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Strategies for tackling homework

Homework: a stepping stone to a successful career

Let’s face it, no one likes homework. After a long day at school followed by the regular chores you need to do when you get home, it’s the last thing you are in the mood for. But here’s the thing – you get homework for good reason. For one, it helps you to learn to work on your own without the supervision of a teacher. It also teaches you how to manage a workload, which will be an essential skill when you start working one day. Homework is also a form of revision which will help you to bring your marks up. So, as crazy as it sounds, try and choose to see your homework as a challenge that will develop your skills and help you reach your goals once you have completed high school.

Here are some important strategies you can use to help you cope with homework:

Do as much work as you can during school

Focus on your work in the classroom. If you listen and take in the lesson, the homework will be easier and less time-consuming. If you are left with ten minutes ‘free time’ in the lesson, use that time wisely. If you are given a free period, use that time to get some of your homework done. Just don’t rush through it – doing it well only benefits you.

Take a break before you get started

Give yourself a set amount of time to relax and have something to eat after school before starting with your homework. A break will give you more energy to focus on what you need to do. Remember to drink water so that you are hydrated and try not to snack on unhealthy food – too much sugar impairs concentration.

Take regular breaks

Don’t work without breaks. You will get tired and demotivated. If you know you will be taking a break after each hour of work, you will feel less stressed and have something to look forward to. During your break, take a walk outside and get some fresh air if you can, maybe even some vitamin D if the sun is shining. But the important thing is to move away from where you are working during your breaks.

Keep distractions to the minimum

Leave the TV off and listen to some soft, soothing music in the background so that you don’t get distracted. Even the radio can get your mind wondering. It will take you much longer to complete your homework if you keep getting distracted. And it goes without saying that you should mute your phone too!

Set a specific time to do your homework each day

This will form a habit. Once you get into the habit of doing your homework at the same time every day, you will get into a routine. Research has shown that having routines makes it easier to reach goals without making excuses.

Put a schedule together to manage task deadlines

If you have multiple tasks and projects with various deadlines, put together a schedule to help you manage your homework. The worst thing you can do is leave your tasks and projects until the day before each deadline. Set aside time to work on long term projects a little at a time every day, this will help you meet the deadline without feeling overwhelmed. Putting off work only means you will fall behind on all your other work too, which then makes deadlines seem completely unachievable. Planning is a great way to stay on track – there is no better feeling than ticking off tasks!

A positive approach

This may seem like a difficult thing to do because most of us see homework as a burden. But here’s a challenge – train yourself to replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. For example, when you find yourself thinking, “I hate homework, it’s such a waste of time!” Stop and remind yourself that every bit of work you do is developing your mind and preparing you for a successful career!

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