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4 tips for college students to avoid procrastinating with their online work

procrastinating online homework

Cyphert Distinguished Professor; Professor of Learning Technologies; Director of The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning, The Ohio State University

procrastinating online homework

Assistant Professor of Instructional Systems Design and Technology, Sam Houston State University

Disclosure statement

Kui Xie receives funding from Institute for Educational Sciences, Spencer Foundation, Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Higher Education, and Ohio Mayfield School District.

Shonn Cheng does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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If you take classes online, chances are you probably procrastinate from time to time.

Research shows that more than 70% of college students procrastinate, with about 20% consistently doing it all the time.

Procrastination is putting off starting or finishing a task despite knowing that it will seriously compromise the quality of your work – for instance, putting off a major class project until the last minute.

In fact, research has shown that procrastination can be a harmful behavior that lowers a student’s grades .

Now that so many colleges and universities are operating remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we worry that students are more prone to procrastinate because they have less access to campus facilities and structured support from instructors. We raise these concerns as researchers who study students’ motivation and engagement and their procrastination in online learning .

As professors, we’ve also heard our fair share of explanations and excuses for why students missed deadlines. Everything from “my computer doesn’t work” to “my Wi-Fi went dead.” We even had one student claim that “Grandma died” in one course and that “Grandpa died” in another course. We also have had students claim that their roommate deleted their homework.

Whether you see those reasons as valid or not, none of them really gets at why students procrastinate and end up in those kinds of situations in the first place. With that in mind, here are four tips that can help students deal better with the root causes of procrastination when it comes to online coursework.

1. Manage motivation

One of the main reasons students procrastinate is that they do not see their coursework as relevant to what they’re doing now or expect to do later on. When students find that their academic tasks are interesting, important and useful, they are more likely to try harder to get them done and less likely to put them off .

Remote learning can make students feel bored and frustrated . Therefore, finding ways to stay motivated can prevent procrastination .

Remind yourself of the practical value of your academic tasks. Figure out the reasons you’re studying something in the first place.

For instance, instead of viewing the completion of an assignment as a way to fulfill course requirements, you can think about how to turn your coursework into something related to your life or career goals. For a computer science student, a programming assignment could be made a part of your portfolio to help secure an internship or even a job – as some of our own students have done. A research report could be turned into an academic journal article to enhance your profile when applying for graduate school in the future.

2. Manage goals, tasks and time

College life can get hectic. Many college students must juggle coursework, social events and work commitments at the same time. Getting more organized helps stave off procrastination. This means breaking long-term goals into smaller short-term, challenging and clear goals and tasks.

The reason this technique works is that procrastination is directly related to an individual’s preference and desire for working on a task. When a goal is too large, it becomes not immediately achievable; therefore, you will see this task as less desirable and be more likely to put it off.

By breaking a large long-term goal into a series of smaller and more concrete subgoals, you will see the project as easier to complete and, more importantly, your perceived distance to the finishing line will shorten. This way, you are more likely to perceive the project as desirable , and you will be less likely to procrastinate.

Second, you need to plan your time daily by listing tasks based on their importance and urgency, estimating how much time you need to complete each task, and identifying concrete steps to reach daily goals. That is, tell yourself that in the context of X, I will need to do Y to accomplish Z.

It is also important to plan your time according to how and when you prefer to study . For example, you may concentrate the most late at night, your memory may work the best in the early mornings, or you may collaborate better during the day.

In addition, you should use tech tools, such as calendar and task-management apps, to plan your time and monitor how much you’re getting done.

3. Create a good learning space

Another important way to avoid procrastination is to make sure that your learning environment is supportive for learning.

During the coronavirus pandemic, students are usually learning from home, but sometimes they study wherever they happen to be, even at picnic tables in public parks. These places may not be best suited for academic activities.

These environments have many characteristics that may be more interesting and less emotionally draining than academic tasks. Therefore, students could drift away from academic tasks and wind up instead chatting with friends or watching sports. This is why choosing or creating a good place to study can help people stop procrastinating.

Try to set up your surroundings in a way that suits your learning habits, including where you put tables and chairs and how you use lighting and block out noises. For example, some students may enjoy learning in a quiet and dark space with a spotlight. Others may learn best when they use a standing desk next to a bright window and constantly play soft background music.

4. Get a little help from friends

Friends and classmates can help one another stop procrastinating . Colleagues and other contacts can hold one another accountable and help one another meet deadlines. This is particularly important for anyone who struggles with self-control . Research also has shown that having supportive friends and other peers can boost self-confidence and make tasks seem more valuable and interesting.

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Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are physically isolated from most of their friends and classmates. The social support that students normally receive in face-to-face settings, such as after-class chats and study groups, has also been moved to virtual spaces. That is, it’s still available, but mainly through virtual means, such as instant-messaging apps, online collaboration tools or video conferencing software. Used wisely, these tools can help students work with friends to overcome procrastination and make the classwork more enjoyable.

  • Higher education
  • Procrastination
  • College students
  • Self-regulation
  • Pandemic education

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Daniel Wong

30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

Updated on June 6, 2023 By Daniel Wong 44 Comments

Student

To stop procrastinating on homework, you need to find motivation to do the homework in the first place.

But first, you have to overcome feeling too overwhelmed to even start.

You know what it feels like when everything hits you at once, right?

You have three tests to study for and a math assignment due tomorrow.

And you’ve got a history report due the day after.

You tell yourself to get down to work. But with so much to do, you feel overwhelmed.

So you procrastinate.

You check your social media feed, watch a few videos, and get yourself a drink. But you know that none of this is bringing you closer to getting the work done.

Does this sound familiar?

Don’t worry – you are not alone. Procrastination is a problem that everyone faces, but there are ways around it.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to overcome procrastination and consistently find the motivation to do the homework .

So read on to discover 30 powerful tips to help you stop procrastinating on your homework.

Enter your email below to download a PDF summary of this article. The PDF contains all the tips found here, plus  3 exclusive bonus tips that you’ll only find in the PDF.

How to stop procrastinating and motivate yourself to do your homework.

Procrastination when it comes to homework isn’t just an issue of laziness or a lack of motivation .

The following tips will help you to first address the root cause of your procrastination and then implement strategies to keep your motivation levels high.

1. Take a quiz to see how much you procrastinate.

The first step to changing your behavior is to become more self-aware.

How often do you procrastinate? What kinds of tasks do you tend to put off? Is procrastination a small or big problem for you?

To answer these questions, I suggest that you take this online quiz designed by Psychology Today .

2. Figure out why you’re procrastinating.

Procrastination is a complex issue that involves multiple factors.

Stop thinking of excuses for not doing your homework , and figure out what’s keeping you from getting started.

Are you procrastinating because:

  • You’re not sure you’ll be able to solve all the homework problems?
  • You’re subconsciously rebelling against your teachers or parents?
  • You’re not interested in the subject or topic?
  • You’re physically or mentally tired?
  • You’re waiting for the perfect time to start?
  • You don’t know where to start?

Once you’ve identified exactly why you’re procrastinating, you can pick out the tips in this article that will get to the root of the problem.

3. Write down what you’re procrastinating on.

Students tend to procrastinate when they’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But you might be surprised to discover that simply by writing down the specific tasks you’re putting off, the situation will feel more manageable.

It’s a quick solution, and it makes a real difference.

Give it a try and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.

4. Put your homework on your desk.

Homework

Here’s an even simpler idea.

Many times, the hardest part of getting your homework done is getting started.

It doesn’t require a lot of willpower to take out your homework and put it on your desk.

But once it’s sitting there in front of you, you’ll be much closer to actually getting down to work.

5. Break down the task into smaller steps.

This one trick will make any task seem more manageable.

For example, if you have a history report to write, you could break it down into the following steps:

  • Read the history textbook
  • Do online research
  • Organize the information
  • Create an outline
  • Write the introduction
  • Write the body paragraphs
  • Write the conclusion
  • Edit and proofread the report

Focus on just one step at a time. This way, you won’t need to motivate yourself to write the whole report at one go.

