research has found that this is an ideal work-to-break ratio. When setting alarms, work for 52 minutes and then take a productive 17 minute break.

What is a productive break? One that doesn't distract your mind too much. This means avoiding your phone and the television. Don't check your email or social media either. Instead, have a snack, stretch, go outside, meditate, nap, complete a quick chore , or set goals for the rest of your day. These activities can help you de-stress, stay positive, and concentrate better when you get back to work!

Fuel Up to Better Your Focus

Food for thought? No, really, eat your breakfast! There's a reason everyone says it's the most important meal of the day. Studies show that it can boost short-term memory and improve your attention . If you really want better brain power , snag some walnuts and a smoothie that contains berries and leafy greens! These can also work as a great study snack.

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Get Moving Before Work Times & During Breaks

Need even more of a brain boost? Get moving! Research shows that by working out for 20 minutes before a big study session, you increase blood flow to the brain . This enhances concentration and memory.

Focus Better by Fidgeting

If you find that your focus is fading during your 52 minute study window, grab a fidget toy! Yes , that's right. Fidget toys are a great tool for getting out nervous energy , lowering stress, and keeping your concentration on the task at hand.

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Find Focus Strategies for Students That Work Best for You

Everyone is different. If you find that some of these tips help, but you still have moments of distraction, consider changing the scenery of your study space. Try standing or sitting cross-legged style on the floor, brightening your workspace, or moving your study session outside . Figure out what works best for you and stick to it to have success in high school and beyond!

How To Focus On Homework: The Ultimate Guide

I think we can all safely agree on this:

Getting your homework done can quickly become the bane of your existence.

(I’m looking at YOU, ridiculously long WebAssign problem sets.)

It takes forever to finish, especially when you don’t really know how to focus on homework.

It leaves you feeling tired, frustrated, and wondering whether you’ve actually learned anything at all, despite all that time you spent in class.

It was created by the illuminati to keep the student population in a state of fear.

(Okay don’t fact-check me on that last one.)

So how do we break the cycle?

In this guide, I’ll cover how to focus on homework using super-efficient organization techniques, what science tells us about eliminating distractions and boosting willpower, and a straightforward method that will illustrate how to do homework fast (and learn more at the same time).

Implement this and you’ll cut hours off your homework time each night, while unknowingly “studying” for your exams at the same time.

Here’s our process:

  • SECTION 1. Get Your Schedule Straight
  • SECTION 2. Optimize Your Environment
  • SECTION 3. Prepare Your Brain
  • SECTION 4. Jump Into Problems + Go Slow

First make sure you have consistent time blocked off for homework, and a specific goal for what needs to be accomplished. Otherwise, life (a.k.a. Netflix) tends to get in the way.

Then, get your environment set up to maximize efficiency (reduce the amount of time it takes to get started) and minimize distractions (and preserve focus and willpower).

Third, prime yourself for work by taking a few simple steps to give your body and brain a “reset” (and recharge your focus muscle) before jumping into battle.

Finally, our 2-step method:

First, jump into solving problems as quickly as possible (start “hard learning” right off the bat).

Then, slow down when you hit a sticking point and work at it (to build deep understanding).

Let’s jump in.

Why Can’t I Focus On Homework?

Writix reader Ashley writes…

“I wish I had the ability to know enough after lecture to solve problems and was fast enough to complete my assignments and problem sets on time.”

Well like Ashley, I think at some point we’ve all wanted to figure out how to spend less time on homework and more time on things that actually matter to us.

Our projects, jobs and internships.

Hanging out with friends and enjoying ourselves.

Actually sleeping… Anybody?

But how do we do it?

Is it just a matter following this more **AHEM** “traditional” study advice I found online?

Ohhhhhh, now I get it… You just have to sit down and do your work…

Instead, our process includes some setup tips for focusing on homework, followed by a specific 2-step technique that will actually get you results.

A quick caveat before we jump in: there are no magic bullets.

You’re not going to be able to understand everything right away.

You’re not going to be able to bust through them like some sort of finely tuned super computer.

And yes, Limitless was a very cool movie, but I don’t have a tiny clear pill for you – you’re going to need to put in the work.

Let’s talk about how to make that happen.

How To Focus On Homework Section 1: Get Your Schedule Straight

This may seem utterly obvious, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make all the difference:

Make sure you have consistent time blocked off to do your homework.

But I think you’d surprise yourself if you sat down to think about how many times you’ve…

  • Gotten back to your dorm or apartment to start on that Calc problem set, only to realize you have an English essay due tomorrow at 9am (doh!)
  • Told yourself, “Ah, I’ve got plent of time. I’ll get it done tomorrow.” only to realize tomorrow you have a 3-hour Chemistry lab followed by band practice
  • Had some vague idea of when you’d finish your Physics homework “Wednesday or Thursday” only to find yourself on the couch, both days glued to re-runs of The Office

These tragedies of poor schedule management occur because we haven’t created the mental space (or calendar space) to finish our assignments on a consistent basis.

And if that time doesn’t get allocated ahead of time, it’s quite easy to brush off a few hours of homeowork problems to the next day, and the next, and the next.

Or if you do end up sitting down to work, that time gets contaminated by distractions like friends, eating, and fatigue if you’re not consistent about where and when it needs to happen.

Then you find yourself sitting there thinking: “Why can’t I focus on homework?” Frustrated that you can never get anything done…

Solution? Time blocking.

Block Off Consistent Homework Time In Your Schedule

Simply put: take some time (right now would be good) to block off an hour or two each day for homework in your schedule.

Make sure you know that you can protect that time from other obligations (family, friends, food, Call of Duty, etc.), and make sure it lines up with when you work best (are you an early bird or a night owl?).

Okay good – next?

Schedule Specific Assignments Within Your Homework Blocks Each Day

Let’s take this concept a step further.

At the beginning of each day (or the night before), “fill in” your homework timeblock you created for yourself in your schedule with the specific assignment you intend on working on.

This will help to minimize deliberation (e.g. “should I work on English or Calc tonight?”) which wastes valuable willpower resources , and will help you to focus more intently on the task at hand once you do sit down for your homework session.

As Cal Newport writes in his latest (amazing) book Deep Work :

“Without structure, it’s easy to allow your time to devolve into the shallow – e-mail, social media, Web surfing… With structure, on the other hand, you can ensure that you regularly schedule blocks to grapple with a new idea, or work deeply on something challenging…”

Now, you can be flexible with this if something comes up, and move around your assignments after you schedule them. But having a starting point to work from is a huge step up from just flying by the seat of your pants.

How To Focus On Homework Section 2: Optimize Your Environment

We all know the platitude:

“A cluttered desk means a cluttered mind.”

Well okay, then what does an empty desk mean?

Despite arguments to the contrary (a.k.a. “I love chaos” talk) there is definitely some truth to that original statement – and there are a few key reasons why:

(1) A dis-organized study environment will increase the amount of time it takes to get started on (or switch between) your assignments.

This involves both the physical arrangement of your work supplies (computer, notebook, pens, etc.) and work to be done (papers, syllabi, textbooks, etc.), as well as your digital life (filing system, bookmarks, online resources, etc.).

mess in the dormitory

(2) A dis-organized study environment will increase the “distraction load” your brain has to work around (e.g. “Ooh forgot about that – lemme just check my email real quick”), which drains willpower (a.k.a. learning energy) much more rapidly.

As we covered in Section 1, willpower is critical when it comes to staying focused, and powering through difficult work (a.k.a. problem sets). And this turns out to be a key aspect of how to focus on studying as well, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

So now that you have your calendar in order, let’s get your study space in order as well.

Make Your Study Space Super Efficient With 5S

In the world of manufacturing, there’s a Japenese concept of organization called 5s , aimed at standardizing routine tasks, minimizing time spent searching for or re-organizing equipment, and promoting productive work through a clean environment.

5s system

Well, the same can be applied to your homework space.

Take an index of where you usually do your homework:

  • Do your computer, notebook, textbooks, pens/pencils, backpack go in the same spot every time?
  • Do you clear off your desk/table at the end of each study session?
  • Is there enough space for you to fit your assignments on a desk/table along with your computer?
  • Do you have a filing system (or recycling bin) set up for loose papers?
  • Do you have a standard pen/paper setup and problem sheet format you use for all homework assignments?

And on your computer itself:

  • Is your desktop cluttered?
  • Do you have a filing system set up for files on your computer?
  • Are your most frequently visited reference/assignment websites (WebAssign, Blackboard, Khan Academy, etc.) bookmarked on your web browser for quick access?

By streamlining each of these aspects of your homework spot and routine, you’re removing small friction points that, when added up, make a big different in terms of how quickly you can get up and running.

(Just think: if it takes you 2 minutes instead of 15 minutes to get set up, multiplied across 7 days a week, 14 weeks a semester… that’s 21 hours saved per semester!)

Quick caveat: it pays to sometimes switch up your routine and change study environments.

The research shows that new knowledge becomes more “flexible” when you acquire and use that information in a variety of different circumstances (e.g. the library, in class, at home, when you’re sleepy, etc.).

So after you get your homework space set up, you may want to work in a few study sessions in some alternate locations as well.

Maximize Willpower By Eliminating Distractions

A nice side effect of a clean, organized, standardized homework spot is it almost guarantees you will be less distracted by default.

No clutter on your desk or computer to sort through, only to realize you forgot to pay rent this month.

No excuses to get up to go search for your notebook, only to find yourself in an impromptu Greco-Roman-style wrestling match with your roommate.

However, just being organized doesn’t quite get us there – it’s also worth our while to actively seek out and eliminate potential distractions.

Ask yourself this:

  • Are there activities you find yourself routinely “falling into” (e.g. snacking, chores, etc.) during your scheduled homework time?
  • Are there specific websites you find yourself on (“oh hello fellow redditors”) that pull you away from your work?
  • Do you find yourself [flipping between assignments, reading notes, researching classes for next semester, etc.] when you get stuck during an assignment?
  • Are you glued to your phone?

The good news is, these are all things we can work to eliminate.

