Your college years can be fun and exciting, but when it is time to work on and complete schoolwork, most students do not really jump at the opportunity. Doing homework can be boring after a while, and most students tend to get on their phones and use social media or watch Netflix instead. While tempting, it is not the best idea when you need to finish something. Here are some tips to get you motivated to do your homework and study for those big tests.
1. Listen to music while you work.
Listening to music is a great way to get you focused and help you complete tasks. Everyone listens to different genres of music when they have to study or do homework, and some prefer to just sit in a work space with no music playing. When you can't find good music to listen to while you work, or if you want to listen to something different, try looking at study/focus playlists on music platforms such as Spotify, AppleMusic and Pandora Internet Radio.
2. Establish a homework schedule.
Even if you are not a super-organized person, planning out what you are going to work on at what time actually helps you get your homework done. It also helps you keep track of when each assignment is due and prevents you from forgetting about an assignment or remembering it at the very last minute. You can write your schedule out in a planner, on post-it notes, a whiteboard, your phone's calendar or a scheduling app. It is super easy and extremely helpful!
3. Set goals.
Tell yourself you are going to complete a certain number of assignments or make flashcards in a specific amount of time. You could even make a checklist of the goals you want to accomplish to make it even more satisfactory when you finish each goal.
4. Establish rewards.
Another way to get motivated to finish tasks is to find and create a reward system that will make you want to do schoolwork. Tell yourself that if you read two chapters, you are allowed to spend the following 20 minutes on social media or watching TV. A tasty tactic could be putting your favorite candy across your textbook pages and telling yourself that when you read past each candy, you can eat it. There are countless reward systems you can use when doing homework, you just have to find the most effective one that will cause you to want to do your schoolwork.
5. Get support from friends or family.
Sometimes the best motivator is getting positive support from loved ones. Call or text them and tell them how you want to get motivated to work on your schoolwork, but need a pep talk or positive feedback from them. I am sure they would be more than happy to do so if it will actually get you driven to do your work.
6. Form a study group.
Do you ever get confused by something your professor said in class or on a topic that will be on an upcoming test, and do not want to ask your professor about it? See if anyone in the class would like to get a study group going; sometimes having classmates around you studying will encourage you to stay focused as well.
7. Do not procrastinate.
Kind of self-explanatory. Just try to avoid it at all costs.
8. If you end up thinking about ways to procrastinate, think about why you are attending college.
You are on the verge of procrastinating -- you just do not feel like working on your assignments. It happens, I get it (and for some it happens way too often). When you are at this stage, try and think about why you are at college. Why is it important for you to go to and graduate from college? Thinking about that kind of stuff will get you motivated to complete your tasks because you are in college for a reason, and that reason is probably fairly unique. But remember that you're not at college to just have fun.
9. Put inspirational quotes or notes up around the area where you do homework.
Having constant motivational quotes visible around the areas you walk by every day will help put a smile on your face, as well as get you in the mood to do well in your classes.
10. Learn to say no to distractions that will disturb you from getting your work done.
Let's say your roommates want to go get food or go shopping and ask you to come along while you are sitting down to work on an assignment. While it may seem very tempting to just leave your work behind, sometimes the shopping can wait until you get your work done.
11. Put your cell phone away.
Put away anything you are prone to use that distracts you from your responsibilities. Putting your cell phone (or something of that sort) in another room or far away from you will force you to get your work done.
12. Stay positive.
I know there are several times throughout the semester where we all get really stressed and think about dropping out (midterms and finals week), but please try to have a good attitude when it comes to school. Instead of saying you want to drop out, tell yourself you are going to try your hardest to study and prepare for your tests and do the best you can.
13. Take care of yourself.
The most important thing that you need to make your top priority is you. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating throughout the day and simply living a happy, healthy life. If you can't remember the last time you got any sleep or ate, you need to make sure that is done or you won't feel like yourself.
- Put the hardest homework at the top of your list. Why? Well, this allows you to kick it up a notch! You can start, move on, and then continue re-thinking it (starting gives it a place in the "depths" of your mind -- an inventive part of your mind) and then going back to it, to do more, so you won't get too bogged down, but it will have priority for the subconscious mind to work on it! See, you don't have to get stuck in that problem -- that might take all of your time:
Do a quick effort; make it a worthwhile try, then go onward to less demanding homework. Later, going back -- and seeing how you can improve the first one with fresh bits and pieces.
Open "secret back-channels" -- just starting, even if you have to come back to finish, gets your creativity to kick in (this gets dark recesses of your mind to really work for you!). Creative juices can be inspiring, refreshing, helpful!
Break it down. Make piecework; quickly overview the topic: scan!
