How to motivate yourself to do homework

It is no secret that getting motivated to do homework after a full day of classes and other activities is nearly impossible. After a busy day at school, all you want to do is relax and lounge around, maybe watch a good TV show and call it a day. But the reality of student life is that there is always some reading and studying to be done. And if it’s not school work, it is actual work or your social engagements. Balancing all of this is a challenge, to say the least, but it doesn’t have to be. Now, despite these unavoidable facts of life, let us at least offer some tips and tricks to help you find the motivation to do homework.

Why are you procrastinating?

The first step on your way to overcome whatever holds you back and find the motivation to do homework you need to identify what is making it hard for you to start working. There is no number of tips and tricks that will help before you identify the root of the problem. Procrastination is a complex issue that usually involves multiple factors. Once you identify the cause, you can start working on a solution which will enable you to start moving forward and start working.

1. Remove all distractions

Many students try to do their work in a loud and busy environment. Such is the nature of student life, but this makes getting things done all the more difficult. Having your TV on, staying online, or chatting with friends is no way to be able to do your homework on time and get good grades. So, in order to be able to focus on your work completely, make sure that the TV, computer, and phone are off or on silent. If the temptation is too big, put all of your devices in another room or ask a friend to keep them away from you until you are done with your work


2. Build your focus gradually

Even after you remove all of your distractions it is unrealistic to expect that magically you will be able to pay attention for hours. You cannot beat procrastination overnight. You can start small and decide that you will focus on something for 10 minutes. Once you are doing that with ease, you can gradually take it up to 15 and then more. Before you will know it, you will be able to work away on your task for hours on end without getting distracted

3. Create a schedule

You should write down all of your assignments and look at your day-to-day life. Next, you need to schedule your activities and allocate time for learning and doing school work. When the time for assignments comes, do not avoid it but simply start working. With a nice spreadsheet, you can see all the time you truly have available and can even take advantage of some smaller time slots to complete smaller tasks. You would be surprised what all you can get done in just 10 minutes.


4. Get organized

You might be thinking ‘’I already made a schedule, what else am I supposed to do?’’ Well, creating a schedule is a great start, but in order to remember which task is due when and which test is coming up, just a schedule won’t be enough. You will most likely be needing a planner. It can either be physical or digital, whatever suits you best. A smart thing to do once you have a planner is to write down all of your assignments and take a look at your tasks for the following day at least a day before. Once you are organized, everything will fall into place and you will no longer struggle to stay motivated to do homework or study.


5. Try doing it just for a few minutes

Starting a task that you know will take you a long time to complete is difficult to start and students tend to procrastinate on such tasks. You should set a timer and try doing it for 10 minutes and see where it gets you. Maybe you will get into it and continue working. If that doesn’t happen, don’t worry. At least you started working on it and it will be much easier to return to it the next time. It’s much easier to stay motivated to do homework when you have already put the groundwork in.

6. Break it down into smaller chunks

This trick will help make any task seem more manageable. If you, for example, have a really long report to write, the mere thought of it can seem so off-putting that you might not even want to start, let alone finish. So, you procrastinate on such a task and do it at the last minute and not get the results you wished for. Breaking it down into smaller chunks makes you more motivated to do homework because you know you don’t need to finish it in one sitting. You can break the task however you want – into chunks of 10 minutes or by steps. Then just focus on one step at a time.

7. Time is everything

If you find it difficult to find the motivation to do homework in the afternoons, switch it up! Who knew, maybe you are a morning person. To truly figure this out, take a look at your energy levels throughout the day and notice when you are the most effective. If you can, go ahead and schedule study sessions at that time and notice how your efficiency changes. Getting things done easier and more efficiently will help you get more excited to start working in the future and in turn, make you more motivated to do homework.

8. Location, location, location

Finding the right location that is task-appropriate is truly a game-changer. Working in a positive and uplifting environment can help reduce the anxiety you have about finishing your homework on time and help you get motivated to do homework. So, if you find yourself procrastinating and not being excited to start working, try a new area and switch it up. Changing the scenery once in a while will get your creative juices flowing and fuel your motivation to do homework.

9. Tidy desk tidy mind

Not only can clutter be distracting it also causes you stress which is often found at the root of your procrastination. How can you be motivated to do homework if your entire working space is a mess? You don’t think so? Well, give it a try! By cleaning up your space you will reduce some of the stress and become more organized. You can also make it a weekly ritual by setting aside 10 minutes once a week in order to clear your space and your mind and start working.


