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Staying on top of homework can be hard and overwhelming. Some students get so overwhelmed by it all that they shove it aside and don’t do it. Obviously, if you do that you suffer even more because your grades go down. Following some simple tips for success will help make homework less painful.

“Do what you have to so you can do what you want to.” Oprah Winfrey 

Dump It

Want to free your mind of scattered and overwhelming thoughts? Do a brain dump! Sometimes it is hard for students to get started with their homework because they have so much on their mind and they don’t know where to begin.

Why do I need to do a brain dump if I already use my planner?

First of all, if you are using your planner kudos to you. Sometimes we may still feel overwhelmed with everything we have to do even if it is been entered into our planner. This is usually because many of the things in our planner involve several actions to complete. So while we may have 4 things in our planner to do it may feel like we have 10 things to do. Ahhh!

What do I do?

Get out a blank piece of paper and do a brain dump before starting your homework. *This doesn’t need to be super neat and organized. It’s more about getting everything out of your head and onto the paper.
Write down everything you have to do.
Next to each task write the smaller tasks you need to do to get the big task done. Estimate how much time you need for each task and write the amount of time needed next to each task.
Write a number next to each task showing which one is most important in order of its priority.

I have trouble starting. I procrastinate.

  • Set an alarm to begin
  • Remember your why and your long term goals
  • Take a few deep breaths and stretch
  • Turn on your study music playlist to get motivated

It’s hard to stay on task.

  • Use the Pomodoro technique
  • Remember your why. Why is it important to you to succeed?
  • Pick a study environment conducive to success.
  • Use timers

When am I supposed to do all my homework? I feel like I have no time!

  • Use your time wisely! Use study halls and free periods to get all you can done at school so you have less to do at home.
  • Communicate with teachers/ professors. Ask questions. They will appreciate and respect that you want to do well.
  • Know when, where, and how you learn best. Know your learning strengths and what study strategies work best for you and use them.
  • Hang a dry erase board in your room. These are great for brainstorming and working stuff out. *Buy whiteboard at home depot and they will cut it to whatever size you want.
  • Hang a calendar in your room to keep track of upcoming assignments, tests, and projects.
  • Once again making time visible will help you stay on track.
  • Take breaks! The pomodoro technique is a great way to ensure you take breaks. You can use any timer or alarm to take breaks too. When you take a break walk away from your work! Go outside and take a breath of fresh air. Go to the kitchen and drink some water. Go play with your pet for five minutes. Breaks are vital to success!
  • Monitor your grades. Check your grades at least once per week. It’s important to analyze your progress so you know what’s working and what’s not, and decide if you need to do something different.

What is one thing you want to start doing in the next week to manage your homework.?

What action steps do you need to take to make it happen?

Was this helpful? Find more help like this in the book, Learn Like A Ninja. Examine how you learn best and create systems that work for you. Obtain useful strategies for math, reading, and writing. Conquer big projects and tests. Reach your academic goals with three super powers.

Melanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With over ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“