This is an important technique to use if you want to study smart and get more done .

6. Create a detailed timeline with specific deadlines.

As a follow-up to Point #5, you can further combat procrastination by creating a timeline with specific deadlines.

Using the same example above, I’ve added deadlines to each of the steps:

  • Jan 30 th : Read the history textbook
  • Feb 2 nd : Do online research
  • Feb 3 rd : Organize the information
  • Feb 5 th : Create an outline
  • Feb 8 th : Write the introduction
  • Feb 12 th : Write the body paragraphs
  • Feb 14 th : Write the conclusion
  • Feb 16 th : Edit and proofread the report

Assigning specific dates creates a sense of urgency, which makes it more likely that you’ll keep to the deadlines.

7. Spend time with people who are focused and hardworking.

Jim Rohn famously said that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

If you hang out with people who are motivated and hardworking, you’ll become more like them.

Likewise, if you hang out with people who continually procrastinate, you’ll become more like them too.

Motivation to do homework naturally increases when you surround yourself with the right people.

So choose your friends wisely. Find homework buddies who will influence you positively to become a straight-A student who leads a balanced life.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! It just means that you and your friends know when it’s time to get down to work and when it’s time to enjoy yourselves.

8. Tell at least two or three people about the tasks you plan to complete.

Group of students

When you tell others about the tasks you intend to finish, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your plans.

This is called “accountability,” and it kicks in because you want to be seen as someone who keeps your word.

So if you know about this principle, why not use it to your advantage?

You could even ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. At the beginning of each day, you could text each other what you plan to work on that day.

Then at the end of the day, you could check in with each other to see if things went according to plan.

9. Change your environment .

Maybe it’s your environment that’s making you feel sluggish.

When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Or is your distracting computer within easy reach?

If your environment is part of your procrastination problem, then change it.

Sometimes all you need is a simple change of scenery. Bring your work to the dining room table and get it done there. Or head to a nearby café to complete your report.

10. Talk to people who have overcome their procrastination problem.

If you have friends who consistently win the battle with procrastination, learn from their experience.

What was the turning point for them? What tips and strategies do they use? What keeps them motivated?

Find all this out, and then apply the information to your own situation.

11. Decide on a reward to give yourself after you complete your task.

“Planned” rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to do your homework.

The reward doesn’t have to be something huge.

For instance, you might decide that after you finish 10 questions of your math homework, you get to watch your favorite TV show.

Or you might decide that after reading one chapter of your history textbook, you get to spend 10 minutes on Facebook.

By giving yourself a reward, you’ll feel more motivated to get through the task at hand.

12. Decide on a consequence you’ll impose on yourself if you don’t meet the deadline.

Consequences

It’s important that you decide on what the consequence will be before you start working toward your goal.

As an example, you could tell your younger brother that you’ll give him $1 for every deadline you don’t meet (see Point #6).

Or you could decide that you’ll delete one game from your phone for every late homework submission.

Those consequences would probably be painful enough to help you get down to work, right?

13. Visualize success.

Take 30 seconds and imagine how you’ll feel when you finish your work.

What positive emotions will you experience?

Will you feel a sense of satisfaction from getting all your work done?

Will you relish the extra time on your hands when you get your homework done fast and ahead of time?

This simple exercise of visualizing success may be enough to inspire you to start doing your assignment.

14. Visualize the process it will take to achieve that success.

Even more important than visualizing the outcome is visualizing the process it will take to achieve that outcome.

Research shows that focusing on the process is critical to success. If you’re procrastinating on a task, take a few moments to think about what you’ll need to do to complete it.

Visualize the following:

  • What resources you’ll need
  • Who you can turn to for help
  • How long the task will take
  • Where you’ll work on the task
  • The joy you’ll experience as you make progress

This kind of visualization is like practice for your mind.

Once you understand what’s necessary to achieve your goal, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get down to work with real focus. This is key to doing well in school .

15. Write down why you want to complete the task.

Why

You’ll be more motivated when you’re clear about why you want to accomplish something.

To motivate yourself to do your homework, think about all the ways in which it’s a meaningful task.

So take a couple of minutes to write down the reasons. Here are some possible ones:

  • Learn useful information
  • Master the topic
  • Enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed the task
  • Become a more focused student
  • Learn to embrace challenges
  • Fulfill your responsibility as a student
  • Get a good grade on the assignment

16. Write down the negative feelings you’ll have if you don’t complete the task.

If you don’t complete the assignment, you might feel disappointed or discouraged. You might even feel as if you’ve let your parents or your teacher – or even yourself – down.

It isn’t wise to dwell on these negative emotions for too long. But by imagining how you’ll feel if you don’t finish the task, you’ll realize how important it is that you get to work.

17. Do the hardest task first.

Most students will choose to do the easiest task first, rather than the hardest one. But this approach isn’t effective because it leaves the worst for last.

It’s more difficult to find motivation to do homework in less enjoyable subjects.

As Brian Tracy says , “Eat that frog!” By this, he means that you should always get your most difficult task out of the way at the beginning of the day.

If math is your least favorite subject, force yourself to complete your math homework first.

After doing so, you’ll feel a surge of motivation from knowing it’s finished. And you won’t procrastinate on your other homework because it will seem easier in comparison.

(On a separate note, check out these tips on how to get better at math if you’re struggling.)

18. Set a timer when doing your homework.

I recommend that you use a stopwatch for every homework session. (If you prefer, you could also use this online stopwatch or the Tomato Timer .)

Start the timer at the beginning of the session, and work in 30- to 45-minute blocks.

Using a timer creates a sense of urgency, which will help you fight off your urge to procrastinate.

When you know you only have to work for a short session, it will be easier to find motivation to complete your homework.

Tell yourself that you need to work hard until the timer goes off, and then you can take a break. (And then be sure to take that break!)

19. Eliminate distractions.

Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:

  • Delete all the games and social media apps on your phone
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone
  • Mute your group chats
  • Archive your inactive chats
  • Turn off your phone, or put it on airplane mode
  • Put your phone at least 10 feet away from you
  • Turn off the Internet access on your computer
  • Use an app like Freedom to restrict your Internet usage
  • Put any other distractions (like food, magazines and books unrelated to your homework) at the other end of the room
  • Unplug the TV
  • Use earplugs if your surroundings are noisy

20. At the start of each day, write down the two to three Most Important Tasks (MITs) you want to accomplish.

Writing a list

This will enable you to prioritize your tasks. As Josh Kaufman explains , a Most Important Task (MIT) is a critical task that will help you to get significant results down the road.

Not all tasks are equally important. That’s why it’s vital that you identify your MITs, so that you can complete those as early in the day as possible.

What do you most need to get done today? That’s an MIT.

Get to work on it, then feel the satisfaction that comes from knowing it’s out of the way.

21. Focus on progress instead of perfection.

Perfectionism can destroy your motivation to do homework and keep you from starting important assignments.

Some students procrastinate because they’re waiting for the perfect time to start.

Others do so because they want to get their homework done perfectly. But they know this isn’t really possible – so they put off even getting started.

What’s the solution?

To focus on progress instead of perfection.

There’s never a perfect time for anything. Nor will you ever be able to complete your homework perfectly. But you can do your best, and that’s enough.

So concentrate on learning and improving, and turn this into a habit that you implement whenever you study .

22. Get organized.

Procrastination is common among students who are disorganized.

When you can’t remember which assignment is due when or which tests you have coming up, you’ll naturally feel confused. You’ll experience school- and test-related stress .

This, in turn, will lead to procrastination.

That’s why it’s crucial that you get organized. Here are some tips for doing this:

  • Don’t rely on your memory ; write everything down
  • Keep a to-do list
  • Use a student planner
  • Use a calendar and take note of important dates like exams, project due dates, school holidays , birthdays, and family events
  • At the end of each day, plan for the following day
  • Use one binder or folder for each subject or course
  • Do weekly filing of your loose papers, notes, and old homework
  • Throw away all the papers and notes you no longer need

23. Stop saying “I have to” and start saying “I choose to.”

When you say things like “I have to write my essay” or “I have to finish my science assignment,” you’ll probably feel annoyed. You might be tempted to complain about your teachers or your school .

