Homework is already tough when you have to show up for a class in the morning. It gets even more so if there is nowhere to show up to! For that reason, when you’re a digital student, you need every other advantage you can get to make sure that you get your stuff done on time. For, just because your course is online doesn’t mean you want it to last forever!
Sometimes you don’t have time to do your homework, in that way you can always ask an essay writing service to write my paper for me. But if you have a lot of time, you should do it by yourself. To help you with that, we’ve gathered together some of the best ideas to help you get through your homework. In that way, you can be sure that you’ll not only get done what you’re supposed to, but you’ll even have time for the fun stuff in life. Now doesn’t that sound awesome?
So let’s get to it.
I can resist anything except temptation
Oscar Wilde was onto something when he said the above quote. Scientists have demonstrated that those people who are the best at resisting temptation, don’t actually resist the temptation at all. Instead, they avoid temptation entirely. And that makes sense, after all, studying already requires willpower to keep going, why make things harder by calling on that limited resource even more?
The thing is, since Oscar’s time (can I call him Oscar? Is that too personal?) the temptations haven’t just gotten more plentiful, they’ve also gotten a heck of a lot easier to reach. For that reason, you need to take steps to put them further out of reach again.
The easiest way to do so is to use a program like ‘stay focused’. This will block certain websites for you during specific hours of your day. Then you won’t go onto social media, you won’t be tempted to watch a film on Netflix, or do anything else that might tempt you away from getting your stuff done.
If that seems too much for you, then there are some other tricks you can use. For example, when you start studying log out of your social media. Just the act of putting in your password is a drag (and if it isn’t, then change your password so that it once again is).
Similarly, turn off the auto-fill-in function on your browser, so that you can’t get to the pages that distract you the most often with a few keystrokes. Every bit harder you make it reach a page will make it a little less likely that you’ll go there.
Stop focusing on the whole mountain
If you want to climb a mountain, you don’t think about how long it will take you to get to the top. That will often defeat you before you’ve even got going! Instead, you focus on the step you’re taking, then on the next.
It’s the same with homework. It can be entirely overwhelming if you think about it in terms of everything you’ve got to do. If on the other hand, you divide it up into manageable chunks, it becomes a great deal easier.
There are many ways to do that. You can just rethink your task into a lot of smaller ones. For example, if you’re writing an essay you can have a research phase, a first draft phase, an editing phase, and so on. Then just focus on finishing the phase you’re in and be happy about having done it. You can even reward yourself (more on that later).
Alternatively, you can use something like the Tomato Timer. This timer is automatically set to 25 minutes. The goal is to work for 25 minutes on a task uninterrupted. Afterward, you can stop, or go do something else (or set the timer again if you find you’re in a good flow).
25 minutes is very manageable and therefore will stop all that procrastination that actually wastes the most time for most of us.
It is a lot easier to live up to commitments if you feel that when you don’t do so, you disadvantage another person. For that reason, find other people who are taking the same course and work together. This will create an extra stick behind the door that will make you actually live up to your commitments.
Even better, make sure that person has a face, not just some internet handle. When you’ve looked a person in the eyes (even if it’s just the eyes of skype) then you don’t just consciously but also subconsciously understand that person is a real person. And that will help you do what’s necessary to do the research paper writing, find a good essay topics list, or whatever else you need to do.
Of course, if you follow this strategy, you do have to find somebody who is willing to meet their obligations, for if they do not, then there is a good chance that sooner or later your resentment of what they’re up to will lead you to resent the work you’ve got to do.
If you manage to do something faster than you intended, or when you manage to get through something that was hard, go ahead and reward yourself. Maybe call a friend, watch a TV show, or go take a nap.
The reason you want to do this is that when you reward yourself, your brain starts connecting doing something with receiving something and that makes it far less stressful to do it (in the jargon this is known as ‘classical conditioning’).
Of course, what you should not do is reward yourself out of a day. Don’t work for half an hour and then take the rest of the day off. Instead, stick to short rewards that only last 10 or 15 minutes or so, then get back to it.
For example, if you have a show you really enjoy, do half an hour of work, watch 15 minutes, do half an hour of work, do another 15, and so on. In that way, an hour-long show will let you do two hours of homework. What’s more, it will be completely manageable, you’ll not resent it, and you’ll probably be able to keep it going for quite a long time as well.
We person is an island
Your environment is influencing you, whether you’re aware of it or not. There are many ways that this can happen, but probably the most well-known way is through something called ‘priming’. This is where things that you’re not even aware of still influence your behavior.
The most famous example of this was where a group of students was given word lists to unscramble. Unbeknownst to them, the lists had a certain tilt. Some lists had lots of reminders of elderly people in there, while others were skewed towards youth and vitality.
After the study, people were asked if they noticed these words. None of them did. Nonetheless, when they were timed walking from the desk where they’d unscrambled the list, those given cues of elderliness walked markedly slower than those given cues of youth. Priming has received a lot of support. People cued with words of rudeness, for example, interrupt conversations more quickly.
What this means for you is that there is a real possibility that things in your environment are actually cutting you into not doing your homework. Can you see magazines about leisure time, your TV, or other distracting things from where you are trying to work? Then these are probably affecting how long you’re working.
For that reason, get rid of them. Clean your environment from cues that will keep you from focusing on your work and trigger thoughts about other activities. Replace them with things that will make you more studious. Just doing that will already make your brain far more ready for doing the work.
Doing your homework is a habit. That means that it can be a real drag initially. Just bear with it. Keep it up for a while and it will get easier, as your brain gets rewired. Even better, if you manage to have good homework habits, then you’ll be able to take this into other aspects of your life as well. Not only will you do well at doing homework, but you’ll be able to be productive at a job, will be better able to read important books and reports, and so on.
Yes, often doing homework is a drag. The thing is, it’s a matter of delayed gratification. If you can delay this, then you’ll be able to enjoy a better life, with more resources and more possibilities. All you’ve got to do is sit down, day after day, to get your work done.
Now to me, that sounds like it’s worth it. But if it doesn’t to you, then be my guest and go do something else. Just don’t complain to anybody when you’ve got to repeat the year or worse yet, you find out it’s too late and you’re going to have to make do without that diploma and that degree. It doesn’t matter what problems you’ve got or what difficulties you’ve got to overcome, the buck has to stop somewhere. And it stops with you.