Here are some things you can try:

Remember, not only do distractions take time directly away from your homework, they also impart a “task switching penalty” (e.g. research from Carnegie Mellon found frequent interruptions make you 20% dumber ) which significantly depletes willpower.

And willpower is your most critical learning resource – protect it at all costs.

How To Focus On Homework Section 3: Prepare Your Brain

Ever notice how drained you start to feel after grinding on the same task for hours on end?

Well, good news: it’s not just you, and there are ways around it.

Studies from University of Illinois and Cornell University show that extended periods of work (> 50 minutes) degrade cognitive performance, and that short breaks (10-15 minutes) can renew attention and improve performance.

So our final preparation step is:

Prime yourself for work by taking a step back and giving your body and brain a “reset” before jumping in to work.

Step 1: Eliminate Inputs

According to Alejandro Lleras, the University of Illinois psychology professor who led the the study referenced above:

“Constant stimulation is registered by our brains as unimportant, to the point that the brain erases it from our awareness…”


At some point during that day, listening to lectures, taking notes, reading textbooks, responding to emails – all of that input starts to get progressively ignored by the brain.

Take a 15-minute “unplug” break prior to starting your homework.

Turn off your phone.

Take out your earbuds.

Close the computer.

And find a quiet spot to just sit, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes maybe, and focus on nothing.

Then, when you’re done, when you jump into your work, your attention will be renewed, and you’ll be much more prepared to tackle the difficult work of solving new types of problems.

Step 2: Apply Intermittent Breaks to Maintain Focus

To extend this concept further, also plan on working intermittent breaks into your homework sessions.

(1) Use the Pomodoro Technique, and work in cycles of 25 minutes on/5 minutes off. Here’s a link to the Pomodoro timer I use .

(2) Use the “Rule of 52 and 17” (measured by the Draugiem Group as the optimal schedule of their 10% most productive employees), which is similar to the Pomodoro regimen, but extends the work window to 52 minutes, which may be more conducive to long, involved homework problems.

(3) Use a 90 minutes on/20 minutes off schedule, which fits perfectly with our natural energy cycles

(4) Go with the flow, just make sure to stop and reset when you start to zone out or lose focus.

Sound good?

How To Focus On Homework Section 4: Jump Into Problems + Go Slow

Okay, now that we’re set up and primed, we’re ready for our 2-step process.

Step 1: Jump Into Solving Problems As Quickly As Possible

A lot of the time we get caught up in the process of what we “should” be doing when it comes to studying.

You do some reading before you class, you go to class, you take the notes.

You finish up the notes, you come home, you start your homework, your review your notes, you read the textbook.

You do that over and over and over again until you get to the exam and then cross your fingers you can actually solve what the professor decides to throw your way.

But more often than not, that story doesn’t end too well.

Plus, it takes a ton of time in the process.

ill have you know that this weeks problem set only took me 15 hours this time meme

The problem is this:

This “standard” formula assumes that by hearing and reviewing the information, an ability to use that information to solve problems comes along by default – something that couldn’t be further from the truth.

So when you sit down to work through the first few homework problems, you’re almost immediately struck with a dilemma: you’ve spent all this time reviewing the concepts you were “supposed to” but still find yourself stuck and frustrated.

We then waste huge chunks of time spinning ourselves in circles trying to figure out how to get the right answer, procrastinating, Googling the problem trying to find somebody who’s solved it for us…

Instead, my recommendation is to flip the script: jump into solving problems as quickly as possible.

Don’t feel like you have to read through your notes, or perfectly understand exactly what equations to use or what assumptions to make before starting to solve problems. It’s this type of hoop-jumping that’s the big time-waster.

In fact, the research shows that not only the quicker you start on solving problems, the faster you’re going to be able to get them done, but also the more information you’ll retain later on when you study and return to that type of problem again.

And this is even if you’re not doing it right, get the wrong answer, or draw a blank. The simple act of jumping in and trying first is going to help you remember it better the next time you do it.

And that’s saving us huge amounts of time in the future.

Step 2: Go Slow So That You Can Go Fast

Now, I know the immediate next question is:

“What the hell do I do when I sit down to do my homework and I’m just completely stumped, and I have no idea what to do?”

Then you spend all of this time trying to go back through your notes or trying to look it up online anyway and it ends up taking forever regardless.

Okay, yes. Fair point.

But here’s where we get into a little bit more nuanced view of how to approach the problem solving process.

So maybe you get stuck and you type in a problem to Google. You pull it up on a forum that gives you a step-by-step solution and viola, there’s your answer.

googled homework yahoo answers meme

You then speedily take that solution, plug it into your own problem, and get some sort of final answer.

Then, you’re off to the next problem.

The problem is, even though you may have just solved that one problem faster, the cycle repeats itself because you get stuck again on the next problem, because you didn’t really understand what we did the first time around.

This shallow level of understanding that we get from trying to shortcut the problem solving process actually makes it so that it takes longer to get our homework done.

So instead: slow down so that you can go fast.

to do homework fast go slow you must meme

It means that when you hit that point in the problem where you get stuck and have no idea what to do, don’t try to work it out quickly.

This sounds counter-intuitive, but now is the time to stop, pause, take a step back, and switch into questioning detective mode to figure out what’s going on that you don’t understand.

From there you can start to build the deep understanding you need that will carry over to other homework problems (and eventually exam problems).

When we start off a problem initially, we’re in an “answer focused” thought process. We’re trying to remember what to do, what equation to use, how to get to the next step.

And we’re so focused on finding the answer that when we hit the point where we don’t know what to do next, this “answer-focused” mode actually prevents us from figuring out what to do.

answer me meme

So this is why we want to switch instead into “question-focused” mode – trying to understand why it’s the case that we don’t understand, what we’re missing, etc.

And this question focus is actually the basis of the whole Reverse Learning thing that I talk about all the time.

We’re asking questions that lead us in the direction of understanding what concepts are at play, which variables mean what, which equations am I using and why, etc.

It’s this questioning process that’s going to allow you to develop a deeper understanding of what’s going on, which will then allow you to go much, much faster when you jump back into solving problems because you’ll actually understand the principles at play instead of just memorizing some specific answer to a specific problem.

For example, take this integration problem (from Paul’s Online Math Notes ).

I could be going through the solution and get stuck, because I’ve never done this “u-substitution” thing before.

And then I could go over and type it into Google and look at Yahoo answers for the specific type of problem I’m working on, and then move on.

This is the “standard” approach.

Or alternatively, I could really dig in and try to understand what’s going on when we’re substituting this section of variables for “u”, and then doing all this other calculus on the side, and then plugging stuff back in.

  • What it is that we’re actually doing?
  • How do I pick what the u is and what the du is, and how does this help me in different situations?
  • Maybe I have two exponents or maybe I have an exponent and a trig function, or maybe I have a natural log?
  • So on and so forth…

Like I said, this deeper understanding will not only benefit you long-term (a.k.a. handle curveballs on the exam), but it’s also going to help you short-term because, chances are, the next five problems that you have to do on your homework set are going to involve the same principles that went into solving that first problem.

The better you understand how to do those in this particular integral, it will help you to knock through those next four integral problems that much faster.

Summary: Our 2-Step Process to Homework Speed

So again, if you want to get your homework done faster…

(1) Jump into problems as quickly as possible.

Skip the “standard” hoop-jumping process of reviewing your notes and textbook, turn right to homework problem #1, and get started.

(2) Go slow, so that you can go fast later.

Vary your pace as you work – not everything should be attacked with lightning-fast urgency. Slow down when things get difficult and you feel stuck.

Back-track and follow the “question-focused” Reverse Learning thought process to build a deep understanding of the concepts, equations, and methods at play.

Then, and only then, jump back into your problems and you’ll find yourself speeding through those same roadblocks that used to trip you up.

How To Focus On Homework Section 5: Frequently Asked Questions

What if i get distracted (despite my best efforts) and procrastinate.

It’ll happen. Guaranteed. The key here?

Don’t beat yourself up, which typically leads to “I failed, woe is me” type thoughts, which just put off your work even more.

Simply take the necessary steps to reset and start the “focusing” process again (see Section 3).

You can also go back and evaluate what distracted you and figure out how to prevent it from happening again (see Section 2). Eventually you’ll get a good feel for how to focus on homework and not procrastinate, and you’ll be off to the races!

How to focus on homework at night, or when tired?

Let’s first be honest: unless you’re a hardcore night owl, doing homework late at night puts you at a disadvantage because your willpower reserves are at their lowest point for the day.

That being said, if you find yourself stuck in a situation (which don’t worry, happens to the best of us… a lot) where you have to figure out how to finish homework late at night, or just simply how to focus on homework when tired, there are a few things you can do.

First off, if you’re actually falling asleep while doing homework, but you HAVE to get it done, consider a power nap . Even just 15 minutes of shut-eye can give you enough of a quick recharge to get back to it without face-planting into your keyboard.

Second, you can test finding yourself some late night homework motivation . Just head on over to Youtube and type in something like “homework motivation”, or “study motivation”, or “study with me” and you’ll have your pick of a quick video or two to potentially raise your spirits enough to push through.

But be warned, this goes against our whole “how to not get distracted while doing homework on the computer” advice… so use with caution.

Third, if those first two suggestions don’t do it for you, and you’re still trying to figure out how to stay awake while doing homework late at night, try the “short burst” Pomodoro technique.

Instead of a 25/5 minute cadence, try doing 5 minutes of focus followed by 5 minutes of break. It’s easier to muster the mental energy you need for shorter periods of time, so even though it’s less efficient, it’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll actually get the job done.

Granted, all of these suggestions assume you HAVE NO OPTION other than getting your homework done that night. But if you DO have the option of doing your homework the following morning, and you’re wondering, “Should I stay up late to do homework or wake up early?” I suggest the latter.

Because a large portion of the learning process happens during the various phases of sleep, you may wake up to the pleasant surprise that all the sudden the solution to that problem you were struggling with appears to you, seemingly out of nowhere.

So if you have the option to sleep before finishing, take advantage of it.

What about for WebAssign (or any other online platform) homework?

This method especially applies to online assignments.