What’s the alternative?

To use the phrase “I choose to.”

The truth is, you don’t “have” to do anything.

You can choose not to write your essay; you’ll just run the risk of failing the class.

You can choose not to do your science assignment; you’ll just need to deal with your angry teacher.

When you say “I choose to do my homework,” you’ll feel empowered. This means you’ll be more motivated to study and to do what you ought to.

24. Clear your desk once a week.

Organized desk

Clutter can be demotivating. It also causes stress , which is often at the root of procrastination.

Hard to believe? Give it a try and see for yourself.

By clearing your desk, you’ll reduce stress and make your workspace more organized.

So set a recurring appointment to organize your workspace once a week for just 10 minutes. You’ll receive huge benefits in the long run!

25. If a task takes two minutes or less to complete, do it now.

This is a principle from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done .

You may notice that you tend to procrastinate when many tasks pile up. The way to prevent this from happening is to take care of the small but important tasks as soon as you have time.

Here are some examples of small two-minute tasks that you should do once you have a chance:

  • Replying to your project group member’s email
  • Picking up anything on the floor that doesn’t belong there
  • Asking your parents to sign a consent form
  • Filing a graded assignment
  • Making a quick phone call
  • Writing a checklist
  • Sending a text to schedule a meeting
  • Making an online purchase that doesn’t require further research

26. Finish one task before starting on the next.

You aren’t being productive when you switch between working on your literature essay, social studies report, and physics problem set – while also intermittently checking your phone.

Research shows that multitasking is less effective than doing one thing at a time. Multitasking may even damage your brain !

When it comes to overcoming procrastination, it’s better to stick with one task all the way through before starting on the next one.

You’ll get a sense of accomplishment when you finish the first assignment, which will give you a boost of inspiration as you move on to the next one.

27. Build your focus gradually.

You can’t win the battle against procrastination overnight; it takes time. This means that you need to build your focus progressively.

If you can only focus for 10 minutes at once, that’s fine. Start with three sessions of 10 minutes a day. After a week, increase it to three sessions of 15 minutes a day, and so on.

As the weeks go by, you’ll become far more focused than when you first started. And you’ll soon see how great that makes you feel.

28. Before you start work, write down three things you’re thankful for.

Gratitude

Gratitude improves your psychological health and increases your mental strength .

These factors are linked to motivation. The more you practice gratitude, the easier it will be to find motivation to do your homework. As such, it’s less likely that you’ll be a serial procrastinator.

Before you get down to work for the day, write down three things you’re thankful for. These could be simple things like good health, fine weather, or a loving family.

You could even do this in a “gratitude journal,” which you can then look back on whenever you need a shot of fresh appreciation for the good things in your life.

Either way, this short exercise will get you in the right mindset to be productive.

29. Get enough sleep.

For most people, this means getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. And teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night to function optimally.

What does sleep have to do with procrastination?

More than you might realize.

It’s almost impossible to feel motivated when you’re tired. And when you’re low on energy, your willpower is depleted too.

That’s why you give in to the temptation of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos more easily when you’re sleep-deprived.

Here are ways to get more sleep , and sleep better too:

  • Create a bedtime routine
  • Go to sleep at around the same time every night
  • Set a daily alarm as a reminder to go to bed
  • Exercise regularly (but not within a few hours of bedtime)
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible
  • Remove or switch off all electronic devices before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime
  • Use an eye mask and earplugs

30. Schedule appointments with yourself to complete your homework.

These appointments are specific blocks of time reserved for working on a report, assignment, or project. Scheduling appointments is effective because it makes the task more “official,” so you’re more likely to keep the appointment.

For example, you could schedule appointments such as:

  • Jan 25 th , 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Math assignment
  • Jan 27 th , 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Online research for social studies project
  • Jan 28 th , 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Write introduction for English essay

Transform homework procrastination into homework motivation

Procrastination is a problem we all face.

But given that you’ve read all the way to here, I know you’re committed to overcoming this problem.

And now that you’re armed with these tips, you have all the tools you need to become more disciplined and focused .

By the way, please don’t feel as if you need to implement all the tips at once, because that would be too overwhelming.

Instead, I recommend that you focus on just a couple of tips a week, and make gradual progress. No rush!

Over time, you’ll realize that your habit of procrastination has been replaced by the habit of getting things done.

Now’s the time to get started on that process of transformation. 🙂

Like this article? Please share it with your friends.

Images: Student and books , Homework , Group of students , Consequences , Why , Writing a list , Organized desk , Gratitude

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January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

Ur tips are rlly helpful. Thnkyou ! 🙂

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January 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

You’re welcome 🙂

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August 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

Thanks very much

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February 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm

The funny thing is while I was reading the first few steps of this article I was procrastinating on my homework….

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November 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

same here! but now I actually want to get my stuff done… huh

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December 4, 2022 at 11:35 pm

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May 30, 2023 at 6:26 am

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October 25, 2023 at 11:35 am

fr tho i totally was but now I’m actually going to get started haha

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June 6, 2020 at 6:04 am

I love your articles

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January 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Thanks soo much. It’s almost like you could read my mind- when I felt so overwhelmed with the workload heap I had created for myself by procrastination, I know feel very motivated to tackle it out completely and replace that bad habit with the wonderful tips mentioned here! 🙂

January 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

I’m glad to help 🙂

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January 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

You have shared great tips here. I especially like the point “Write down why you want to complete the task” because it is helpful to make us more motivated when we are clear about our goals

January 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Glad that you found the tips useful, John!

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January 29, 2016 at 1:22 am

Thank you very much for your wonderful tips!!! ☺☺☺

January 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

It’s my joy to help, Kabir 🙂

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February 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Always love your articles. Keep them up 🙂

February 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Thanks, Matthew 🙂

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February 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm

There are quite a lot of things that you need to do in order to come out with flying colors while studying in a university away from your homeland. Procrastinating on homework is one of the major mistakes committed by students and these tips will help you to avoid them all and make yourself more efficient during your student life.

February 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Completely agreed, Leong Siew.

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October 5, 2018 at 12:52 am

Wow! thank you very much, I love it .

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November 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

You are helping me a lot.. thank you very much….😊

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November 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I’m procrastinating by reading this

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November 29, 2018 at 10:21 am

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January 8, 2021 at 3:38 am

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March 3, 2019 at 9:12 am

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! Please keep up your excellent work!

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April 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

We should stop procrastinating.

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September 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Thank you so much for the tips:) i’ve been procrastinating since i started high schools and my grades were really bad “F” but the tips have made me a straight A student again.

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January 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for the tips, Daniel! They’re really useful! 😁

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April 10, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I have always stood first in my class. But procrastination has always been a very bad habit of mine which is why I lost marks for late submission .As an excuse for finding motivation for studying I would spend hours on the phone and I would eventually procrastinate. So I tried your tips and tricks today and they really worked.i am so glad and thankful for your help. 🇮🇳Love from India🇮🇳

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April 15, 2020 at 11:16 am

Well I’m gonna give this a shot it looks and sounds very helpful thank you guys I really needed this

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April 16, 2020 at 9:48 pm

Daniel, your amazing information and advice, has been very useful! keep up your excellent work! May you give more useful content to us.

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May 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm

nice article thanks for your sharing.

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May 20, 2020 at 4:49 am

Thank you so much this helped me so much but I was wondering about like what if you just like being lazy and stuff and don’t feel like doing anything and you don’t want to tell anyone because you might annoy them and you just don’t want to add your problems and put another burden on theirs

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July 12, 2020 at 1:55 am

I’ve read many short procrastination tip articles and always thought they were stupid or overlooking the actual problem. ‘do this and this’ or that and that, and I sit there thinking I CAN’T. This article had some nice original tips that I actually followed and really did make me feel a bit better. Cheers, diving into what will probably be a 3 hour case study.

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August 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm

Nicely explain each tips and those are practical thanks for sharing. Dr.Achyut More

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November 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Thanks a lot! It was very helpful!