10. Take breaks

The idea of taking a 15 minute break or more when you have a million tasks to complete seems crazy, but even when you are stuffed for the time it is necessary to rest. Doing any task, even one you enjoy, for several consecutive hours can be tiring, this is why you need to rest. A small break can help you gather your thoughts, refresh your memory, and even your motivation to do homework.

11. Schedule appointments with yourself

The appointments can be either a chunk of time that you dedicate to working on something or set due dates for submission. Scheduling appointments is effective because it makes completing your homework sound more official and will make you take it seriously. And what is a better motivation to do your homework than an approaching deadline? Most students would argue that there is none

12. Tell other people about your plans

If you are one to not keep promises to yourself, try promising things to other people. It is easy to give up on a task when only you know about it, but telling other people and not doing it is much more serious. When you tell others about your plans, you will be more likely to follow through solely because of the pressure this creates. If you know this, why not use it to your advantage? Sometimes, you need to use certain tips or tricks to fool yourself into doing your schoolwork.

13. Reward yourself

Maybe the reason you find it hard to stay motivated to do homework is that you feel like you are working all the time and get no reward. Understandably having good grades should serve as a reward within itself, but you only receive this reward when your homework is turned in and your exams are over. It would be unrealistic to expect yourself to be motivated to do homework all the time without rewarding your efforts along the way. The reward can be either a special treat or just a 15 minute break after you finish a part of your assignment.

14. Crime and Punishment

When we speak about rewards, we cannot go without mentioning consequences. As much as it is important to reward yourself for a job well done, you also need to figure out what kind of consequences will you impose on yourself if you do not complete your homework on time. For example, you can donate 1$ to charity for every missed deadline or offer to do a chore for a friend every time you don’t complete your goal. Such consequences will definitely serve as a good motivator and will have you start working in no time!

15. Keep the results in mind

In reality, the best motivation to do your homework is your long-term goals. Understandably, it is hard to keep them in mind all of the time, but you can set smaller reminders for yourself, to not lose sight of the bigger picture. Achieving long-term goals doesn’t happen overnight and realizing this is half the work done already. With this in mind, you know that you need to put in some effort into it daily. Slowly chipping away at a task might seem like a lot of work for nothing, but there are few things in life that feel as good as reaching your goals.

16. Get a study buddy

Working alongside a friend can make schoolwork much more enjoyable. Not only can you help each other stay motivated to do homework, but you can also be of great help to one another. The only thing you need to make sure of is picking the right buddy that is a serious set on completing tasks as you are and will not distract you and divert your attention from the important things.

Working with a friend doesn’t mean that you complete the same task together, sometimes it is even better if you work with a buddy that works on something completely else. While they struggle with their motivation, they can take a 15 minute break and help you on your assignment and you can do the same when you get bored of yours.


17. Surround yourself with hardworking people

Speaking of study buddies, try to find friends that are focused and hardworking. If you surround yourself with such people, you will become more like them. It is hard to hang around successful and motivated people and not have some of that rub off on you. So, choose your friends wisely. Find buddies that will have a positive influence on your life by helping you to stay motivated to do homework and make other smart choices later on in life.

18. Exercise

It is difficult to stay focused on your work and stay motivated to do homework when you are tired, your back hurts, or are generally feeling stuck. Exercise is a great way to deal with this. Something as small as doing breathing exercises can help you stay alert and sharp. Other great exercises you can try are yoga, running, or lifting weights. Just make sure it doesn’t make you too tired to continue working on your tasks!


19. Listen to music

One of the best and easiest things you can do to stay motivated to do homework is listening to music. The music you choose doesn’t have to suit your mood. You can use it to relax, focus or even get energized – whatever you need. Just make sure the music you choose won’t be too loud and distracting. If you choose well, it can even help you increase your concentration and motivation.

20. Visualize success

If you are feeling foggy and are having a hard time finding the motivation to do homework, take a few seconds and imagine what you will feel like when your work is done. Focus on the positive emotions you are experiencing and draw your motivation from there. Most likely you will experience a sense of satisfaction and a feeling of freedom that only finished homework can bring. Channel these emotions and use them to guide you through your work.

21. Visualize the process

When visualizing we can get too stuck on the end result only and end up disregarding the path that took us there. Focusing on the process is critical to success, especially if you find bits and bobs that you enjoyed. Every time you are procrastinating or are not feeling motivated to do homework, visualize all the resources you will need to succeed, people who will help you along the way, and the joy you will feel when you will make progress. Understand this as a mental exercise. Once you will understand everything that it takes to complete your tasks it will be much easier to start working.

