You have the best of intentions when you sit down to do your homework. You have your books, your notepad, your laptop, your study materials… and no motivation to open any of them or start studying. Before you know it hours have passed, you’ve checked up on all of your friends on Facebook, you can recite everything happening in current events, and you have nothing to show as far as your homework is concerned. Procrastinating doing your homework may be normal, but it certainly isn’t productive and it definitely isn’t going to get you very far when it comes to passing your classes. So how do you avoid falling into the procrastination pitfall?
- Recognize when you’re making excuses. There are legitimate reasons for putting off doing homework and then there are excuses. For instance, if your dog is sick and needs to see a vet, that’s a good reason to delay homework. But do you really need to check your email for the fifth time before you start your homework? Is it imperative that you update your Facebook status to let everyone know that you’ll be busy for the next couple hours? Probably not. These things are just excuses for putting off the inevitable. When you start finding yourself falling back on these excuses it’s time to buck up and just get your homework done.
- Admit to yourself that you need help. Sometimes we procrastinate doing things that have to get done simply because we don’t actually understand the material that we’re studying and we’re intimidated at the thought of trying to tackle it. If this is the case you may want to consider hiring a tutor or going to see your teacher after class to discuss the things that you don’t understand. Far too often we’re too proud to admit that something doesn’t make sense, and so we just put off doing it instead. It’s ok to get help when you need it.
- Break down your to-do list into smaller tasks. If you have a lot of homework and the sheer amount of it is causing you to put off doing it then you may need to section out what you’re doing into smaller, more manageable tasks. Doing so will make it less daunting and easier to tackle, which can help give you motivation to get it done instead of putting off the inevitable.
- Set goals and take mini-breaks when you reach them. Instead of trying to get three hours’ worth of homework done all in one go, set goals or milestones to reach and then take mini-breaks once you reach them. Allow yourself to get up, stretch, and take a mental breather before tackling the next goal on your list. Having something to work towards can keep you motivated so that you can avoid falling into the procrastination trap.
- Start with the hardest homework and work toward the easiest. Don’t make the mistake of saving your hardest homework until last because by the time you’ve done the rest of your homework you definitely won’t want to spend the time or energy doing something that doesn’t come easily to you. Instead start with the hardest stuff and work backwards to the easiest. You’re less likely to procrastinate doing stuff you understand, so once you get started you can keep the ball rolling.
Procrastination can be detrimental when it comes to succeeding in school, so when you notice that you’re slipping into a pattern of procrastinating use these tips to get back on track.
Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance. He is a regular contributor of “http://www.gonannies.com/”. You can get in touch with him at email@example.com.