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November 15, 2020 at 9:11 am

I keep catching myself procrastinating today. I started reading this yesterday, but then I realized I was procrastinating, so I stopped to finish it today. Thank you for all the great tips.

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November 30, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Woow this is so great. Thanks so much Daniel

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December 3, 2020 at 3:13 am

These tips were very helpful!

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December 18, 2020 at 11:54 am

Procrastination is a major problem of mine, and this, this is very helpful. It is very motivational, now I think I can complete my work.

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December 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Daniel Wong: When you’re doing your homework, is your super-comfortable bed just two steps away? Me: Nope, my super-comfortable bed is one step away. (But I seriously can’t study anywhere else. If I go to the dining table, my mum would be right in front of me talking loudly on the phone with colleagues and other rooms is an absolute no. My mum doesn’t allow me to go outside. Please give me some suggestions. )

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September 19, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I would try and find some noise cancelling headphones to play some classical music or get some earbuds to ignore you mum lol

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March 1, 2021 at 5:46 pm

Thank you very much. I highly appreciate it.

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May 12, 2023 at 3:38 am

This is great advice. My little niece is now six years old and I like to use those nice cheap child friendly workbooks with her. This is done in order to help her to learn things completely on her own. I however prefer to test her on her own knowledge however. After a rather quick demonstration in the lesson I then tend to give her two simple questions to start off with. And it works a treat. Seriously. I love it. She loves it. The exam questions are for her to answer on her own on a notepad. If she can, she will receive a gold medal and a box of sweets. If not she only gets a plastic toy. We do this all the time to help her understand. Once a week we spend up to thirty minutes in a math lesson on this technique for recalling the basic facts. I have had a lot of great success with this new age technique. So I’m going to carry on with it for now.

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How to Do Your Homework on Time if You're a Procrastinator

Last Updated: January 31, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Katie Styzek . Katie Styzek is a Professional School Counselor for Chicago Public Schools. Katie earned a BS in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She served as a middle school mathematics, science, and social studies teacher for three years prior to becoming a counselor. She holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling from DePaul University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Katie holds an Illinois School Counselor Endorsement License (Type 73 Service Personnel), an Illinois Principal License (formerly Type 75), and an Illinois Elementary Education Teaching License (Type 03, K – 9). She is also Nationally Board Certified in School Counseling from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 551,317 times.

Procrastinating on your homework assignments can make school more stressful and can hurt your grade if you're always finishing homework at the last minute. Once you learn a few techniques to beat procrastination can make homework much easier for you! By keeping organized, setting specific goals, and asking for help, you can transform yourself into an academic star who still has time to watch TV and catch up with friends on Facebook.

Getting Organized

Step 1 Organize your notes and files into categories.

Establishing a Routine

Step 1 Set up a regular workspace.

  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to get back to work!

Setting Goals

Step 1 Set a goal of getting one assignment done before the due date.

  • Very few people can actually work effectively with music playing. If you like to listen to music while you work but find you aren't getting anything done, try going without it for an hour to see if your concentration improves.

Step 4 Reward yourself for meeting your goals.

Asking for Help

Step 1 Ask a classmate to do homework with you.

  • This doesn't work for everybody. If you find another person distracting, quit working with them.

Step 2 Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

How Can I Stop Procrastinating? . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Good health can improve your study habits and can help you retain what you learn. Exercise, eat well, get plenty of sleep, and skip the alcohol and caffeine. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Ask your parents or a friend to keep your smartphone so you don't get distracted. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Try to set an alarm or a task reminder in your phone. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

procrastinating online homework

  • Even the best students know that they can't work all of the time. Allow some relaxation time for yourself, particularly on the weekends. Good study habits make you work smarter, not harder. Thanks Helpful 120 Not Helpful 9

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Do Homework

  • ↑ Katie Styzek. Professional School Counselor. Expert Interview. 26 March 2021.
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-stop-procrastinating/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/focused.html
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ https://childmind.org/article/strategies-to-make-homework-go-more-smoothly/
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/take-charge-of-distractions/
  • ↑ Ted Coopersmith, MBA. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 10 July 2020.
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/school-help-teens.html
  • ↑ https://blogs.iu.edu/dbauman/2018/12/18/homework-writing-tips-for-college-students/

About This Article

Katie Styzek

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procrastinating online homework

How college students can avoid procrastinating with online work

Four tips, including this one: create a good learning space, originally published in, cyphert distinguished professor; professor of learning technologies; director of the research laboratory for digital learning, the ohio state university, sheng-lun cheng, assistant professor of instructional systems design and technology, sam houston state university.

tired student with head on desk

Time management and supportive learning environments are keys to avoiding procrastination. fizkes/ iStock via Getty Images Plus

If you take classes online, chances are you probably procrastinate from time to time.

Research shows that more than 70% of college students procrastinate, with about 20% consistently doing it all the time.

Procrastination is putting off starting or finishing a task despite knowing that it will seriously compromise the quality of your work – for instance, putting off a major class project until the last minute.

In fact, research has shown that procrastination can be a harmful behavior that lowers a student’s grades .

Now that so many colleges and universities are operating remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we worry that students are more prone to procrastinate because they have less access to campus facilities and structured support from instructors. We raise these concerns as researchers who study students’ motivation and engagement and their procrastination in online learning .

As professors, we’ve also heard our fair share of explanations and excuses for why students missed deadlines. Everything from “my computer doesn’t work” to “my Wi-Fi went dead.” We even had one student claim that “Grandma died” in one course and that “Grandpa died” in another course. We also have had students claim that their roommate deleted their homework.

Whether you see those reasons as valid or not, none of them really gets at why students procrastinate and end up in those kinds of situations in the first place. With that in mind, here are four tips that can help students deal better with the root causes of procrastination when it comes to online coursework.

1. Manage motivation

One of the main reasons students procrastinate is that they do not see their coursework as relevant to what they’re doing now or expect to do later on. When students find that their academic tasks are interesting, important and useful, they are more likely to try harder to get them done and less likely to put them off .

Remote learning can make students feel bored and frustrated . Therefore, finding ways to stay motivated can prevent procrastination .

Remind yourself of the practical value of your academic tasks. Figure out the reasons you’re studying something in the first place.

For instance, instead of viewing the completion of an assignment as a way to fulfill course requirements, you can think about how to turn your coursework into something related to your life or career goals. For a computer science student, a programming assignment could be made a part of your portfolio to help secure an internship or even a job – as some of our own students have done. A research report could be turned into an academic journal article to enhance your profile when applying for graduate school in the future.

2. Manage goals, tasks and time

College life can get hectic. Many college students must juggle coursework, social events and work commitments at the same time. Getting more organized helps stave off procrastination. This means breaking long-term goals into smaller short-term, challenging and clear goals and tasks.

The reason this technique works is that procrastination is directly related to an individual’s preference and desire for working on a task. When a goal is too large, it becomes not immediately achievable; therefore, you will see this task as less desirable and be more likely to put it off.

By breaking a large long-term goal into a series of smaller and more concrete subgoals, you will see the project as easier to complete and, more importantly, your perceived distance to the finishing line will shorten. This way, you are more likely to perceive the project as desirable , and you will be less likely to procrastinate.

Second, you need to plan your time daily by listing tasks based on their importance and urgency, estimating how much time you need to complete each task, and identifying concrete steps to reach daily goals. That is, tell yourself that in the context of X, I will need to do Y to accomplish Z.

It is also important to plan your time according to how and when you prefer to study . For example, you may concentrate the most late at night, your memory may work the best in the early mornings, or you may collaborate better during the day.

In addition, you should use tech tools, such as calendar and task-management apps, to plan your time and monitor how much you’re getting done.

3. Create a good learning space

Another important way to avoid procrastination is to make sure that your learning environment is supportive for learning.

During the coronavirus pandemic, students are usually learning from home, but sometimes they study wherever they happen to be, even at picnic tables in public parks. These places may not be best suited for academic activities.