How often do we just sit there, textbook and notes open, Google ready to go at a moment’s notice, frantically searching for a formula we can plug in to get the correct answer and type it into that little grey entry box?

This is the wrong approach for so many reasons (see Section 4, Step 2).

Instead, apply our 2-step approach, take your time to work through the problem solution on paper, and then enter the answer when you’re done.

Can I listen to music?

This mostly comes down to personal preference; however, there are a few rules you should abide by:

(1) No music with noticeable lyrics. Hearing human voices speaking will draw your attention away.

(2) Don’t let song picking, playlist setup, etc. become a new method of procrastination. Apply the 5S principles from Section 1 here and set it up beforehand so you don’t have to think about it.

Some great additional resources on studying with music here .

My [roommate, grandma, pet cat] is loud and distracting, and I have nowhere else to go. What do I do?

What about the library? Or the study lounge in your building?

What about a studious friend’s house or dorm room?

Have you talked to them about it and explained your issue?

Is there somewhere else the damn cat can go!?

Take control of your situation and don’t let outside factors be an excuse to degrade your work time.

I find these assignments pointless and can’t get motivated. What do I do?

Motivation is tricky. It comes, it goes.

One thing that tends to help is to take a step back and look at the “why” behind studying. What are you working towards?

But the simplest approach is to ignore motivation, and just get started – however down or grumpy you might be.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and start a little, tiny piece of work.

That small commitment will initiate what psychologists refer to as the Ovsiankina Effect – we, as humans, experience a strong desire to finish things we start.

What to do when you can’t focus on homework? As in: it’s just not happening.

Like I suggested above, if you have the option, step away. Sometimes you just don’t got it, and that’s okay as long as you aren’t too pressed for time.

If you don’t have the time, and need to figure out how to finish homework at the last minute, even when you can’t seem to focus, then the same advice as the “How to focus on homework at night?” question above applies:

Try taking a short break or a power nap.

Then try a quick burst of motivation.

And finally, switch to the 5-minute work schedule until you get yourself back on track.

I’m too busy, have an 11-hour commute, can only study at midnight, and other nonsense…

Take a hard look at your schedule (see Section 1).

Where is your “busyness” coming from?

Is it actual obligations, or time-wasting activities that reduce the time you have to work that make you feel busy?

If there are legitimate reasons you’re in a time crunch, think about steps you can take to create the time you need.

If you’re just simply procrastinating too much, see Section 2 and get crackin!

Now it’s your turn.

Implement this method and you’ll find yourself:

  • Coming back from class and powering through assignments that used to take you days
  • Grabbing back that full 10% of your grade on homework instead of throwing away critical % points
  • Cutting your overall study time because you’ll actually retain the ability to solve those same problems by the time your exams roll around

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focus on doing my homework

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7 Great Tips to Learn How to Focus on Homework without Getting Distracted

  • July 1, 2021
  • Alexandra Uren

focus on doing my homework

Table of Contents

Staying focused , especially on something as dull as homework, is rarely easy. There’s so many factors constantly fighting for our attention that even staying focused on an engaging task can be difficult!

Whether it’s the lure of social media or the thought of enjoying the sunshine with our friends, it can often feel as though we have no power when it comes to what our minds choose to focus on.

Focusing properly requires both the right mental attitude and the right environment, but even the very best procrastinators can develop a productive study routine.

focus on doing my homework

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Dedicate a Few Minutes to Change

Many students find that getting home and putting on comfortable clothing can help them to focus, as this can help separate the school day from the evening.

It’s also important to allow yourself a break before you get started. You may find a small amount of physical activity or 30 minutes spent doing something completely unrelated to school can give you a little boost of energy and motivation before you start your homework.

Incorporating some ‘fun’ into your after-school study routine can help make the ordeal a little less painful!

How to Focus on Homework - Wear comfy clothes

Identify the Distractions in your Surroundings

Unless you do your homework in an empty room, it’s likely your home is chockablock full of distractions!

Whether it’s the buzz of the TV, the pop-up notifications on your phone, or the whir of the refrigerator daring you to get another snack, escaping distractions isn’t easy.

Identifying the distractions around you can help you to beat them, as often we don’t even realise that we are being distracted. Once you’ve identified what you find most distracting, remove it from your study space.

Whether you’re tackling math homework or struggling to write an essay, removing your primary distractions will help hugely.

Limit the Use of Technology to Find Focus

It goes without saying that electronic devices are one of the biggest distractions.

While Netflix, Instagram and Deliveroo can bring value to our lives (especially on rainy days!), they are not quite so helpful when you’re trying to work.

It’s best to limit the use of technology when you’re trying to focus. Put your smartphone on silent and tuck it away somewhere so that you’re not tempted to look at it.

If you really can’t do without it, tell yourself that once you’ve completed your first task, you’ll allow yourself 5 minutes to reply to any important messages.

How to Focus on Homework - put away devices

Create an Environment that Breeds Creativity and Productivity

The right environment is key. A busy room with siblings playing video games or the TV turned up is only going to distract you.

Your work environment should be quiet, organised and spacious. Let as much natural light in as possible and clear your desk so that you have space to work.

Some people like to listen to some background noise while they are working, be it the hum of the radio or focus music.

Others prefer complete silence. Take some time to determine which environment works for you.

It’s also important to take regular breaks. Taking 5-minute breaks between each task can help you to stay alert and fresh.

Make a Study Plan & Prioritise your Tasks

If you’ve ever had so much to do that it feels pointless even getting started, a study plan is key. Divide your homework assignments into sections, and prioritise them by due date.

A piece of math homework due in for the following morning should be completed first, while the essay due for the next week can be lower down on your to-do list.

Use a planner to write down all your assignments, as well as the date they are due. Break any large projects into smaller sections.

How to Focus on Homework - Make a study plan.

Avoid Heavy Meals

Eating a heavy meal before you start work can interfere with your focus. If you’re too full, you’ll start to feel drowsy and find it harder to concentrate. But being hungry can also cause your concentration to falter!

It’s important you feel satisfied and content , and lots of sugar is unlikely to help.

Snacking on nourishing food before you begin studying will help you concentrate for longer, and prevent you from getting distracted by your rumbling stomach!

Try snacking on blueberries, nuts, wholegrain bread, and ensure you drink plenty of water.

Try a Focused Based Meditation

Sometimes, try as we might, we simply can’t get into the right headspace for studying. Whether it’s due to anxiety , stress or simply boredom, a change of tack is often needed!

A focus-based meditation, like mantra , can help you clear your busy mind, prepare you for study time and helping you to concentrate for longer.

MindEasy has a huge range of mindfulness meditation courses to help clear your mind, ease anxiety and put you in a fresher, more productive mindset.

Whether you’re worrying about the future or feeling anxious about your day at school, a short meditation can help melt away your worries so that you’re better able to focus on the task in front of you.

Organise your Study Notes

A clear desk and well-organised notes is immensely satisfying, and it’s especially important to be organised if you’re preparing for tests and exams.

You’ll be able to access the notes you need faster, without wasting precious revision time looking for things!

Using folders, highlighters and calendars can help you to stay organised when your homework starts to get on top of you.

Group your notes together by subject, then by topic. Many students find colour-coding their notes can help with organisation.

  • Staying focused can be exceedingly difficult, especially with so many distractions surrounding us at any given moment.
  • It’s important to divide up the school day and your evening. Change out of your school uniform, and allow yourself a 30 minute break before you sit down to tackle your homework.
  • To start, identify any distractions (such as your smartphone!) and remove them from your desk.
  • Allow plenty of natural light into the room, and try to stay away from noisy and distracting siblings!
  • Make a study plan and prioritise what you’re going to do first. Allow yourself a short break once you’ve completed each task.
  • Snack on nourishing, healthy food such as blueberries, nuts and wholegrain bread.
  • A focus-based meditation can help you to clear your mind and get into the right mindset.
  • Staying organised is key; group your notes into each subject, and then each topic.

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How to Focus on Homework

  • How to Focus on Homework? 12 Practical Tips without Getting Distracted

How to Focus on Homework? 12 Practical Tips without Getting Distracted

1. Make You Feel Comfortable

2. create a study plan, 3. prepare your space, 4. prioritize your tasks, 5. use homework paper examples, 6. ask people around to help.

  • 7. Find Creative Environment

8. Get Rid of Harmful Distractions

9. leave some distractions out there for fun, 10. prepare a reward for yourself, 11. listen to calm music, 12. use special learning tools & apps, why can’t i focus on homework, how to focus on homework if i like to procrastinate.

  • Students Also Ask
  • 1. Does physical condition affect my ability to focus on homework?
  • 2. Is it only me who cannot focus on homework?
  • 3. I can’t focus on homework in any way. What to do?
  • 4. Should I focus on homework without pauses?

Each day you return home after school and classes, tired and annoyed. And instead of having a rest, you have to start working on your studies. It is tough to focus on homework when you want to join mates or spend some time on the net.  "So how to stay focused to do my homework ?" you would ask. We have done new research on this question and have found some valuable information about studying to give answers. Hopefully, it will help you stay focused on homework in any environment and turn you into a productive student with the best grades! 

How to focus on homework and do homework and how to get done with homework fast ? Let us start small. We have analyzed and sorted our best findings related to concentration, and here are quick tips and tricks for those who want to stay focused on their homework:

  • Find motivation for yourself, e.g., take some rest after completing a paragraph when writing an essay .
  • Maintain a routine schedule at home. This will make you more organized and able to focus on homework and complete any task.
  • Put away any distractions. Switch off the TV and other media, close doors, or put on headphones if roommates have loud conversations that lure your attention away.
  • Have some healthy snacks by your side in case you are hungry / want something tasty to eat.
  • Keep your desk in order. It puts your thoughts in order as well, helping to focus on homework .
  • Prioritize tasks. It might be best to accomplish quicker ones first to be motivated by your progress with each completed task.

In case you are constantly struggling to focus on homework, just need urgent help, why not contact professional writers who would do it for you? For study purposes, it is always helpful to get information from people who managed to solve this difficulty and achieve top grades. These pieces of advice will help you learn how to focus on your homework even when you’re tired, unmotivated, depressed, or sick.