~ Read headings, intro, maps, charts, pictures, captions, bold or italic lettering, footnotes, and chapter summaries to get ideas and perspectives/angles for ideas to start yourself thinking.
~ Begin your answer to each problem and essay question, by doing parts! How? Make a first sentence or step, do any logical, little bits and bites (go step-by-step).
~ Add a second thought/step and another -- each flowing from the previous one. Going one phrase or sentence at a time makes it possible to write or do something.
~ Skip some lines, to leave room to fill in later -- if you need to move on to another area.
To re-kick-start an answer: Read what you have already written/or have done to check it, and see what flows from there', to lead your thinking to your next thought/step, and so on.
- Take advantage of any holidays or vacations that may be coming near as a motivator. On a Thursday, remind yourself that it is almost the weekend, and the moment this homework assignment is done you'll be one moment closer. Remember that Thanksgiving, winter break, or summer break is nearing, and the moment your homework is done you can enjoy it to its fullest.
- Think of it this way: if you procrastinate, you're spending time worrying about the task in addition to the time you actually do it. If you just take action and complete it as soon as you think of it, then you'll have more time to relax.
Work smarter, not harder. A fried brain absorbs little information. Break up your homework time into chunks. Take regular breaks. Set a timer; take a five to ten minute break for each hour you study. Get up, stretch, and move around. Drink water and eat a little fruit: water will refresh your system, and half an apple provides a better effect than a sugary energy drink.
Think of the consequences. What will happen, if you don't do your homework? Will you get a bad grade? Will your teacher be disappointed in you? If none of these things seem to apply to you, remember that homework is to help you learn, which everyone ultimately wants. In the real world, knowledge helps you master the rules of the game.
Think of the benefits. What will happen, if you do your homework? You'll probably get a good grade. Your teacher will appreciate your efforts. You have learned a great deal, and you'd be paving your way for a better life simply by putting your pencil to paper! Putting yourself in a positive state will reap in the benefits and ultimately surge you with the energy and hope to focus back on your work, and even enjoy what you're doing!
Find a place with less distraction. Set up your special study place. No friends, television, or other potential distractions should be present. Your homework place should also have a hard surface, like a table, to write on. If you need to do some of your homework on a computer, as many high school students do, make sure to avoid chat programs, unrelated websites, etc. If you have difficulty keeping focused, or awake, consider doing your homework at the library, at a table with some amount of foot traffic passing by it. The quiet atmosphere will help you focus, the surrounding mild activity will help keep you from falling asleep, and if you get stuck, there are those helpful librarians and references.
- Don't go on a cleaning binge as a way to procrastinate. Focus only on where you'll be working, and leave it at that.
Find a homework partner. Make sure this person isn't one of your crazy friends who'll distract you. Find someone to sit with who is quiet and focused. This will help you feel comfortable working, because someone else is working along with you. Just be sure not to end up talking more than working.
Create your own learning method. Everybody learns at their own pace and uses different methods to help memorize the material. Some find walking helpful, while others like to listen to music while they study. Whatever it is, experiment until you find something that seems to work well for you.
Listen to some quiet music (optional). Listening to music and studying does not work for everyone. If you are going to listen to music, try to listen to classical music or instrumental songs. Or if classical isn't for you, just pick quiet songs that you don't know, and start working, so you don't get caught up in the words.
Exercise briefly during each study break. It will help relieve tension, clear your mind, help you focus and make you feel awake. For example, walk around, stretch, do jumping jacks, or jog in place.
Make a routine. A routine will get you into doing homework as a habit. Schedule times and days so you are totally organized as to what you're doing this week, the next, and even the week afterwards. Surprises will occur, but at the very least, you know what you're doing!
- Put your phone, computer, and anything else that might distract you far from your reach. Then stay in a quiet room where you know you won't get distracted. Keep a timer for every 30 minutes to an hour, so you know how long you've been working and can still keep track of time.
Prioritize. Divide your homework according to your ability in the subject. If you're not so good, do it first. If it's an easy assignment, take a break and do it in 15 minutes or so, then get working again! If it's a long-term project, do it last. Not that it's not as important, but you need to save your time for the things with near-due-dates.
Get some success: you might prefer to get one or two easy tasks over-with at the start of a homework session, saving the hard stuff for last. Diving right into the hard stuff can be discouraging, and studies show that many people learn well when they start with easier material and work up to the harder stuff. Getting a few easy tasks done quickly can remind you of how good it feels to be productive. Some people, however are more motivated to dig into the hardest stuff first. It will make the rest seem like a breeze. Find out what works best for you.
Use simpler problems to find the steps to do harder solutions. Most problems can be broken down into simpler problems. That's a key to try on most math and science work and exams.
So what are you waiting for, get to your homework!!