These environments have many characteristics that may be more interesting and less emotionally draining than academic tasks. Therefore, students could drift away from academic tasks and wind up instead chatting with friends or watching sports. This is why choosing or creating a good place to study can help people stop procrastinating.

Try to set up your surroundings in a way that suits your learning habits, including where you put tables and chairs and how you use lighting and block out noises. For example, some students may enjoy learning in a quiet and dark space with a spotlight. Others may learn best when they use a standing desk next to a bright window and constantly play soft background music.

4. Get a little help from friends

Friends and classmates can help one another stop procrastinating . Colleagues and other contacts can hold one another accountable and help one another meet deadlines. This is particularly important for anyone who struggles with self-control . Research also has shown that having supportive friends and other peers can boost self-confidence and make tasks seem more valuable and interesting.

[ Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter .]

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article .

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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)! 

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find: 

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them 
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you . 

So let’s get started! 

body-stack-of-textbooks-red

How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

body-procrastination-meme

How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

body-busy-meme-2

If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away. 
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C. 

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels 

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

body-unmotivated-meme

This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

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Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, y ou get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. 

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!) 

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Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast 

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.) 

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later. 

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too. 

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What’s Next? 

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!) 

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework: 9 Helpful Tips

Published on: 09/21/2022

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By Scott Winstead

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how to stop procrastinating on homework

Are you looking for clear, actionable advice on how to stop procrastinating on homework?

Does it feel like no matter how good your intentions are, you just can’t seem to make yourself sit down and do your work?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Procrastination is a common problem that affects students of all ages.

Finding the motivation to study and do your work can be tough, especially when there are other things that you’d rather be doing.

The good news is that there are things that you can do to make it easier to get started on your homework and avoid procrastination.

In this article, we’ll share with you some of the best tips on how to stop procrastinating on homework so you can get your work done and move on with your day.

1. Make a plan

The first step to avoiding homework procrastination is to make a plan. Having a plan gives you something to stick to and helps you stay on track.

Start by knowing what work you need to do and when it’s due. Then, break down the work into smaller tasks that you can complete.

For example, if you have a paper to write, your plan might look something like this:

  • Choose a topic
  • Do research
  • Write a rough draft
  • Edit and revise
  • Print and submit

Making a plan will help you see the big picture and understand what needs to be done. It can also make the work feel less daunting because you’re not looking at it all at once.

2. Figure out why you’re procrastinating

While it’s easy to call a procrastinator lazy, the reality is there are usually several underlying reasons for why someone is putting off their work.

It could be that the task feels too difficult, or maybe you’re just not interested in the subject matter.

Maybe you’re worried about not doing the assignment well, or you’re procrastinating because you don’t want to deal with the consequences of not doing it right.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to figure out why you’re procrastinating so you can find a way to overcome it.

If the task feels too difficult, for instance, you might try breaking it down into smaller steps or getting help from a tutor or classmate.

And if you’re worried about not doing the assignment perfectly, remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that the goal is to learn from them, not to be perfect.

3. Set a timer for working and taking breaks

One of the best ways to stop procrastinating is to set a time limit for yourself.

Tell yourself that you’re going to work on the task for 20 minutes, and then take a 5-minute break after.

After 4 or 5 of these cycles, you should have made significant progress on the task and you can take a longer break.

The key is to not allow yourself to get too bogged down or overwhelmed by the work.

By setting a time limit, you’re giving yourself permission to take breaks and not feel guilty about it.

4. Find a study buddy who’s focused

You’ve probably heard it said that you are who you spend the most time with.

This is especially true when it comes to your studies.

If you’re constantly around people who are unfocused and uninterested in their work, it’s going to be that much harder for you to stay on track.

On the other hand, if you surround yourself with people who are motivated and focused, you’re more likely to be motivated and focused as well.

One way to do this is by finding a study buddy who shares your goals and is willing to help you stay on track.

Working with someone who’s doing well in school can help you stay focused and motivated, and it’s also a great way to get help when you’re struggling with a concept.

5. Find the right environment for doing your homework

It’s very possible that the reason you keep procrastinating on your homework is because you’re trying to do it in an environment that’s not conducive to learning.

For some people, that means trying to do their work in a noisy or crowded place. Others might find it difficult to focus at home because there are too many distractions.

Everyone has different needs when it comes to finding the right environment for doing their homework.

Some people need complete silence, while others prefer to have some background noise.

Some people like to work in a library or coffee shop, while others prefer to be at home.

The important thing is to find an environment that works for you and stick to it.

6. Get rid of distractions

Another reason you might be procrastinating on your homework is because there are too many distractions around you.

This could be anything from your phone to the TV to social media.

If you’re trying to do your homework but you keep getting distracted, it’s important to get rid of those distractions.

Figure out exactly what it is that keeps distracting you and find a way to eliminate it.

For some people, that means putting their phone in another room while they work.

For others, it might mean working in a library instead of at home.

Whatever it is, getting rid of distractions will help you stay focused and get your homework done.

7. Let others know about your homework schedule

By letting others know when you’ll be doing your homework, you accomplish a couple of things.

First, you’re less likely to procrastinate because you don’t want to let others down, and you’ll have some people who can help hold you accountable.

Second, letting others know about your homework schedule can help ensure that no one interrupts you while you’re working.

8. Set reasonable goals

Another reason you might procrastinate on your homework is that your goals are too lofty or unrealistic.

If you’re constantly trying to achieve perfection, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.

Instead, try to set reasonable goals for yourself.

Focus on understanding the material and doing your best, rather than getting a perfect score.

Or make your goal to do a specific amount of work each day, rather than to finish all of your homework for the week in one sitting. Check out our guide to setting SMART goals for students to get a better idea of how to set achievable goals.

9. Take breaks

If you’re finding it difficult to focus on your homework, it might help to take a break. While that might sound counterintuitive, taking breaks can actually be helpful for your concentration.

If you’ve been working on a project for a while and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or frustrated, take a 5-10 minute break to clear your head.

Get up and walk around, have a snack, or just step away from your work to give yourself a mental break.

You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your work with a clear head.

A Final Word on How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework

At one time or another, we’ve all been guilty of procrastinating on our homework.

But if you find that you’re habitually putting off your work, it’s important to find a way to stop. Otherwise, you’ll just end up falling behind and feeling stressed out.

By following the tips above, you can develop better habits and break the cycle of procrastination so you can be more productive at school .

Have any questions about how to stop procrastinating on homework? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Solving Procrastination

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Online Procrastination: How to Stop Procrastinating on Digital Devices and the Internet

Online procrastination occurs when people unnecessarily postpone something they should be doing, by instead doing something else on a digital device (e.g., a computer or phone), often while also using the internet. For example, if a student should be doing their homework, but instead browses social media on their smartphone, then that student is engaging in online procrastination.

Online procrastination—and specific forms of it—are referred to using various terms in different contexts, including e-procrastination , digital procrastination , computer procrastination ,  phone procrastination , internet procrastination , social media procrastination , cyberslacking , and cyberloafing .

Online procrastination can lead to various issues, so it’s important to understand it. As such, in the following article you will learn more about online procrastination, understand what causes it, and see what you can do to avoid it.

Examples of online procrastination

People can engage in online procrastination in many different ways, such as:

  • Browsing social media .
  • Chatting with other people.
  • Shopping online.
  • Playing video games .
  • Reading blogs or news websites.
  • Watching movies or shows.

People can use various digital devices to do this, such as their computer , smartphone , tablet, or TV .

In addition, people can engage in online procrastination while postponing various types of tasks. For example:

  • A student may procrastinate on writing a school paper, in which case their behavior is also considered a form of academic procrastination .
  • An employee may procrastinate on a work assignment, in which case their behavior is also considered a form of workplace procrastination .
  • Someone may procrastinate on going to bed , in which case their behavior is also considered a form of sleep procrastination .

Furthermore, people sometimes procrastinate online by doing things that are beneficial, even if they’re not the things that they should be doing at that moment, in which case their behavior is also considered a form of productive procrastination . For example, this can occur if someone replies to emails when they should be working on an urgent and important report.

