Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tips for Getting Homework Done

Homework. It can be the worst part of classes. With so much to read, write, study, and get done, how are you supposed to keep up? I'll admit, it can get overwhelming really fast. When I do start to feel like there's so much to do for class, I have a few tricks to make sure I still get my homework done.

Tips for Getting Homework Done

Plan ahead. You're not going to get your homework done if you don't know when it's due or even what is due for that matter. Get out your syllabus for each class and mark down all the important dates in your planner. I do this a month at a time to keep from going insane and because a lot of my classes end up a week behind or ahead at some point, so planning a month at a time lets me change things as needed.

Once you've mapped out when all your due dates and test dates are, you have to start planning when exactly you're going to get those things done! Plan a time each day that you can devote to studying. Whether it's an hour or 3 hours, any little bit helps you to keep up!

To make sure you study for tests, write a note to start studying a week in advance. Studying at least a week before helps you to learn the information better so you can get a good grade and sleep the night before instead of pulling an all-nighter.

Tips for Getting Homework Done
Tips for Getting Homework Done

Make a list. When I feel like there's a billion things to do and I don't know where to start, I make a list. I write down every little thing I need to do for my classes. I'll have everything from "print off notes" to "edit and revise paper." Once I have all of those to-dos written down on paper, I pick a task, get to work, and start checking things off my list one at a time.

Having everything written down allows me to see everything I need to get done and lets me "forget" about those things since I don't have to keep them in my head in order to remember to do them anymore. Once I see what I need to get done, I can start working on one task at a time and feel a bit of achievement with each item I check off my list.

Set a timer.
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique?  Basically for a set amount of time all you do is focus on one assignment/task. When the time is up, you reward yourself with a short break. How nice does that sound? On thewebsite they suggest working with a timer set for 25 minutes with all distractions turned off or put away. When the timer goes off, reward yourself with a quick 5 or 10 minute break doing something non-work related. Once your that short break is over, start another project or continue another one using the same process!

This really works for me. If I feel like I can't concentrate, setting the timer really focuses me. If I'm not too motivated, knowing I'll give myself a reward at the end helps me get to work. It also makes tasks seem way less daunting and overwhelming. Instead, it breaks even the biggest task into bite size chunks.

Tips for Getting Homework Done

Find your spot.
There are some places that I just can't concentrate.  In my living room with the TV on, homework is definitely not happening. The book may be open, but no work is being done. Heading to the library with friends to study doesn't work for me either. I'm too tempted to just talk and so are my friends.

Instead I have to study alone. I can have some light music playing (like Spotify's Deep Focus playlist), but other than that I can't have too much sound going on. I like doing my homework in the living room (with the TV off) so I can spread out and get comfy on the couch. So find your spot and the environment that works best for you to get homework done. It will help you focus and retain more of the information! 

Do you get overwhelmed with homework? What do you do to make sure you get your homework done?