Get dressed in something you adore to wear . Outerwear will only give you a sense of still being at school in front of your teachers & classmates so that you will be thinking about all the past day’s school events all the time.  Many students ignore this rule and remain in the same clothes when trying to focus on homework. You need to have unique home clothing you wear during the day and the one you put on at night.

Any successful time management is impossible without proper planning. Students always have big problems with time management . It is the most expensive resource in the world, so try to play with it correctly.  Find different homework planners and timers online using your computer, phone, or another device with internet access. It will take little effort to download and set up the chosen homework software, but it will help to keep focused by having a time map in your mind. Read more good tips on how to manage your time.

If you study in your room, open the window to breathe some fresh air. Make sure the lighting is proper enough for the homework preparation. Set the music on if you prefer classical composers. Other tracks won’t work as they are likely to disrupt your attention. Spend some minutes on solving one more problem, which is a dirty workplace. You need only your computer, textbook, and study notes. Leave distractions outside your room . Let’s say you can take them to your parents or living room, and then you can easily focus on homework assignments.

Another essential skill in completing your homework is the ability to prioritize your tasks. Arrange your tasks given by a teacher in order of importance and level of difficulty . Try to complete the most challenging tasks first. This method also helps to increase homework motivation . But do not get stuck on one task. Spend several minutes on your assignment. If you cannot do it, proceed to the next one. When you are through, you’ll be able to come back to the assignments you have missed.

School students can find free homework paper samples on any topic. Setting the template you like would help to solve similar problems in the future.  

Your parents may control you until you finish your homework assignments. They might also know other great tips as they used to study at school one day too. Create a study plan with them . To help you stay focused on homework, they should come to your room every X minutes (it’s up to you) and check whether you work hard. Don’t ask your little sister/brother to help. Only people older than you know how to focus on homework and other scrupulous tasks. They need to concentrate on their work every day so that they can share practical tips with you. Should parents help with homework ? Read our guide to find out.

7. Find Creative Environment 

What surrounds you matters. Find a place for studying where nothing distracts you, and you can focus on homework. Also, make sure to prepare all the things you’ll need to complete the assignment (pens, pencils, books, laptop, etc.) so that you can focus on your study activities and avoid distracting yourself every 10 minutes.

There are many distracting factors around, and the computer is the top thing to avoid while focusing on homework assignments. However, it’s not that easy sometimes: sitting in front of your computer all the time is one of the requirements of modern education — a real challenge for the human brain. You probably have a lot of music, movies, and games installed. People trying to connect with you on social networks is another significant problem. On the other side, you don’t want to block your friends forever.  Try software that will block access to distracting websites like social accounts and online gaming for several hours while you are working. Leave free access only to several good websites related to your educational process or homework answer websites . We mean online libraries and online homework writing services that can help. If you cannot distract yourself from the phone and keep checking your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, feel free to block these apps for the time you work on your home assignment.

Some distractions serve as your rewards during the breaks. Make sure there are 10-15 minutes breaks in your homework study plan, just like at school. Make a list of things you like the most. Set a goal based on those priorities.  For example, if you prefer listening to music more than reading or playing Super Mario, dedicate 10-15 minutes of your break to this activity. Classical music even helps to remain focused on your homework assignments. Popular songs with lyrics are all distractions. It is better to avoid such music.

If you are not motivated to focus on your homework assignment, set yourself a reward for completing this work. It might be anything, starting with some tasty food to going to a nice place. Such a reward will motivate you to complete the task faster. Check this blog post to discover more ideas on how to make homework fun .

Music helps to get extra concentration, but not any music. Classical music can also help focus on homework. Also, there are some special applications with customized music lists. Find such music on YouTube, for example. Just type music for concentration or music for studying.

Your computer serves as a great helping tool when you know how to use it properly. Set up either a homework planner or calendar to keep track of the learning process. Things like that help get focused on homework as you know the timeline and all the important deadlines on it, ensuring getting high grades. It is better to search on the official Android & AppStore to find great trackers and planners. Some apps offer help with math homework; others include a variety of good features too: 

  • setting alarms/notifications
  • managing time with the help of academic calendar
  • finding proper music
  • providing effective learning tips
  • getting rid of distractions
  • breaking homework assignments into several parts
  • solving problems faster
  • complete study guides
  • improved options for taking in-class notes

Use these great homework apps to feel focused:

  • iStudiez Pro
  • Scanner Pro
  • Cite This for Me (ex RefMe)
  • Wolfram Alpha

One of the most obvious answers to this question is that most probably you do not want to study and want to go out with your friends, go to the cinema, or do something else. For this reason, you cannot focus on homework and keep on procrastinating. If it’s not the case, there might be some other reasons.

  • There might be some distractions, such as your phone, TV, or friends . Find the place where you can focus on homework and remove all the distractions. Turn on calm music or find special music for learning, which encourages concentration.
  • The other reason is that you are hungry or tired . Then, have a nap and eat something tasty, but avoid unhealthy snacks and overeating.
  • One more possible reason is that you are overloaded with tasks or do not know how to write that particular assignment. The easiest way out is to get writing assistance from professionals. 
  • Lack of motivation is another cause especially when you have too much homework . In such a case, motivate yourself, set a reward for completing the assignment, and focus on homework. 

These 12 learning tips are very effective when you work on your school or college papers days and nights long and cannot properly focus on your homework. But such a life sacks all the creativeness and desire away in a snap, and you still have to invest time in education to get a good job in the future. Thus, many students make it through with the help of online writing services. The hardest part here was to find the right place to make your order – and here we are – and the complete paper full of great ideas on any topic or problem will be delivered just on time! 

Students Also Ask 

1. does physical condition affect my ability to focus on homework .

Yes. It is hard sitting all day long in front of the computer. Do easy physical exercises every 15-30 minutes to feel better. Stop taking notes or writing an essay for an hour or two to take a rest in the park or gym next door so that your brain gets refreshed.

2. Is it only me who cannot focus on homework? 

No, you are way away from being alone here. More than 70% of students and workers in the world have serious troubles with focusing on homework and concentration on routine tasks and work because of a variety of reasons: stress, lack of physical activity, wrong diet, environmental issues, personal or family problems, and ADHD. 

 3. I can’t focus on homework in any way. What to do? 

It is not easy to change ways and regain concentration, especially when you are dealing with stress and other problems. Begin with analyzing blockers, research, and list each kind of distraction for your brain; find out what other things make you turn away from essay or term paper. Find ways to motivate yourself to focus on homework and accomplish the task.

4. Should I focus on homework without pauses? 

Don’t use the entire precious time on writing essays, learning, and focusing on homework – leave space for fun and rest. Otherwise, the brain won’t be able to focus, and you will not start doing homework at once. People who fall asleep after being tired every several minutes can’t concentrate on their work or learning process.  

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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


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.


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.


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.


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 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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12 Ways To Concentrate On Your Homework

Many students are looking for ways to increase their productivity when it comes to doing homework. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to help you focus on the task at hand!

For example, if your problem is procrastination , try setting a timer so that you know how much time you have left. If distractions are your issue , then choose a special place where there will be no interruptions.

In this article, you discover: How to focus on my Homework 🎯 and Reasons why I can’t focus on my Homework.

But why can’t I concentrate on my homework?

Attention is the most complex function of the mind because it is subject to three competing influences:

  • The willpower .
  • The Fear and Stress Response System.
  • And the pleasure and reward system.

When your willpower is in control, everything is fine. But it is not so simple because attention is a bit like the main window of a computer screen, behind which several operations are carried out in parallel to the task at hand. And the window of our attention has the particularity of being very unstable, moving very quickly from one sub-window to another.

This makes us flexible and reactive but also easily distracted when the will to concentrate is parasitized by these elements:

  • Lack of interest in the subject: Of course, it’s easier to stay focused when you’re interested.
  • Fatigue: Concentration requires vigilance. Which is inevitably lacking after a bad night, a tiring day, and more.
  • Not being ready to do your homework: To be able to concentrate and stay focused, you have to be ready, both psychologically and physically.
  • The subject is too difficult: It’s hard to stay focused when you don’t understand everything, and you feel lost…
  • We haven’t set study goals : Without goals, you lose motivation and focus.
  • Too much noise or activity around you: Environmental factors play a great role in our academic performances.
  • There is too much to study: Concentration has its limits! If you want to stay focused, be reasonable, and don’t ask too much of your brain at once.
  • Boredom: The brain needs motivation to hold on, to move forward.
  • Fear of failure: Like procrastination, the fear of failure is an obstacle to concentration. Unfortunately, lack of concentration is one of the major causes of failure.
  • Stress and anxiety: The brain is built to protect us from threats. At the slightest alarm signal (weather, health, economic alert…), our attention immediately shifts to these urgent matters.

12 Tips to Focus on Homework

Homework can be a daunting task for anyone. It is especially hard to focus on homework if you are not in the right mindset. Here are 12 Great tips that will help you stay focused and complete your assignment more quickly!

If you are wondering whether you can concentrate or not then read this article fully with high concentration. It will help you learn how to concentrate on your homework. You have to master the art of concentration then only you will be able to focus on homework.

Again! if you are distracted or losing focus read these 12 tips for doing homework at least twice.

Have a set routine.

As with any activity, setting a routine helps a lot to get started with less effort. When you get into the habit of taking a shower every morning, you don’t ask yourself any more questions; it becomes automatic. The same goes for sport. When it becomes part of our routine, it’s a winner!

So making homework part of the evening or morning routine is a basic and very useful key!

Be and stay positive.

To help you be positive, remember these different things:

  • You study to learn, you have chosen these studies, and it is a pleasure to enrich yourself with new knowledge .
  • Tell yourself over and over again that you will succeed because you enjoy doing your homework that will lead to the career you envision for yourself.
  • You will succeed because you work for it with courage, enthusiasm, and motivation.
  • Do not worry about other students. Remember that each person has his/her own pace, so don’t compare yourself to others. Work as you see fit according to your ability to concentrate.
  • Don’t focus on the results you need to achieve; this brings stress. Focus your positive energy on your process- methods.