Online vs. offline procrastination

Offline procrastination occurs when people unnecessarily postpone something they should be doing, by instead doing something else (e.g., napping or cooking), without using a digital device. As such, the difference between offline and online procrastination is that offline procrastination doesn’t involve using digital devices, whereas online procrastination does.

More specifically, for behavior to be considered online procrastination, it should generally involve interaction with a digital device as a key component. Accordingly, behaviors that only involve a digital device in a secondary manner (e.g., using an oven while cooking or taking a picture while partying) would generally be considered as offline procrastination instead.

However, there is substantial similarity in how people procrastinate online and offline. For example, people can procrastinate by reading content and engaging in social activities both online and offline. Furthermore, both online and offline procrastination can be driven by similar causes , such as anxiety and abstract goals, and can lead to similar issues , such as worse academic performance and increased stress.

Dangers of online procrastination

Online procrastination can lead to various issues , including worse academic performance, worse financial status, worse emotional wellbeing, worse mental health, worse physical health, and delay in getting treatment for one’s issues.

The specific issues that procrastination leads to depend on factors such as when and how people engage in this behavior. For example, if someone engages in online procrastination to delay working on academic assignments, then that can lead to issues such as failing a class, whereas if they procrastinate on workplace assignments, then that can lead to issues such as getting fired. Nevertheless, in both cases, the procrastination can also lead to issues such as  increased stress .

However, it’s important to note that online procrastination, which is very common , doesn’t necessarily lead to substantial negative outcomes. Rather, its effects can also be minor or inconsequential, for example if someone only procrastinates occasionally and for short periods of time, so they still manage to complete all their tasks on time, without suffering from stress.

Furthermore, just because someone is engaging with digital devices, that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily procrastinating, or are necessarily engaging in other problematic behaviors. Rather, people can use digital devices for many positive purposes , for example when they use social media to strengthen relationships, browse educational websites to learn new things, or play video games to relax after a hard day of work. As such, while you should be aware of the dangers of online procrastination, you should also keep in mind that this behavior isn’t always harmful, and that engaging with digital devices isn’t inherently bad.

Causes of online procrastination

Broadly, there are two main reasons why people procrastinate online:

  • Something pushes them to procrastinate in general, and they do it online. For example, this can happen when someone wants to avoid dealing with a task that’s unpleasant , boring, or frustrating, so they turn to digital entertainment instead. Similarly, this can happen when someone wants to improve their mood or escape reality, so they turn to digital entertainment (e.g., watching videos) when they should be doing something else (e.g., getting ready for bed).
  • Something online pushes them to procrastinate.  For example, this can happen when a student keeps getting distracted by constant phone notifications, so they delay studying for a test. Similarly, this can happen when someone gets caught up in posting on social media, so they forget to do the work that they should be doing.

Essentially, this means that procrastination can drive people to go online (i.e., engage with digital devices), and that digital devices can also cause people to procrastinate. Different people under different circumstances may be driven to online procrastination by a combination of these two mechanisms , or by just one of them .

In addition, there are several aspects of digital devices and services that make people predisposed to online procrastination:

  • Digital devices are generally constantly available and immediately accessible. For example, many people have a smartphone that they take with them almost everywhere, use constantly throughout the day, and can access immediately.
  • People’s work often involves using digital devices. This gets them in the habit of using digital devices often, and it also means that they’re in close proximity to digital distractions while working. For example, if a student is writing a paper on their computer and needs internet access to do research, this generally means that they’re only a click away from digital distractions such as social media, as is someone who needs to use the internet for their job .
  • Constant engagement with digital services can lead people to form problematic habits.  For example, this can happen when people get so used to checking their favorite app, that they automatically do so as soon as they open their phone, even though this does them more harm than good. This issue is particularly likely to occur once people establish a strong association between some cue and an associated action on a digital device, such as opening a website whenever they sit in front of their computer (an external cue) or whenever they feel bored (an internal cue). In extreme cases, people can even develop an addiction to specific digital devices or services, such as their smartphone , the internet , or social media.
  • Digital services are often designed to draw people’s attention and engagement. For example, many apps use notifications , updates, and messages that are intentionally designed to get people to engage with them constantly, even when this is to people’s detriment.
  • Digital devices often offer opportunities to engage with things that are less cognitively demanding than what people should be doing. For example, it’s generally much easier to passively stare at the screen while watching a show than it is to study for a test. This can further make online procrastination more appealing than doing necessary things.

Various other issues can cause people to procrastinate online, such as the fear of missing out , which can prompt them to obsessively check social media when they should be doing other things. Furthermore, many issues that cause procrastination in general, such as anxiety , depression , and ADHD , can also lead people to procrastinate online.

Because of all these issues, even though online procrastination can involve some short-term gratification, it often feels like a guilty pleasure , in the sense that people enjoy it but feel bad about it at the same time. Furthermore, the negative emotions that are sometimes associated with online procrastination, such as guilt and shame, can be more powerful overall than any positive emotions that the procrastination leads to. Nevertheless, the issues that cause online procrastination can lead people to continue engaging in this behavior even though they don’t really enjoy it, and even though they would rather stop procrastinating.

Finally, all these issues can also lead people to form problematic procrastination cycles . For example, this can happen when procrastinating online on a task makes them feel bad about it, which causes them to keep procrastinating online as a way to avoid dealing with the task, which makes them feel worse about the task, which causes them to keep procrastinating.

In summary , people engage in online procrastination because they’re driven to procrastination and something causes them to do it online, or because something online causes them to procrastinate. There are various aspects of digital devices and services that can make people predisposed to procrastination, including that they’re often constantly available, immediately accessible, and designed to draw people’s attention. In addition, various other types of issues can cause people to procrastinate online, including problematic habits, the fear of missing out, ADHD, and depression.

Solutions to online procrastination

To stop procrastinating online, you should first figure out when and how you engage in this behavior, and what’s causing you to do so . Once you understand the nature of your procrastination problem, you can move on to identifying and using the most relevant anti-procrastination techniques in your particular situation, such as the following:

  • Limit access to digital distractions. For example, you can block your access to distracting apps and websites using dedicated tools , turn off the internet access on your computer, leave your phone in a different room than the one you’re working in, or go somewhere where you can’t access the distractions (e.g., the library if you’re trying to avoid your TV).
  • Minimize the cues that prompt you to go online. For example, you can put your phone on mute so you won’t hear new notifications, or disable notifications entirely. Similarly, you can put the icons to your favorite apps in a hidden folder, so you won’t see them each time you open your phone.
  • Make it harder to engage with digital distractions. For example, you can log out of your favorite app or website each time you use it, so that if you want to engage with it you have to go through the trouble of logging back in.
  • Add a time delay before you procrastinate. If you can’t avoid procrastinating entirely, try committing to having a time delay before you indulge your impulse to do so. For example, this can involve counting to 10 before you’re allowed to open a new tab on the social media website that you usually use to procrastinate.

