“Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later.” – Dana Stewart Scott
Not every parent is a fan of homework. It can be a significant amount of work for both the parents and the children and it seems that nobody likes it. There’s been a shift in the type of homework that children get and, while primary school pupils don’t tend to get too much homework, it does start to add up by the time they reach secondary school.
So how can you quickly and effectively get homework done?
Why Should You Do Homework Quickly?
Very few pupils like sitting down to do their homework. After a day spent working at school, the last thing they want to see is more maths problems, an English essay, or dates to remember for an upcoming history test.
Homework is normally just seen as more work and, for some students, it’s worse than being at school because they have to do their homework in an environment that isn’t conducive to studying or learning.
The student will want to get their homework out of the way as quickly as possible so they can enjoy their free time.
There are a few advantages to doing your homework quickly, though. Not only can it teach you to focus and work more effectively, but it can also help you keep on top of your workload, resulting in seemingly less work in the long-term.
There’s also the bonus that it’ll free up more time for doing things you like such as playing, watching TV, etc. Some students have no other choice but to do their homework quickly. It might be time for dinner or they may have other extracurricular activities to get to.
In other cases, they may also have to do their homework quickly because it’s due the following day.
Whatever the reason for doing your homework quickly, this doesn’t mean rushing it. It’s important to learn how to do your homework quickly, effectively, and methodically so that you also do it right. If some homework takes a bit longer, you can always make up the time by finishing another task quickly or ahead of schedule.
Using a Homework Planner
Planning out your homework will help you do it both more quickly and effectively while also prioritising tasks by urgency and importance. The time spent planning out your homework will be saved when it comes to sitting down and doing your homework.
In secondary school, you’ll probably be given a homework diary or homework planner. While it’s useful to have on you to make a note of what homework you have, it’s not ideal for planning out your homework.
It’s recommended that secondary school pupils make their own homework planner. This can look a lot like a monthly calendar, for example. You may want to make a large grid on an A4 sheet of paper with each square representing a day of the month and an entire page representing one month.
You can also have different to-do lists organised by priority or urgency. On the “urgent” sheet, you can put all the homework that you need to be getting on with now and once you’ve finished all the tasks on that sheet, you can move onto the less urgent or important tasks.
Knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it can make doing your homework take much less time. Look at the planner the second you get home and you'll know exactly what the plan is for the evening.
It’s also a good idea to break down larger projects into smaller tasks. By doing a bit every evening, you’ll be finished before the deadline and you'll also get into the habit of doing the tasks so by the time you’re doing the last questions or activities, you’ll find that you’re working much more quickly.
If you have free periods at school, you can take care of your homework planning then. This means that when you get home, you don’t need to spend any time planning out your homework or plan of attack.
Work More Effectively with a Neat and Tidy Workspace
A nice and tidy desk is one of the best tools for getting your homework done quickly and effectively. You don’t need a desk worthy of a CEO; just somewhere you’ll be comfortable working. You can also customise your desk to your liking so make sure it’s somewhere you want to be and then you won’t be as annoyed that you have homework to do.
So how can a desk help you get your homework done more quickly?
A comfortable desk will make concentrating much easier than doing homework on your bed, in the living room, or at the dining room table. You’ll also have everything you need to do your homework within arm’s reach and won’t have to waste any time looking around for stationery.
Of course, you need to make sure your desk is tidy and organised as a messy desk will be counterproductive. In addition to distracting you, the mess might get in the way of your homework.
Your desk needs to be somewhere you can quietly get on with your work like if you were at school. By having a workspace like at school, you’ll be able to work like you were there.
Set an Alarm for Doing Homework
An alarm and a stopwatch can also be useful tools for doing homework. You’re not racing to get your homework done as rushing will result in errors and make doing your homework less effective, but it is a good idea to make sure you’re working at a good pace.
If you’re competitive, a stopwatch or timer might be a good idea. You can set an alarm and see how much work you can get done in an hour. Of course, if you don’t get all your work done in that hour, don’t worry, it's still a good idea as it can keep you focused on your tasks as you know that time is against you.
If the alarm goes before you’re done, it may encourage you to work a bit more quickly and you'll have a better idea of how quickly you should be working.
You can even set yourself challenges to see how effectively you’re working.
Using Apps to Block Distracting Websites
To effectively do your homework, you need to avoid getting distracted. TV, smartphones, games, and social media are all counterproductive. A lot of students lose so much time looking at their messages, notifications, and scrolling through their timelines. Smartphones are an absolute nuisance. Sadly, they’re almost unavoidable in the modern world.
To save yourself from being tempted to look at your smartphone, you might want to leave it in another room or give it to your parents while you’re supposed to be working.
Some apps can block social networks for a given time. The user can choose which websites and apps are blocked and how long they’re blocked. Set the app away before you start doing your homework and it’ll be easier to concentrate for an hour knowing that you can’t access the sites that would distract you even if you wanted to.
Reward Yourself for Doing Your Homework
The carrot is often more effective than the stick and a reward can be useful encouragement to get your homework done. The best way to get your homework done is to know that there’s something fun waiting for you to do once you’ve finished.
Simply knowing that you can play computer games or see your friends after your homework will encourage you to work more quickly and effectively. Just make sure you save the reward is saved for the end.
Use Music as a Boost
This tip mightn’t work for everyone, but it’s been shown that listening to music can improve concentration. Not just any music, however. A song you want to sing along to mightn’t help you concentrate, but instrumental music can help you be more productive while doing homework.
How Can You Do Homework at the Last Minute?
While organisation and planning are key to keeping on top of your homework, you may sometimes end up with a looming deadline and homework you have to do at the very last minute.
Reading a book in one evening can be challenging.
So what’s the solution?
In this case, you might have to just read the summary of the book online. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than doing nothing.
If you have a lot of different tasks to do, consider prioritising them.
Get the most important stuff out of the way and start with the easier stuff to help you get into the swing of things. Once you’ve got into a flow, you can move onto the harder stuff. Just remember that you can’t get back the time you wasted so plan and it’ll be easier to stay on top of everything.
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