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Zip Through Your Homework
by Ron Kurtus (revised 16 January 2017)
Some students seem to spend more time on their homework than they would like to. For them, it seems like it never ends. They feel that homework is a drag and takes much more time from life than it should.
Your attitude should be that you want to zip through your homework, so you can go out and have fun but still learn the material and get good grades. There are some special skills you need in order to do that.
Questions you may have include:
- Why don't many students zip through their homework?
- What attitudes do you need?
- Are there any special skills needed?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Many don't zip
Most students would like to spend less time on their homework but very few actually look into methods that can cut the time spent on it.
What some students do
Some simply skip their homework and pay the consequences of poor grades and not learning things. Others are so worried about doing well, that they devote their lives to homework instead of finishing it quickly and being able to go out and have some fun.
Some students have problems simply getting started with their homework.
Andrea had a problem with procrastination. When it was time to do her homework, she would find something trivial that she “had to do” before starting her assignments.
By the time she finally got started, it was late in the evening, so she didn't have time to finish or do a good job.
Be effective and efficient
You don't want to spend more time than is necessary on homework unless it is something you truly enjoy doing. You want to get through the material in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Think of getting the job done
How fast you go through your homework has much to do with your attitude and priorities. You should think in terms of getting the work done, even before you start. The choice is yours whether to spend the whole evening on homework or to do a good job done as quickly as possible.
Focus on allotted time
If your goal is to get through with your homework as soon as possible, because you have other things you want to do, then you must set your mind to that goal and focus at completing the task in an allotted time period.
How much time should you spend?
Teachers usually have an idea of how long the homework assignments they give should take you. Some say you should spend one hour per class hour, while other teachers require less time.
Find out what their estimate is. If you are taking much longer than the teacher expects, then it is possible that you are ineffective in your study habits.
Time how long it takes you to do the homework in each subject. By measuring the approximate time it takes, you can tell if you are spending more time than you should on a specific subject.
Use special homework skills
Once you have set your mind to how you are going to do your homework, you get down to the actual task. Homework usually consists of reading material in your textbook and doing written assignments. Sometimes you must do outside research on a subject.
You want to be able to read the material rapidly, understand what you read and remember important points. Then you must answer questions, solve problems or write out reports. You want to go through each area quickly and efficiently. In some areas there are skills to increase your effectiveness.
(Check out the lessons on Special Homework Skills and Reading Faster for detailed tips and methods).
Get it done
You want to get your homework done as fast as possible. Who wants to spend excess time on homework, when there are other things to do?
The way to do get it done is to manage your time, don't get sidetracked, keep focused and switch subjects when saturated.
Jose was involved in many activities at school, so he needed to zip through his homework and still get good grades. He set his mind to doing his work effectively and efficiently. The self-discipline really helped him.
(See Get Your Homework Done for more information.)
You can zip through your homework if you have the proper mind-set, use some simple techniques such as reading faster and improving your memory, and focus on finishing your homework.
Examine how you do things
Resources and references
Ron Kurtus' Credentials
How To Do Homework FAST - 2 Steps to Speed (Without Anxiety)
Get Your Homework Done Fast - WikiHow
5 tips for getting homework done without a fight - Advice for parents
How can you do your homework more efficiently? - WikiAnswers
Homeworkhelp.com - Provides some free lessons but also charges for better information
Homework Helper - Lists of homework webistes for all levels from CollegeScholarships.org
Good Grades Resources
Top-rated books on Studying
Questions and comments
Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
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Homework is no fun, especially if you’ve got a full schedule. You only have a little bit of time and a little bit of energy. And it takes so long to get through it.
Not anymore. We’ve got some helpful homework hacks for you that will make doing your homework faster and less painful.
1. Plan Your Homework and Make a List
When you start your homework, you’ll probably jump right into the first thing on your mind or the first thing you pull out of your backpack, then work your way through the rest of your assignments. There’s a better way.
Figure out how much time you have to do homework, then list out all the different tasks that you have to do. Estimate how long it will take to complete each assignment to see if you need to allow yourself more time. Be realistic. Once your list is complete you can work straight through instead of stopping frequently to figure out what to do next. It will also be extremely gratifying to cross things off after each assignment you finish!
2. Get Out All the Books and Supplies You Need
While you’re working, you discover you need a calculator, you need a certain book, you need a new pencil, you ran out of paper… the list can go on.
Since you’ve now identified all your assignments, figure out everything you need to get each item done and bring it to your workspace so it’s there when you need it.
3. Find a Quiet Place to Work Without Distractions
Speaking of workspace, you probably prefer doing your homework in front of the TV, but that can actually be the biggest distraction of all. Sitting in front of the TV is probably slowing you down, making homework time seem much longer that it actually is.
Find a place that’s quiet, with as few distractions and clutter possible. Remember, the faster you get it done, the faster you can get back to fully enjoying Netflix.
4. Turn Off Your Phone
We know this is probably the last thing you want to hear. How can you live without your phone? But for a couple hours, its totally worth it. Every time you get a notification and check your phone, it breaks your focus. It then takes more brain power to get back on track to what you were working on.
5. Listen to Classical Music While Working
We know what you’re thinking… Classical music? Seriously?
However, classical music is great for background audio. There aren’t any lyrics or beats to distract your focus. And research has shown that students who listen to classical music score higher on tests than students who listen to other genres of music. So find some good classical playlist on Spotify, then celebrate with Queen Bey when you’re done.
6. Eat Snacks and Drink Water
At the end of a long day, you may be mentally and physically tired. If you go straight into homework it may take you a long time to finish and it won’t be your best work.
Having some light healthy snacks and drinking plenty of water helps revitalize your brain and body. Avoid soda, energy drinks, or sugary snacks that will only make you crash before you’re done.
7. Take Short Breaks in Between Homework Tasks
If you have a lot to do, you may feel the pressure to just work straight through hours and hours of homework. But this will likely end up slowing you down, prolonging the entire session.
Do your work in short sprints. Go hard at a task, then take a quick break to stretch and walk around. It’ll re-energize your mind and body to keep going. For starters, try working for 25 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break.
8. Reward Yourself After You’re Finished
Homework isn’t always fun. But negativity can slow you down.
Our brains work off of reward systems. If you give yourself a reward when finishing your homework, it makes it a lot easier to start your homework the next time and you’ll get through it faster. Rewards could be being able to watch a show, eat ice cream, play a game, or going out and doing something fun.
Now that you’ve got all these tips, go get your homework done faster than ever before. It may be hard at first, but keep using these tips and it’ll get easier as you go.
Featured Image: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock
Filed Under: Student LifeTagged With: homework, productivity, study, Tips