In addition, you can also use other anti-procrastination techniques , which can help with procrastination in general, and which might therefore also help with online procrastination:

  • Set concrete goals. For example, instead of a vague goal, such as “work on the project”, set a concrete goal, such as “work on the project today between 7–8 and finish the outline”.
  • Break your work into small and manageable steps. For example, if you have a large project that feels overwhelming, such as writing a research paper, you can break it down into a series of small steps, such as creating an outline, finding relevant resources, and writing the introduction.
  • Start with a tiny step. For example, commit to writing only a single sentence or exercising for only 2 minutes, while giving yourself permission to stop after taking that tiny first step, to reduce the pressure associated with getting started.
  • Give yourself permission to make mistakes. For example, if you’re writing a paper, accept that your work won’t be perfect , especially when it comes to the first draft.
  • Switch between tasks. For example, if you’re stuck on a task and can’t make progress, switch to a different task until you’re ready to go back to the first one.
  • Prepare for future contingencies. For example, figure out which distractions might tempt you to procrastinate, and plan how you will deal with them.
  • Schedule your work according to your productivity cycles. For example, if you find it easier to concentrate on creative tasks in the morning, then you should schedule such tasks for that time period as much as possible.
  • Improve your work environment. For example, if your current work environment has a lot of irritating background noise, get noise-canceling headphones or go somewhere quieter.
  • Improve your social-support network. For example, you can find a role model to imitate or an authority figure to hold you accountable, or you can associate with people who motivate you to make progress while minimizing your contact with people who make you feel stressed. Note that if you’re trying to avoid spending too much time online and on social media, then it can be particularly beneficial to focus on building a social-support network that’s available offline.
  • Get enough rest. For example, if you need to work hard on tasks that require deep concentration, make sure to take enough breaks that you don’t get burnt out. To encourage yourself to do this, you can remind yourself that even if getting rest might reduce your productivity in the short term, it will generally be much better for you in the long term, in terms of both your productivity and wellbeing.
  • Figure out what you’re afraid of, and address your fears. For example, if you realize that you’re worried about getting negative feedback from someone who isn’t really important, you can tell yourself that their feedback doesn’t matter.
  • Deal with underlying issues. If your procrastination is the result of a serious underlying issue, such as anxiety , depression , or ADHD , deal with that issue, using professional help if necessary. This will help you both with procrastination, as well as with the underlying issue itself.
  • Develop self-efficacy. Specifically, this is your belief in your ability to perform the actions needed to achieve your goals. You can develop it in various ways , such as identifying the strategies that you can use to achieve your goals, and then thinking about how you can execute those strategies successfully.
  • Forgive yourself for past procrastination. For example, if you need to get started on a task that you’ve been postponing for a long time, you can say “I shouldn’t have postponed this task in the first place, but that’s in the past, and what’s important now is to move on and just get this done”.
  • Develop self-compassion. Specifically, you should develop the three components of self-compassion :  self-kindness , which involves being nice to yourself,  common humanity , which involves recognizing that everyone experiences challenges, and  mindfulness , which involves accepting your emotions in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Acknowledge and reward your progress. For example, you can treat yourself to some pleasant treat once you’ve managed to achieve your study goals for a week in a row.

When figuring out which anti-procrastination techniques to use and how to use them, you might benefit from considering what advice you would give to a friend if they were in your situation, since doing so can often help see things more clearly than when considering directly what’s best for yourself.

In addition, you might benefit from writing things down, for example when it comes to your goals, tasks, or plan of action. Doing this can help you think through the situation more clearly, remember your reasoning, and make everything that you decide feel more concrete, all of which can be beneficial in reducing procrastination.

Finally, note that you can use a similar approach to help someone else deal with their procrastination. For example, if you’re a parent looking to help your child, you can sit with them to figure out what’s causing them to procrastinate, and then help them pick and implement relevant anti-procrastination techniques.

In summary, to deal with online procrastination, you should first figure out when and how you engage in it, and why you do so . Then, you should identify and use relevant anti-procrastination techniques , such as limiting your access to digital distractions, minimizing the cues that prompt you to go online, breaking your work into manageable steps, and setting concrete goals.

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How To Stop Procrastinating? Helpful Tips for College Students!

Teach Yourself How to Stop Procrastinating Homework copy

Your to-do list is piling up, but you’d rather do anything than start crossing items off your list. From procrastinating studying to procrastinating submitting that assignment, most college students wish they know how to stop procrastinating.

Did you know that there are actual reasons why you’re likely procrastinating? So, if you can overcome these barriers, it may get easier to know how to not procrastinate. We’ll share them so that you can maximize your time management skills and be your best self as a college student.

procrastinating online homework

Why Do Students Procrastinate?

At any point in your student lift, you may find yourself taking longer to get things done than necessary. That will lead you to want to know how to not procrastinate on homework, studying, assignments, and chores.

Let’s first break down the common reasons why college students procrastinate in the first place. Some or all of these reasons may resonate with your own experience.

Unclear goals

If you have no clearly defined goals as to what you wish to accomplish, it could be harder to understand why you have to do certain things.

Fear of failure

An all too common occurrence is that those who procrastinate actually are just afraid to fail. So, they’d rather not start to avoid this potentially displeasing sentiment.

If there’s a lot going on in your school life and/or personal life, you may feel unsure how or where to even start.

You could feel worried or anxious about the potential outcomes of whatever you have to get done, be it a homework assignment or test results.

Perfectionism

Often in line with the fear of failure comes the idea of perfectionism. When you have the goal of everything being perfect, then you may never want to start something to avoid any flaws or mistakes (which are inevitable).

Lack of motivation

It could be possible you feel a lack of motivation because goals are too far out in the future or are unclearly defined

Perhaps, the most important thing to do is to ask yourself why you are procrastinating in the first place. This could prove to be a useful exercise because you may have to tackle the more deeply rooted issue and the shackles of procrastination will be released.

For example, you could fear that you don’t know how to do something, and to get started, you simply need to know a little more information or ask for help to understand a concept. Once you do that, you could find yourself easily finishing the required assignment.

How to Stop Procrastinating in College

Now that we’ve covered some of the reasons why students procrastinate in the first place, let’s take a look at some best practices to learn how to stop procrastinating.

Get Organized

To avoid the sense of overwhelm of having too much to do or not knowing where to start, organization proves to be crucial. It’s a great idea to use tools that help you stay organized, whether they are calendars or scheduling apps on your computer or the trusted old-school method of writing things down. Consider writing down upcoming assignments and deadlines, estimating how long the task will take you to perform, and counting backward from the due date to give yourself adequate time to get it done.

Of course, it still comes down to you having the motivation to start rather than procrastinate, but it’s easier to do when you have a clear idea of what you need to get done and by when.

Set Deadlines and Reasonable Goals

If you’re a person who procrastinates because your goals seem unattainable, then consider resetting your goals. While you can’t choose when assignments are due, you can choose when you want to have it ready by. In the same vein, you can’t choose when test dates are, but you can choose when to start studying. You can break down these items into smaller, achievable segments so that you can maintain momentum and feel accomplished. For example, if you have a 10-page research paper due, consider setting a goal to finish two pages per day so you can avoid having to write it fast. 

Remove Distractions

Sometimes, the only way to want to get things done is to have no other alternative. You can position yourself for this scenario by removing distractions. Put your phone in another room. Turn off the TV. Tell your friends that you’re busy. Then, you can free up your own time to get your to-do list crossed off.

Take Breaks

Getting things done doesn’t have to feel tiring or undesirable. Remember to relieve yourself of your efforts and give yourself breaks. This can also help to increase your motivation to get things done because you can look forward to the upcoming break. And, you can make your break as fun or as relaxing as you see fit. Some examples of break ideas you can try after you accomplish items on your list include: walking, cooking, calling a friend, scrolling through social media, playing with your dog, taking a nap, etc.

Reward Yourself

In the same way that breaks can serve as rewards and help to boost your motivation, so can actual rewards! Depending on what you enjoy, you can set rewards both big and small accordingly. Say you enjoy food and trying new eateries. Tell yourself that if you ace your next big exam, you’ll treat yourself to a dining experience at the restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Or, if you like fashion, then buy yourself something new when you finish your semester with a good GPA. 

Ask for Help

If you’re struggling to hold yourself accountable, ask your peers or friends for help. You can help each other meet deadlines if you are unable to maintain your own self-control. Having people around you who will support you in reaching your goals and aspirations can help to manage your motivation levels as you are answerable to people besides yourself.

procrastinating online homework

The Bottom Line

While there is no single answer as to how to stop procrastinating for college students, there are different behaviors and habits that you can try to overcome this common challenge.

So, if you’re a constant procrastinator or you find yourself stuck these days more than before, try to figure out why. Then, practice some of the above tips to overcome any mental hurdles.

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What Is Procrastination?

Putting off tasks we don't enjoy is common, despite the consequences

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

procrastinating online homework

Why Do You Procrastinate?

Types of procrastination.

  • The Negative Impact
  • Strategies to Stop

Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline. Some researchers define procrastination as a "form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences."

According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of "Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done," around 20% of U.S. adults are chronic procrastinators.