Avoid Doing More Than One Thing at a Time

Researchers working for Microsoft decided to check the impact of multitasking on the quality of work. The results of their study showed that after each break, however short, it takes an average of 23 min and 15s to regain full concentration.

Another study indicated that multitasking wastes an average of 40% of our productive time. By constantly switching/moving from one task to another, we actually lose a lot of time to refocus.

Moreover, according to a study conducted at the prestigious Stanford University , multitasking has a negative impact on our brain functions. It could even cause our IQ to temporarily drop by 15 points.

Of course, multitasking isn’t always bad. Listening to podcasts while drying your clothes seems like a great idea. The more different tasks we try to accomplish at once, the harder it is to get good results.

Having a study plan facilitates concentration.

Choose the right times. We’re all different: some people are more efficient and better able to concentrate in the morning, others in the evening. It’s up to you to establish your work plan based on what works for you. Select the times of day when you are at your best.

Divide your work into logical steps that have a beginning and an end. The brain organizes things as a whole, so you need to help it see the connections between each element. By organizing your work-miles stones-, you allow your brain to see things more clearly, thus increasing your concentration.

Pick a neutral, healthy, and serene environment.

Your work place-study- has a huge influence on your concentration level.

  • Choose an airy place with good lighting. In a neat, tidy, and pleasant room, the temptations to distract yourself are limited.
  • Turn off your mobile phone or cut off the WIFI so that only urgent calls are received.
  • You can also choose to leave your phone in another room to limit the chances of being distracted.
  • Go to the closest library if there is too much noise in your sounding -Neighbor’s vacuum cleaner, loud music, etc.
  • As for music, it’s up to you to see what works for you. Some people like to work with music in the background; others simply can’t. It may also depend on the type of work you have to do.

Do physical Exercise.

Our brain is closely linked to the rest of our body, which means physical exercise has a direct impact on our mental performance.

Daily exercise is a quick and easy way:

  • To Improve brain function.
  • Keep the brain active;
  • Reduce stress;
  • And many other benefits .

But that’s not the only way to exercise your brain to improve your productivity. It’s important to note that the endorphins released during exercise can increase your heart rate.

You’ll also notice that physical activity leads to an overall increase in fitness, so you won’t feel like sleeping at your desk.

And for those of you who are feeling restless, a few brain-boosting exercises, without being too exciting, can help you get in the right frame of mind before you start doing your homework.

Use timeboxing.

One of my most effective ways to be more productive is to use the timeboxing method. Timeboxing is a time-management technique that has emerged in the field of software development within the agile method, which consists in frequently and regularly delivering parts of the final project.

The general concept of timeboxing is quite simple. It consists in dividing a project into short periods, always identical.

I’ve gotten so used to it that I can’t imagine working without a running clock. When I sit down at my computer and want to focus on something, starting the timer is my cue to start. I have to pick one particular thing I’m timing myself for and focus on it.

What is the duration of a time block?

There are no rules about the length of time blocks. If you are new to this technique, start with blocks of 10 minutes, and increase their duration gradually. I started with 5 minutes blocs. Now, my blocks are 45 minutes long.

Rest your neurons.

It’s also much easier to concentrate for short periods of time with breaks in between than for hours without interruption. When you do your homework, favor short but regular sessions over long sessions of learning here and there: for both memorization and concentration, repetition is essential.

Remember, your brain works like a muscle that you can build. But, like the muscles in your body, take it easy! Would you ever think of doing push-ups for 3 hours (or even 2, or 1) without a break and without stopping to drink some water? I hope not! So, take breaks to increase your effectiveness.

Additionally, it is during breaks that your brain Consolidates the information you have just absorbed. So, it’s essential to take regular breaks when you’re doing your academic activities-studying, working on your homework.

Do abdominal breathing between breaks.

If you are doing your homework at home, you can practice abdominal breathing by lying on your bed between breaks. Close your eyes and relax. Note that breathing is controlled not by the rise and fall of the chest but by the rise and fall of the belly.

Break down the task at hand-Homework- into simple tasks

As we have already mentioned, concentration is a limited resource. No matter how hard you try, you can’t stay focused on the same thing forever. Setting specific goals is essential because the brain is more efficient when it has a clear direction. It can then immediately get into action. The clearer you are about what you have to do, the more focused you are.

We recommend that you break your work into sub tasks, a subject into chapters, and a chapter into sub chapters. This way, you can work in short sessions and take frequent breaks to clear your head and recharge your batteries.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Your concentration level is also an indicator of your health. If you are sleep-deprived or tired, it directly impacts your concentration levels; hence, reducing your academic performance. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and give yourself the rest you need to stay focused.

Some students try to exploit every bit of time to revise (do their homework), especially during exam periods. This is often counterproductive because if we get too tired, our brain will not be able to concentrate, and the revisions will be ineffective.

Create rituals to focus on.

During her tournaments, the female tennis player Serena Williams never changes her socks. She believes that a small change can result in her defeat.

When Beethoven was composing his music, he usually woke up early in the morning, counted exactly 60 coffee beans to grind and prepare his coffee. Afterward, he would sit at his desk and work until 2:00 pm in the afternoon.

By creating these rituals, it is possible to enter a state of intense concentration when you are doing your home works.

Focusing on your homework is a real challenge and always will be. However, by putting these 12 homework tips for students into practice, you will put all the chances on your side to reduce distractions and keep the focus on your activities and will help you to make the homework a fun activity.

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How To Focus On Homework And Score Top Grades (Really)

how to focus on homework

The term homework is one that many students would rather not hear mentioned. Furthermore, the subject of homework has sparked such a heated debate among scholars – is it necessary or not? However, this article’s focus is to help students at all levels learn how to stay focused while doing homework.

If homework is not your favorite, do not skip this post. You never know what the end of it holds for you.

What Is Homework?

Although this may be a cliché to many already, it would be prudent to have a working definition to guide this discussion. As the root word suggests, homework is schoolwork done outside school – especially at home. Teachers may assign homework based on:

What the students have learned that day in class What the teacher intents to teach the following day Some of the concepts that brought difficulty to the students

Students are therefore required to carry this assignment at home and complete it on their own. However, as we will see in our discussion, this is not always easy. Most students, whether kindergarten kids, college or university students, have trouble focusing on their homework.

How To Focus On Homework – Why Is It Necessary?

Research has shown that homework plays a critical role in the life of any student. Some of the reasons why homework assignments are necessary to include:

  • It helps students understand concepts better.
  • Teachers can gauge the understanding of the students
  • It keeps students engaged while at home
  • Parents can be part of their student’s academic journey through such tasks.

Therefore, all students need to learn how to focus on homework to achieve the above objectives and more. Learning how to stay focused on assignment is necessary in the following manner:

Students will be able to complete assignments on time. When students know how to ward off any homework distractions, they can fully concentrate on their homework and complete it on time. It helps them write correct answers. Students who know how to focus on homework can research well and develop the right solutions for their assignments. They will also be able to avoid minor grammatical and spellings errors in their papers. It makes a complex assignment seem easy! With a total concentration on a particular homework problem, students can easily find answers even to the most challenging issues.

That is why you need to master how to concentrate on h/w. It is a skill that has helped many students finish their assignments and score top-tier grades even at the college level. You are not an exception either! Once you cultivate the skill of how to focus better on homework, the returns will be rewarding.

But why can’t I focus on homework? You may ask.

Can’t Focus On Homework? Here Is Why?

concentrating on homework

  • A long day at school: The long, tiresome school activities can wear you out to the point of failing to focus on your homework. Some may not even want to see their books anywhere close to them.
  • Complex assignments: Some of the technical tasks can turn you off completely. For instance, failing to find an answer after four or more attempts can make you lose your concentration.
  • Unfinished businesses: In the process of trying to complete your homework, you may remember an errand you were to make. Sometimes, you may have promised to pay a courtesy call to a particular friend. All these will raise a sense of anxiety in you and derail your concentration levels.
  • Environmental factors: There are times when the downpour is so heavy that you lose concentration. A stubborn bird that likes to rest next to your window can also be a distraction.
  • Emotional disorders: Although many may not know this, emotions and attitudes play a crucial role in concentration. If you are experiencing any form of emotional instability, you may not be able to complete your assignment as planned.
  • Noise from around: Your neighbor might decide to show you how loud his home theatre system can go. Your siblings might also distract by noise from their toys or video games. None of these will keep your mind fully on the homework.
  • You might be lazy! Please don’t feel like I am too hard on you. Laziness is a common thing that affects everyone – even the president feels sluggish at times! It can distract a student from focusing on the homework and completing it.

All these might distract you to the point of screaming (like I did some time last year). However, there are working tips and advice from expert writers that can help you concentrate on homework. Let’s have a look at them.

What To Do When You Can’t Focus On Homework

Can’t Focus On Homework

Use the following tricks to focus when doing your homework:

  • Get some rest after coming home from school: The human mind also gets tired, just like any other body part. Therefore, you can take a shower and a little nap after school before engaging in your homework. A fresh mind is a catalyst to total concentration.
  • Have all the materials you need beforehand: It is essential to assemble all the tools necessary for your homework before starting. Collate all the stationery and refreshments you may need in advance. It prevents getting up now and then to get a forgotten ruler or calculator from the other room or classmate next door.
  • Choose the best time for completing your homework: Research shows that the mind works best early in the morning. You can decide to rest early and wake up in the morning to complete your assignment. After all, your stubborn siblings and the noisy neighbor will not be awake by this time.
  • Have an order of completing your tasks: For instance, math homework can contain both problematic and simple sums. You can alternate these two so that you do not end up tackling five technical aggregates at the same time that will drain you off quickly.
  • Get rid of destructions: Things such as music, television, computers, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets can be a huge distraction. It would be wise of you to put them away when completing your homework not to be distracted. If possible, you can switch them off.
  • Complete urgent errands first: Before sitting down to begin your homework, ensure that you have completed every chore you were assigned. It will enable you to focus your mind entirely on your task and not on the incomplete errands you have to go.
  • Make a cup of coffee! It can do the magic perfectly well. When you feel like your concentration levels are getting low, especially during the night, you can make one for yourself. It will also keep you from dosing off amid the work.
  • Listening to soft, soothing music: Psychologists say that the mind works best when a conducive environment is created. Slow music playing in the background can help maintain your concentration levels during studying. However, loud music is not recommended for such cases.
  • Take a glass of water: Long hours of completing assignments can dehydrate your brain. The result of this is loss of concentration. Taking water hydrates it and thus increases brain activity. You will be able to focus on your homework once again as if you just began.
  • Keep your mind up and alert: Psychologists have recommended chewing gum as a way of engaging your mind and keeping it active. It will help you maintain focus on your homework to the end.
  • Avoid sugary foods: Things like sweets, chocolate, juice, or biscuits are a no-go zone if you wish to focus on your homework. They will only work to reduce your brain activity and make you sleepy.