22. Write down your why

Sometimes something as simple as writing down your reasons ‘why,’ can make all the difference. Keeping a list at hand will make it clear to you why you want to accomplish a task and will serve as a great motivator in times when you have no motivation to do homework. It can serve as a great visual reminder of the reasons behind your efforts.


23. Imagine how will it feel if you don’t complete it

Nobody likes to feel afraid or disappointed, but these are necessary emotions that teach us valuable lessons. Of course, it is not smart to dwell on these negative feelings, but understanding why you feel this way and learning from your mistakes will make you realize how important it is to get to work. If that is not a good way to become motivated to do homework, I don’t know what is!

24. Finish the easiest task first

Some students will choose the hardest task first and halfway through feel too overwhelmed to continue and take an endless break from doing any work whatsoever. But choosing to start small will help your motivation to do homework for longer. You will finish your first task in no time and the feeling you will get from it is a motivating force you cannot substitute with anything else. Having one checkmark on your to-do list will make you want to finish another task and then another and another…

25. Focus on progress instead of perfection

Nothing can destroy being motivated to do homework quite like perfectionism. Most students procrastinate because they are waiting for the perfect time to start. Others waste time pushing themselves beyond their limits because they want their homework to be done perfectly. Perfection is an honorable goal, but an unrealistic one. You will do much better and will be happier if you decide to focus on the progress, you are making instead. There will never be a perfect time for anything and nothing will ever be perfect, but you can always be better than you were before.

26. Adjust your attitude

Have you ever heard that the way you talk about things determines how you feel about them? No wonder you are not feeling motivated to do homework if you keep telling yourself that you ‘’have to write your report’’ or ‘’can’t wait to be done with this assignment’’. Complaining about your schoolwork will make you feel annoyed and complain even more. It’s a vicious cycle. The alternative is to start talking about your assignments differently and observe how in changes your mood. Try saying ‘’I get to write an essay’’ or ‘’I choose to read this book’’. In reality, you don’t ‘have’ to do anything, you are privileged enough to be able to go to school and you ‘get’ to learn things. And in turn, sometimes you ‘’choose to do homework’’ or ‘’get to do an assignment.’’

27. Get enough sleep

No wonder you are finding it hard to stay motivated to do homework if you are not getting enough sleep. It is almost impossible to feel motivated when you are tired. It is hard enough getting through your day when you are groggy, let alone study or do homework. If you want to be successful and get good grades, this is one of the first things you need to fix. Make sure you get somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep and that you don’t stay up too late and stay on your phone long into the night.


28. Put your homework on your desk

This tip sounds almost too simple and ridiculous to be included, but hear me out. The hardest part of any task is starting, so taking your homework out of your bag and setting it up on a desk is the simplest thing you can do. Once you will have it sitting there, waiting for you, it will not only be much easier to start working on it, but also much easier to stay motivated to do homework. It’s right there, waiting for you. All you need is to sit down for a while and start.

30. If it takes less than two minutes, do it now

When you are not feeling motivated to do homework you tend to take a break which oftentimes turns into a day or even a week. Tasks pile up, stress increases and suddenly you are in a panic mode. You start cleaning up, start doing things and suddenly you think ‘’Why haven’t I done this sooner? It only took me a minute!’’. Sounds familiar? I hear you. Try making it a habit that if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, you do it on the spot. You will save yourself so much stress in the future.

31. Write down three things you are thankful for

It can even be four things or more. However many you can come up with on the spot. Being grateful for things in your life makes you more conscious of your environment and the things that surround you. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it will be to find motivation everywhere around you, and I mean everywhere. Yes, even in your homework. So, the next time before you start working, write down three things you are thankful for and think of them in times of need. They can be as simple as health, good weather, or a comfortable chair. If you feel like it, you could even keep a gratitude journal you can turn to in times of crisis or simply when you lack inspiration.

Lack of motivation, procrastination, and a desire to quit is something we all experience. But considering the fact that you are here, reading this, shows how committed you are to fixing your problem and that is what matters most. Having a desire to change is as strong as to change itself. Identifying the problem and deciding that you will work on it, means that you are almost halfway there. For the other half – use the tips and tricks that are written above and start changing your life for the better.

Feel free to implement those changes as fast or slow as it feels right for you and do not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of tips offered. The end goal is always to be better, not to be perfect.

How to motivate yourself to do homework

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