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When assignments keep piling up one after the other, there is only one thought that dominates every student’s mind – how to do school work?
Many of us would have, if not thought, then heard our fellow students ponder the question, If we are being honest, some of us have spent more time figuring out the answer to that than actually doing the schoolwork (don’t tell our parents!). Indeed, the question, and more importantly, how to stay encouraged through all the homework assignments, must consider and understand what works for us.
Every student has different methods of studying and other ways to stop procrastinating and get motivated to complete home tasks effectively, let us establish the importance of motivation while finishing our work. Motivation gives us the kick we need to get going. As the saying goes, ‘Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.’
Students fail not because they do not know how to study but because they do not feel motivated enough to put their energy into it. Motivation plays a crucial role, especially in schoolwork, as students often get tired just by thinking about the amount of work that they need to complete in a set amount of time. It leads to burnout, stress, and anxiety. Motivation helps students overcome these negative feelings and instead focus their energy on accomplishing what they need to do.
While there is no set path to attaining motivation, here are a few tips that will hopefully help you.
1. Set A Time And Place
Before you begin working on your homework, you need to establish a time and a place for when and where you will be doing your work. Simply sitting down in the area you have designated for homework will allow you to get into the mindset of doing the homework above. As you make this a routine, it will allow your brain to get used to this, and whenever you sit down here, you will feel motivated to finish your work in that time.
When choosing a time, stick to a time when you know you are most often free and not burdened with engagements. Setting aside the same amount of time every weekday is preferable, no matter how much work you think you will get extra on the weekends. Do not set aside more than three hours at a time – focusing on such long periods is near impossible, even with the right amount of motivation.
While deciding your study time limits, you know what works best for you. If you genuinely prefer long stretches of uninterrupted work with longer breaks – say, 2 hours of work followed by a few hours break – then go for it! However, I prefer a shorter period, with small intervals interspersed throughout. Some students choose to utilize the Pomodoro technique – while it may not work for everyone, it is worth trying.
As for the place – choose someplace that you already associate with studying. This should be pretty easy, as you can choose a place like a school library or your desk at home. Sitting in places like this will help you stay motivated and give you the focus required to finish your task.
While I am guilty of studying on a bed or anywhere comfortable, this is not recommended. It harms your sleep, too – your brain will stop relating your bed as a place of rest. If you want to accomplish a set task, then be sure to sit in a place where you will succeed in doing so.
2. Make A To-Do List – And Stick To It!
This is one of the most commonly used tips on how to stay motivated to do school work – but that is an indicator that it works! Having a to-do list helps you organize your day and ensures that you do not get bogged down in the dilemma of deciding what to study (and eventually ditching your schoolwork because you cannot decide what to finish first).
During the weekend, try to form a rough timetable based on what subjects you have during the week. Even if you do not specify the exact time you will focus on one subject, it is alright to have a vague idea. Plus, if you get an assignment during school, you can easily incorporate it into your to-list because it is not rigid enough to be set off by something like that.
It is also helpful to have a faint idea of how much time you take for specific tasks to plan your day more effectively. For example, say you have to write an article, and you usually take two hours to complete an article or perhaps editing slides for a group project takes you half an hour. Having a dim idea like this will help you allot a certain amount of time to your work and help you stay motivated and focused towards completing that in the set time.
You can set alarms if that is your style. Set it for suitable intervals, say, an hour of work and then a 15-minute break. This will help you achieve your set goals while keeping the time spent in check.
In your to-do list, make sure you set aside some time for your physical needs to – maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air or exercise at home. This will keep your mind refreshed and allow you to stay motivated and productive. You could also do something to relax your mind, like playing an instrument for a while, cooking something for yourself, or listening to music on low volume as you rest.
There are various ways to keep a to-do list. Many people prefer to keep a physical copy in a journal, planner, or notebook or write it on a whiteboard in their room. There are also digital ways of keeping track of your schedule and the assignments you have to complete. Apps and websites like Notion, Taskade, or just plain old Google Calendar can help you with this.
3. Reward Yourself
Motivation requires something to look forward to. One of the easiest answers is to have something to reward yourself after you spend time on your education or are productive with your homework.
The reward does not have to be anything significant – in fact, even tips as small as a bite of chocolate will work. Motivation will develop as you complete your assignments in anticipation of the rewards. Moreover, it is pleasing to treat yourself after a job is done well.
Here are some simple ideas of how to reward yourself:
- Eat some chocolate or candy
- Make yourself a snack you like
- If you have a pet, pet them or play with them for some time
- Talk to your family for a while
- Call a friend for a few minutes
- Take a nap
- Stretch your body
- Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom
- Take a bath
Basically, whatever will help you stay motivated to finish assignments and homework – do it! You don’t have to stress about if you know there is a reward waiting for you.
4. Have The Right Reasons For Studying
This is something that is often overlooked but important. We need to understand why we are doing the school work. This may not sound meaningful or make sense, but it will go a long way in forming your mindset.
Are you studying to pass the class? Or are you studying for good grades? By figuring this out, you will understand the amount of motivation you need for the task. Most people would study just enough to get an average grade, but if you are trying to be better, you need to motivate yourself further.
Are you studying to memorize things you will never think about again? Or are you studying for knowledge? If you are genuinely interested in the material being taught, motivating yourself to finish the assignments for that subject is not hard. However, if you get too quickly bored with the matter, no motivation can help you.
An easy way to overcome this that has worked for me is to learn about the chapter, not in the textbook. For example, if you learn about World War 2, look up intriguing true stories about the people during that time. It will help you relate to the topic and stop you from losing interest.
Motivation may not be enough to get you through your assignments even after all this. But that is where discipline comes in. Your goal should not be to stay motivated 24/7 but to stay motivated long enough to attain discipline.
5. Miscellaneous Tips
- Stick up posters or post-it notes with motivational quotes on them in the area that you study. This will give you a psychological boost.
- Make a mood board of what you want your future life to look like. This is a surefire way to get motivated. It allows you to envision your success and aids you in the process of getting there. If you have a visual representation of the dreams you hope to achieve in life, it will lead to you being more aware of what you need to complete to get to that point.
- Ask your teachers for help! Most would be more than willing to assist you with whatever doubts or questions that may arise. It is far better to get those niggling doubts sorted before you get started on your assignments and homework, so they do not pose a barrier to your motivation when you cannot figure something out. There is no need to feel embarrassed about asking questions – it shows you are willing to do the work needed to succeed. If anything, you can approach your teachers after class or email them.
To summarise the points discussed every student should set a schedule, set periods, and decide on a specific place to do their homework. During the process of studies, students should take ample breaks. If you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to compose yourself and do some calming breathing exercises. If they maintain these habits every school week from the time they are children, then in the future, it will be extremely beneficial to them.
As children, we often don’t realize the impact that staying motivated can have on our performance on homework. However, in the future, we can tell people how important it is when they ask us.
Education is essential, but good grades are not everything. As long as you, as a student, put in the effort in all your tasks, then there is nothing that can stop your success. We hope this article gives you a sense. What tips and tricks do you share with people when they ask you? Let us know in the comments!