The tips discussed above are only practical when implemented. Some of them may require you to push yourself to the limit, but they are necessary if you want to score top-notch grades. Remember that practice makes perfect!

How To Do Homework Without Getting Distracted During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic struck the whole world with a bang destabilizing almost every system. Education has not been spared either, and students have to adopt new and creative ways of completing homework amid the pandemic.

homework concentration

Here are some expert ideas:

  • Limit your exposure to COVID-19 related news: The more you watch the news or read social media posts on coronavirus, the more you get anxious and distracted. Get verifiable facts from the WHO website or trusted government sources. These will reduce panic and give you ample time to complete your homework without losing focus.
  • Adhering to the coronavirus prevention protocols: By following the laid down measures, you will not have to start doubting yourself when completing your homework. For instance, if you washed your hands, avoided physical contact, and wore your mask all day while in school, you would not have to fear the risk of exposure to the virus.
  • Staying calm and composed: It is essential to focus your mind on the homework rather than the mere gossip you’ve heard all day long concerning the virus. A calm and composed mind will focus on the need of the hour, which is the homework and not any other thing.

Although the virus has ravaged the whole world in diverse ways, remaining optimistic will give you the calm mind necessary for completing your homework.

How To Stop Getting Distracted From Homework In Remote Learning

Most schools have adopted the distance learning approach, and students must complete their homework online. It comes with its fair share of distractions which may hinder effectiveness in the completion of tasks.

However, you can put off homework distractions in remote learning with the following tactics:

  • Avoid visiting unnecessary sites: When conducting your research online, refrain from visiting places such as YouTube or Netflix to check the latest music or movies. Doing this will help you focus on the assignment at hand.
  • Make sure that your laptop accessories are working: These include the laptop charger, mouse, or keyboard. When all these are in perfect condition, you will complete your homework online with ease.
  • Have a stable internet connection: Remote learning depends on internet connectivity, and any interference on this can bring overwhelming frustrations on the part of the student. That is why you have to ensure that you have the proper bandwidth for completing your assignment online.
  • Avoid the temptation of browsing outside the homework scope: While online, you might remember a particular fact or feature you wanted to Google during the day. It will only serve to take your focus away from the homework. Stick to your homework scope and do not deviate.
  • Avoid social media sites as plague: You might think to yourself, ‘let me see what people are talking about on Twitter for two minutes, then come back to my assignment.’ The two minutes can end up being two hours. Social media sites have a way of attracting you and making your stay there all day long.

With the advancements in technology, computers can now know your preferences and automatically present to you what you like. Clicking on a link or visiting a site that is irrelevant to your homework will distract your attention. If possible, block any ads that may pop up in your remote learning course, as this may make you lose focus.

Final Words On How To Focus On Homework

We have seen the necessity of homework, some of the distractions, and how to handle them. Remember that homework, just like any other assignment in class, requires your maximum attentiveness. In some institutions, task amounts to the final grades, making it necessary to handle it with utmost precision.

Perhaps you have tried any of the expert tips above and still failed to focus; we are here to offer you quality homework assistance. You will find suggestions on how to focus on homework and experts who can help you complete those tedious homework problems.

Are you aspiring to score an A+ with professional writing help? We are here for you! Let us relieve you of that homework burden and give you all the time you need to socialize with your friends.

Order your paper today!

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How to Get Homework Done when You Don't Want To

Last Updated: March 15, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ashley Pritchard, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Ashley Pritchard is an Academic and School Counselor at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Ashley has over 3 years of high school, college, and career counseling experience. She has an MA in School Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health from Caldwell University and is certified as an Independent Education Consultant through the University of California, Irvine. There are 9 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 248,127 times.

Homework can be a drag, but it's got to be done to keep your grades up and stay on track during school. Going somewhere quiet, making a plan, and giving yourself breaks can all help you stay focused and on task to get your work done quickly. Try to keep your assignments organized and give yourself credit for completing hard or boring work, even if you didn’t want to.

Getting Motivated

Step 1 Pick an easy assignment to start with.

  • Keep a list of your assignments and check them off as you finish them. This can give you a sense of accomplishment that can motivate you to keep going.

Step 2 Work on your homework with your friends to keep each other motivated.

  • Make it the rule that you work for a certain amount of time, or until a certain amount of work has been accomplished. Afterward, you can hang out. Stick to this schedule.
  • Try this out and see if it works. If you're too distracted by having friends around, make a date to hang out after homework instead.

Step 3 Make completing assignments a competition with yourself.

  • Make sure you keep the competition to yourself. Competing with your friends isn’t fun, especially over homework assignments and grades.

Step 4 Understand why you’re doing homework so it doesn’t feel pointless.

  • Learning something that will probably help with future assignments, even if you don't know what they are yet.
  • Proving to your teacher that you understand the homework so that they don’t keep assigning it over and over.
  • Improving your GPA.
  • Getting a good grade.

Step 5 Reward yourself when you finish an assignment.

  • Try not to reward yourself with food, as that can lead to snacking when you aren’t really hungry.

Staying Focused

Step 1 Break your work up into 45-minute chunks.

  • For instance, tell yourself that if you finish your first assignment in 20 minutes, you can go on your phone for 5 minutes.

Step 2 Take 15-minute breaks.

  • Make sure you stand up and do something when it's your break, or you won't get your wiggles out.
  • Set a timer on your phone or use a kitchen timer to let yourself know when it's time to switch tasks.

Step 3 Incorporate your own interests into your assignments.

  • If you don't have control over the subject, try to find connections between the topic and something you care about. Find aspects of the subject that interest you.
  • For instance, if you have to study History but you care the most about fashion, investigate the styles of the times and places you are studying. Learn how political and economical developments changed the way people dressed.

Step 4 Listen to soothing music that isn’t distracting.

  • You can find playlists on Spotify and YouTube that are made for studying and doing homework.

Step 5 Turn off any entertainment when it’s time to focus on the hard stuff.

  • When you're struggling to focus, sign out of your email and all social media so you don't check them as a reflex.

Creating Good Study Habits

Step 1 Set up a dedicated workspace.

  • If you have many textbooks and worksheets, stack them and put them to the side.
  • Get things like pencils, erasers, calculators, rulers, and paper.

Step 2 Keep a homework planner.

  • Having a planner will make it less tempting to procrastinate, as long as you have broken up your studying into manageable chunks.
  • Your planner can be paper, or you can get one on your phone. Just make sure it has space for task lists as well as events.
  • Once you have completed a task, cross it off or put a check next to it. Seeing that you're getting your work done will make you feel better, which in turn will motivate you to keep up the good work.
  • Don't put more than you can do in one day on a list! Split up your week's work so that every day has a manageable amount.

Step 3 Stick to a weekly homework routine.

  • If you have a job or extracurricular activities that change your daily schedule, determine a weekly schedule that you stick to as much as possible.

Step 4 Get help with your homework if you’re struggling.

  • Sometimes just explaining what you have to do will help you understand it better.
  • Talking to another person is a great way to brainstorm ideas. They may ask you questions or provide comments that can help you organize your ideas.
  • Other times, the person you are talking to will notice something about the prompt that you overlooked.

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  • Try asking a family member to help you remember when to start your assignments so you don’t forget. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 2
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  • Getting motivated can be tough. Just try your best, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 2

Tips from our Readers

  • Set up a dedicated study area at home with your needed supplies, to establish a consistent homework routine. Having everything in one prepared place helps minimize distractions.
  • Use a planner to schedule out all your assignments. Break them into small, manageable pieces so it's less overwhelming. Checking tasks off as you finish motivates you along.
  • If completely stuck on an assignment, reach out and talk it through with someone. Verbalizing it can provide new insights to move forward.
  • Take short activity breaks every 45 minutes. Get up, stretch, grab some water. It refreshes your mental focus so you stay engaged.
  • Incorporate a fun personal interest into an assignment when possible. Writing about something you care about keeps you absorbed.
  • When you really need to concentrate, eliminate enticing distractions like your phone. Logging out keeps you on track.

focus on doing my homework

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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.

focus on doing 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.

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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.

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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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How to Focus on School Work & Stay Concentrated: 18 Tips to Follow

How to Focus on School Work

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Every new academic year has unique challenges that make students ask questions like, "Why can't I focus on school work?" It is more complicated than ever to maintain optimum concentration. Some people struggle because they are juggling family time, social activities, and media platforms. Nevertheless, you can focus on homework and finish your tasks efficiently by adopting interest-focusing strategies. These techniques will be helpful in overcoming diversions and concentrating on your schoolwork. You can achieve this by making simple schedule adjustments. In this blog post, we will discuss 18 tips on how to stay focused on homework in a clear and detailed manner. In case you have any questions or need expert assistance, contact StudyCrumb. Our academic writing team will be glad to solve any homework task you are dealing with. Say ‘ help with my assignment ’ and get top-notch assistance.

Why Can't I Focus on My Homework?

The question "why can't I focus on homework?" is popular among students, as numerous things can be distracting when doing assignments. Several hindrances like social networking sites, overthinking and watching digital content continuously demand concentration. As a result, you have little or no control over your thoughts. You must ensure your brain is dedicated to completing the task at hand. Focusing on an assignment may be challenging for many reasons. From my perspective, one of the reasons why I can't focus on school work is experiencing stress or exhaustion. Of course, being bored with the subject itself could also be the cause of why you are not concentrating. Many people find that figuring out the obstacle is the best way of understanding how to get focused on school work. Similarly, eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle is what helps you focus on homework.

Can't Focus on Homework? Find Out All Distracting Facts

Why can't I concentrate on my homework? Is paying attention to my assignments so crucial? Welcome to the new era where distractions are everywhere, and you can't concentrate on homework. How can you possibly finish your schoolwork and focus on it without being interrupted? Something minor, like social media browsing, may not seem harmful initially, but it can hinder studying. Students must learn how to stay focused while doing homework so that they can perform well. Many factors may contribute to these distractions and make you feel like you have limited power over your thoughts. These elements of distraction include the following:

  • Fear of failure.
  • Electronic devices.

Lack of interest is a common reason why students experience difficulties with concentration. If you aren’t interested in your subject and are looking for an expert to pay for homework , StudyCrumb is the best place to seek for academic help. Let us know the details and we will match you with the best writer in your field.

Tips for Focusing on Homework

You may struggle with focus occasionally as a freshman or a graduate student. One of the obstacles is the question of how to concentrate on homework. It can be challenging when you are thinking about something else. For example, your mind is constantly shifting focus onto your phone, your stomach is grumbling, or you want to lie down and nap. Start by learning how to focus on schoolwork in general by adopting technology as a core part of making you creative. However, technology is responsible for a never-ending stream of diversions that can weaken the will toward education. Check a few tips below on how to focus better on homework while avoiding interference.

1. Provide Quiet and Comfortable Environment

Students should learn how to focus on school at home as a core part of achieving academic success. Using a computer to do your homework staying in a noisy living room environment may affect concentration. To focus on school work, move to a quiet area where you can listen to helpful videos and read books. Make the space cozy, ensure it is also tidy, and maybe use inspirational banners in the room. You will probably have an easier understanding if you minimize distractions when studying. A quiet and conducive environment can optimize the quality of time spent on schoolwork and spare enough hours for free time. This is one of the crucial ways how to stop getting distracted from homework.

2. Prepare Snacks and Water Beforehand

This is another critical method and a sure way how to focus when doing homework. Here, you can learn how to focus on school by consuming water and healthy snacks, including low-fat yogurt, whole-grain bread, and dried fruits. It is not a good idea to eat a substantial meal prior to starting to work on the homework since it takes a lot of energy and time to digest the food. Thus, large meals can make you unproductive. Instead, preparing snacks and water beforehand is one of the easy-to-implement tips to help focus on homework. Water prevents dehydration and helps in digestion. Healthy snacks are a crucial element of a well-balanced diet, particularly when studying for long periods. Easy meals for college students play a critical role in curbing overeating. They also boost energy levels and metabolism and reduce hunger pangs, allowing you to concentrate better on your schoolwork.

3. Provide Silence to Concentrate on Homework

People often need silence when contemplating how to not get distracted while doing homework. Most students wonder why it is so hard to focus on school work in a loud environment. This is because it shifts your mind to what is happening around you rather than concentrating on your homework. Maintaining silence when focusing on school work enables you to absorb information better, remember it, and formulate new questions. You can assess the significance of alternative viewpoints and internalize different emotions and facts. Furthermore, silence allows you to practice deliberate and purposeful communication. It is also necessary to ensure effective use of the time allocated for schoolwork.

4. Organize Your Study Place

Taking an hour or more to arrange your space is helpful when figuring out how to focus on doing homework. If you study in your room, ensure the windows are open for the flow of fresh air. However, remain mindful of outside noise that may become even more distracting. One of the things to help you focus on homework is adequate illumination to help with reading and writing and clearing your mind. Both these preparations can be achieved using music and easy hygiene procedures. If you enjoy classical music, turn it on for the smooth sounds that will help you relax. Spend a few minutes removing dirty things on the desk, table, and study space, including your sitting position. The whole idea of organizing your study space is made to avoid time wastage. Furthermore, great organization boosts concentration and output and helps you avoid distraction.

5. Block Apps and Websites That Can Distract From Doing Homework

Another incredible tip on how to concentrate on school work is by blocking apps and websites that cause distraction. Focusing is undoubtedly tricky if you are completing homework on a laptop. Some apps are beneficial while others are not, especially when you think of what helps you focus on homework and ensure effective use of allocated time. For instance, Screen Time is an app that assists you in avoiding frequent distractions. Avoid apps like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to focus on homework and close any notifications like text messages not to get distracted. By blocking these apps, you will concentrate more on your studies and enhance your workflow. You can run a few applications that support your efficiency in handling schoolwork.

6. Avoid Multitasking to Be Focused on School Work

If you are unsure about how to focus on homework at home, you are in the right place. You should identify different methods so you can concentrate thoughts on schoolwork and optimize the learning process. Focusing on one assignment at a time is another way how to stay focused on school work. Multitasking will reduce your productivity. Avoid watching a video lesson on science while completing your math assignment because you might be losing more than you gain. Before beginning a new task, finish the previous one and concentrate on homework. This enables you to take part in the activity more deeply and stay attentive. In addition, you will retain more knowledge and have less trouble applying the information in the real world if you can focus more on your schoolwork.

7. Choose the Best Time for Homework

As the saying goes, to everything, there is a time and place , and with homework, you need to set the appropriate time and place to work it out. You need to choose designated periods to make yourself focus on homework. Attentiveness to schoolwork may be difficult if the event is not scheduled correctly. Therefore, choosing the most appropriate time to focus on your homework without many distractions is key. The correct perspective in handling assignment deadlines would entail the selection of a timeframe that is best for you. In other words, the time allocation should be uneventful yet scheduled at an appropriate time for maximum efficiency. This means you will consider periods when your mind is fresh and there are minimal distractions to remain productive while focusing on schoolwork.

8. Put Aside All Gadgets

When researching how to do homework without getting distracted, gadgets are considered to be some of the most distracting elements that you can have. Having gadgets around, such as phones, leaves you vulnerable to shifting attention. This entails calls and messages from friends in social media or online interactions. Although gadgets are essential in helping you study, switch them off in order to not get distracted when doing homework. Accordingly, managing screen time must be a central topic when developing ways how to focus on your homework. You will find that without distractions, you can easily set attention to the tasks that matter. Putting off your gadgets often results in higher efficiency and productivity, especially when handling academic tasks.

9. Prioritize Your Homework

As with many other things, priorities are central when getting work done. Schoolwork at home can easily fall into events that are of lower importance. However, eliminating this perspective may be critical when considering how to focus while doing homework. Prioritization is the most effective when planning and scheduling events. Tasks like doing homework should, in this case, be set as the most important and high up on the schedule compared to other events. More time should also be allocated to more urgent events. This allows you to organize your thoughts and ideas while doing your homework without feeling rushed.

10. Plan Your Schedule to Be Concentrated

Students often wonder how to focus more on school work, especially when dealing with time-critical events or when they have a lot on their plate. I have, in several instances, successfully used scheduling when strategizing how to make myself focus on homework. The trick lies in developing a schedule that works for you. The plan, in this case, should operate around all your daily events and take advantage of the free periods. You can therefore complete the tasks that are typically overlooked. Keeping time will be easier with the correct approach to scheduling. You will also make more time for the things that previously fell between the cracks and remain undone.

11. Divide Your Task Into Parts

Undertaking large volumes of work that cannot be well-tracked may seem overwhelming. Being compelled can then make it hard to stay focused. In my experience, the practice of dividing work into parts has been able to help me focus on homework. Breaking down large volumes of tasks enables you to easily keep track of the progress you make and avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed. You can use this as a tip when figuring out what to do when you can't focus on homework. Also, scheduling periodic breaks after completing a stressful section will be helpful.

12. Make To-Do Lists to Focus on Homework

Lists are a common way of tracking the important events that should be done throughout the day. They can also be helpful when thinking of how to stay focused on homework in college or even in your personal engagements. You may wonder how to stop getting distracted while doing homework using lists, and here is how. Listing all the day's tasks in order of how you would like to undertake them keeps you focused on your goals. The order will help you tackle things individually and shape your focus on the next item you need to work on. Setting goals for each step can also lead to exceptional results in completing homework and minimizing distractions.

13. Use Tools and Apps for Studying

As a student, you must leverage technologies and all available ways to focus on homework. The advantage of studying in the modern schooling environment is that you have a wide array of tools and resources. For instance, mobile apps and games can help you meet the objectivity tasks you may require. They will also help you to get useful time management skills . Many free apps and tools help you to focus on school work at home. For example, scheduling apps offer time management and planning resources that help you get that extra edge in keeping focused. These tools provide alerts to inform you of your tasks and even help manage your progress. In addition to scheduling applications, using PDF annotating apps and tools can be very helpful for studying. Apps like PDF Reader Pro allow you to open, edit, annotate and share PDFs with ease. You can highlight important textbook passages, add notes and bookmark pages to better focus on your homework. 

14. Set a Timer While Doing Homework

Using timers is a great option when you are not able to concentrate on homework. Students who can't focus on school work may benefit from using them to manage their engagement in different daily activities. Timers are mainly instrumental in keeping your attention focused on a specific goal. Productivity timers, for instance, may help keep your focus by holding you accountable for every minute that passes. You know you need to finish a set number of tasks based on the time spent on these tasks. This can be beneficial if you are prone to procrastination or are too busy with other things. Older students wondering how to stay focused on homework in college or tertiary institutions may also use timers to manage their efficiencies. Timing yourself can also help keep pressure on the mind and focus your thoughts. Therefore, make timed tasks a habit.

15. Come Up With Motivation

Motivation greatly helps when you wonder what to do when you can't focus on homework. Sometimes, simple inspiration and goal realignment may be all you need to restore your attention. Motivation comes in many forms and shapes. For instance, using reward systems or adjusting your school goals with personal interests may go a long way. Other options include joining group work discussions that match these objectives and engaging in an exercise that may help keep you motivated. So next time you think of how to focus on schoolwork at home, consider what benefits you may get from developing motivation for your goals.

16. Make Breaks for Better Concentration on Homework

Concentration is part of what can help me focus on homework, and there is a chance you may be severely affected by fatigue. Exhaustion is to be expected, especially when handling challenging course materials. I mostly find that I can't focus on my homework when I am tired. It becomes complicated to focus on homework without getting distracted when exhausted, and the solution I have found so far is taking a break. This helps rejuvenate the mind and generate new energy. Scheduling periodic intervals minimizes stress and allows you to refocus your thoughts. Nevertheless, be mindful and do not take a break that extends for too long.

17. Change Study Spot

You may be curious how a change in the environment affects your ability to concentrate or how to make yourself focus on homework with so many distractions at home. Fortunately, there are standard solutions to these questions as well. If you are wondering how to focus on school work at home, you should move to a different study spot. In a spacious house, you can find a quiet, designated space to set up and do your homework. Having a fixed location with the right environment for concentration may increase your creativity significantly. In smaller houses, getting a place that is secluded from direct distractions may also help minimize the impact these distractions have on your attentiveness.

18. Listen to Music

Changing approach to studying may also be needed to stay focused on homework. Listening to your favorite music can be a great option. This is particularly true if you have considered most of the options shared above and are still wondering how to do your homework without getting distracted. Music to study to is a great way to keep you focused, especially when using headphones to prevent external noise. It is exceptionally effective in stress management. There is a higher chance you may get distracted when doing challenging homework assignments. Music is one of the things that can be used to clear the mind when you are curious about what to do if you can't focus on homework. Symphonies and upbeat music, for instance, help manage stress by boosting the thinking process. It is, however, important to avoid listening to songs playing in the background with lyrics that may be distracting. Instrumentals are, in most cases, the more practical option.

Final Thoughts on How to Focus on Schoolwork

Beyond education, learning to concentrate on your schoolwork might also help you in other pursuits in your life. Among the best abilities for fostering your development is concentration. Various tips are practical when you spend all day and night working on school or college papers and cannot concentrate on your assignment. Stick to these 18 strategies if you want to try and work out how to focus on homework without getting distracted. We have all been through the "how do I focus on my homework" moment occasionally. However, listening to music, organizing your study place, and setting a timer will help you stay focused when doing homework. Make it a routine to read and utilize these tips; you will not regret a single day in your life.


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FAQ About Focusing on Homework at Home

1. why can't i focus on homework for more than 10 minutes.

Gaining strict concentration may be one of the most challenging issues affecting students. Many learners find that they can't focus on homework even when they want. Distractions, exhaustion, and a general lack of interest in the subject are to blame for their lack of focus. In some cases, stress and other emotional distractions may affect a person's ability to focus.

2. How can I train my brain to concentrate on homework?

Fortunately, this problem can be solved by simple discipline routines and habits that enable students to concentrate on homework. Working past the undisciplined mind can be achieved by simply following a strict routine. Scheduling tasks and timelines are some of the ways that can be used to keep your mind set on targeted goals. Turning off all distractions, such as the television and background music, may also help improve concentration levels.

3. How to get my child to focus on homework?

Parents or guardians are often a great source in helping their children stay focused when doing homework. Creating an enabling environment and assisting in doing homework are ways that parents can improve their child's concentration and remain involved in their learning process. Other options, such as helping develop workable schedules for children, are also plausible ways that parents can use.


Rachel R. Hill is a real educational devotee. She prides in writing exceptional general guides while listening to every need of students.

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Candida Fink M.D.

Homework Struggles May Not Be a Behavior Problem

Exploring some options to understand and help..

Posted August 2, 2022 | Reviewed by Abigail Fagan

  • Mental health challenges and neurodevelopmental differences directly affect children's ability to do homework.
  • Understanding what difficulties are getting in the way—beyond the usual explanation of a behavior problem—is key.
  • Sleep and mental health needs can take priority over homework completion.

Chelsea was in 10th grade the first time I told her directly to stop doing her homework and get some sleep. I had been working with her since she was in middle school, treating her anxiety disorder. She deeply feared disappointing anyone—especially her teachers—and spent hours trying to finish homework perfectly. The more tired and anxious she got, the harder it got for her to finish the assignments.

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

One night Chelsea called me in despair, feeling hopeless. She was exhausted and couldn’t think straight. She felt like a failure and that she was a burden to everyone because she couldn’t finish her homework.

She was shocked when I told her that my prescription for her was to go to sleep now—not to figure out how to finish her work. I told her to leave her homework incomplete and go to sleep. We briefly discussed how we would figure it out the next day, with her mom and her teachers. At that moment, it clicked for her that it was futile to keep working—because nothing was getting done.

This was an inflection point for her awareness of when she was emotionally over-cooked and when she needed to stop and take a break or get some sleep. We repeated versions of this phone call several times over the course of her high school and college years, but she got much better at being able to do this for herself most of the time.

When Mental Health Symptoms Interfere with Homework

Kids with mental health or neurodevelopmental challenges often struggle mightily with homework. Challenges can come up in every step of the homework process, including, but not limited to:

  • Remembering and tracking assignments and materials
  • Getting the mental energy/organization to start homework
  • Filtering distractions enough to persist with assignments
  • Understanding unspoken or implied parts of the homework
  • Remembering to bring finished homework to class
  • Being in class long enough to know the material
  • Tolerating the fear of not knowing or failing
  • Not giving up the assignment because of a panic attack
  • Tolerating frustration—such as not understanding—without emotional dysregulation
  • Being able to ask for help—from a peer or a teacher and not being afraid to reach out

This list is hardly comprehensive. ADHD , autism spectrum disorder, social anxiety , generalized anxiety, panic disorder, depression , dysregulation, and a range of other neurodevelopmental and mental health challenges cause numerous learning differences and symptoms that can specifically and frequently interfere with getting homework done.

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The Usual Diagnosis for Homework Problems is "Not Trying Hard Enough"

Unfortunately, when kids frequently struggle to meet homework demands, teachers and parents typically default to one explanation of the problem: The child is making a choice not to do their homework. That is the default “diagnosis” in classrooms and living rooms. And once this framework is drawn, the student is often seen as not trying hard enough, disrespectful, manipulative, or just plain lazy.

The fundamental disconnect here is that the diagnosis of homework struggles as a behavioral choice is, in fact, only one explanation, while there are so many other diagnoses and differences that impair children's ability to consistently do their homework. If we are trying to create solutions based on only one understanding of the problem, the solutions will not work. More devastatingly, the wrong solutions can worsen the child’s mental health and their long-term engagement with school and learning.

To be clear, we aren’t talking about children who sometimes struggle with or skip homework—kids who can change and adapt their behaviors and patterns in response to the outcomes of that struggle. For this discussion, we are talking about children with mental health and/or neurodevelopmental symptoms and challenges that create chronic difficulties with meeting homework demands.

How Can You Help a Child Who Struggles with Homework?

How can you help your child who is struggling to meet homework demands because of their ADHD, depression, anxiety, OCD , school avoidance, or any other neurodevelopmental or mental health differences? Let’s break this down into two broad areas—things you can do at home, and things you can do in communication with the school.

focus on doing my homework

Helping at Home

The following suggestions for managing school demands at home can feel counterintuitive to parents—because we usually focus on helping our kids to complete their tasks. But mental health needs jump the line ahead of task completion. And starting at home will be key to developing an idea of what needs to change at school.

  • Set an end time in the evening after which no more homework will be attempted. Kids need time to decompress and they need sleep—and pushing homework too close to or past bedtime doesn’t serve their educational needs. Even if your child hasn’t been able to approach the homework at all, even if they have avoided and argued the whole evening, it is still important for everyone to have a predictable time to shut down the whole process.
  • If there are arguments almost every night about homework, if your child isn’t starting homework or finishing it, reframe it from failure into information. It’s data to put into problem-solving. We need to consider other possible explanations besides “behavioral choice” when trying to understand the problem and create effective solutions. What problems are getting in the way of our child’s meeting homework demands that their peers are meeting most of the time?
  • Try not to argue about homework. If you can check your own anxiety and frustration, it can be more productive to ally with your child and be curious with them. Kids usually can’t tell you a clear “why” but maybe they can tell you how they are feeling and what they are thinking. And if your child can’t talk about it or just keeps saying “I don't know,” try not to push. Come back another time. Rushing, forcing, yelling, and threatening will predictably not help kids do homework.


Helping at School

The second area to explore when your neurodiverse child struggles frequently with homework is building communication and connections with school and teachers. Some places to focus on include the following.

  • Label your child’s diagnoses and break down specific symptoms for the teachers and school team. Nonjudgmental, but specific language is essential for teachers to understand your child’s struggles. Breaking their challenges down into the problems specific to homework can help with building solutions. As your child gets older, help them identify their difficulties and communicate them to teachers.
  • Let teachers and the school team know that your child’s mental health needs—including sleep—take priority over finishing homework. If your child is always struggling to complete homework and get enough sleep, or if completing homework is leading to emotional meltdowns every night, adjusting their homework demands will be more successful than continuing to push them into sleep deprivation or meltdowns.
  • Request a child study team evaluation to determine if your child qualifies for services under special education law such as an IEP, or accommodations through section 504—and be sure that homework adjustments are included in any plan. Or if such a plan is already in place, be clear that modification of homework expectations needs to be part of it.

The Long-Term Story

I still work with Chelsea and she recently mentioned how those conversations so many years ago are still part of how she approaches work tasks or other demands that are spiking her anxiety when she finds herself in a vortex of distress. She stops what she is doing and prioritizes reducing her anxiety—whether it’s a break during her day or an ending to the task for the evening. She sees that this is crucial to managing her anxiety in her life and still succeeding at what she is doing.

Task completion at all costs is not a solution for kids with emotional needs. Her story (and the story of many of my patients) make this crystal clear.

Candida Fink M.D.

Candida Fink, M.D. , is board certified in child/adolescent and general psychiatry. She practices in New York and has co-authored two books— The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child and Bipolar Disorder for Dummies.

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