No matter how well-organized and committed you are, chances are that you have found yourself frittering away hours on trivial pursuits (watching TV, updating your Facebook status, shopping online) when you should have been spending that time on work or school-related projects.

Whether you're putting off finishing a project for work, avoiding homework assignments, or ignoring household chores, procrastination can have a major impact on your job, your grades, and your life.

In most cases, procrastination is not a sign of a serious problem. It's a common tendency that most people give in to at some point or another.

Remember that time that you thought you had a week left to finish a project that was really due the next day? How about the time you decided not to clean up your apartment because you "didn't feel like doing it right now?"

We often assume that projects won't take as long to finish as they really will, which can lead to a false sense of security when we believe that we still have plenty of time to complete these tasks.

One of the biggest factors contributing to procrastination is the notion that we have to feel inspired or motivated to work on a task at a particular moment.

The reality is that if you wait until you're in the right frame of mind to do certain tasks (especially undesirable ones), you will probably find that the right time simply never comes along and the task never gets completed.

The following are a few other factors that cause procrastination.

Researchers suggest that procrastination can be particularly pronounced among students. A 2007 meta analysis published in the Psychological Bulletin found that a whopping 80% to 95% of college students procrastinated on a regular basis, particularly when it came to completing assignments and coursework.  

According to researchers, there are some major cognitive distortions that lead to academic procrastination.   Students tend to:

  • Overestimate how much time they have left to perform tasks
  • Overestimate how motivated they will be in the future
  • Underestimate how long certain activities will take to complete
  • Mistakenly assume that they need to be in the right frame of mind to work on a project

Present Bias

The present bias is a phenomenon observed in human behavior that may result in procrastination. The present bias means that we tend to be motivated more by immediate gratification or rewards than we are by long-term rewards. This is why it feels good in the moment to procrastinate.

For example, the immediate reward of staying in bed and watching TV is more appealing than the long-term reward of publishing a blog post, which would take much longer to accomplish.

Procrastination can also be a result of depression . Feelings of hopelessness , helplessness, and a lack of energy can make it difficult to start (and finish) the simplest task. Depression can also lead to self-doubt . When you can't figure out how to tackle a project or feel insecure about your abilities, you might find it easier to put it off.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Procrastination is also pretty common in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder . One reason is that OCD is often linked with maladaptive perfectionism, which causes fears about making new mistakes, doubts about whether you are doing something correctly, and worry over others' expectations of you.

People with OCD also often have a propensity toward indecision, causing them to procrastinate rather than make a decision.

Many adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) struggle with procrastination. When you're so distracted by outside stimuli, as well as internal thoughts, it can be hard to get started on a task, especially if that task is difficult or not interesting to you.

Is Procrastination a Mental Illness?

Procrastination itself is not a mental illness. But in some cases, it may be symptomatic of an underlying mental health condition such as depression, OCD, or ADHD.

We often come up with a number of excuses or rationalizations to justify our behavior. According to researchers, there are 15 key reasons why people say they procrastinate:

  • Not knowing what needs to be done
  • Not knowing how to do something
  • Not wanting to do something
  • Not caring if it gets done or not
  • Not caring when something gets done
  • Not feeling in the mood to do it
  • Being in the habit of waiting until the last minute
  • Believing that you work better under pressure
  • Thinking that you can finish it at the last minute
  • Lacking the initiative to get started
  • Blaming sickness or poor health
  • Waiting for the right moment
  • Needing time to think about the task
  • Delaying one task in favor of working on another

Press Play for Advice On Completing Tasks

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Some researchers classify two types of procrastinators: passive and active procrastinators.

  • Passive procrastinators : Delay the task because they have trouble making decisions and acting on them
  • Active procrastinators : Delay the task purposefully because working under pressure allows them to "feel challenged and motivated"

Others define the types of procrastinators based on different behavioral styles of procrastination, including:

  • Perfectionist : Puts off tasks out of the fear of not being able to complete a task perfectly
  • Dreamer : Puts off tasks because they are not good at paying attention to detail
  • Defier : Doesn't believe someone should dictate their time schedule
  • Worrier : Puts off tasks out of fear of change or leaving the comfort of "the known"
  • Crisis-maker : Puts off tasks because they like working under pressure
  • Overdoer : Takes on too much and struggles with finding time to start and complete task

Procrastinators vs. Non-Procrastinators

"Non-procrastinators focus on the task that needs to be done. They have a stronger personal identity and are less concerned about what psychologists call 'social esteem'—how others like us—as opposed to self-esteem which is how we feel about ourselves," explained Dr. Ferrari in an interview with the American Psychological Association (APA).  

According to psychologist Piers Steel, people who don't procrastinate tend to be high in the personality trait known as conscientiousness , one of the broad dispositions identified by the Big Five theory of personality. People who are high in conscientiousness also tend to be high in other areas including self-discipline, persistence, and personal responsibility.

The Negative Impact of Procrastination

It is only in cases where procrastination becomes chronic and begins to have a serious impact on a person's daily life that it becomes a more serious issue. In such instances, it's not just a matter of having poor time management skills, it's a major part of their lifestyle.

Perhaps they pay their bills late, don't start work on big projects until the night before the deadline, delay gift shopping until the day before a birthday, and even file their income tax returns late.

Unfortunately, this procrastination can have a serious impact on a number of life areas, including a person's mental health and social, professional, and financial well-being:

  • Higher levels of stress and illness
  • Increased burden placed on social relationships
  • Resentment from friends, family, co-workers, and fellow students
  • Consequences of delinquent bills and income tax returns

How to Overcome Procrastination

You might find yourself wondering, How can I stop procrastinating?

Fortunately, there are a number of different things you can do to fight procrastination and start getting things done on time. Consider these your procrastination exercises:

  • Make a to-do list : To help keep you on track, consider placing a due date next to each item.
  • Take baby steps : Break down the items on your list into small, manageable steps so that your tasks don’t seem so overwhelming.
  • Recognize the warning signs : Pay attention to any thoughts of procrastination and do your best to resist the urge. If you begin to think about procrastinating, force yourself to spend a few minutes working on your task.
  • Eliminate distraction : Ask yourself what pulls your attention away the most—whether it's Instagram, Facebook updates, or the local news—and turn off those sources of distraction.
  • Pat yourself on the back : When you finish an item on your to-do list on time, congratulate yourself and reward yourself by indulging in something you find fun.    

Prem R, Scheel TE, Weigelt O, Hoffmann K, Korunka C. Procrastination in daily working life: A diary study on within-person processes that link work characteristics to workplace procrastination . Front Psychol . 2018;9:1087. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01087

American Psychological Association. The Psychology of Procrastination: Why People Put Off Important Tasks Until the Last Minute . 2010.

Bisin A, Hyndman K. Present-bias, procrastination and deadlines in a field experiment . Games and Economic Behavior. 2020;119:339-357. doi:10.1016/j.geb.2019.11.010

Steel P. The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure . Psychol Bull . 2007;133(1):65-94. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.65 

Ferrari, Joseph & Johnson, Judith & McCown, William. (1995). Procrastination and Task Avoidance - Theory, Research and Treatment . doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-0227-6

Beutel ME, Klein EM, Aufenanger S, et al. Procrastination, distress and life satisfaction across the age range - A German representative community study .  PLoS One . 2016;11(2):e0148054. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148054

Limburg K, Watson HJ, Hagger MS, Egan SJ.  The relationship between perfectionism and psychopathology: A meta-analysis .  J Clin Psychol.  2017;73(10):1301-1326. doi:10.1002/jclp.22435

Altgassen M, Scheres A, Edel MA.  Prospective memory (partially) mediates the link between ADHD symptoms and procrastination .  Atten Defic Hyperact Disord . 2019;11(1):59-71. doi:10.1007/s12402-018-0273-x

Tuckman BW, Abry DA, Smith DR. (2008). Learning and Motivation Strategies: Your Guide to Success (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Zohar AH, Shimone LP, Hen M. Active and passive procrastination in terms of temperament and character .  PeerJ . 2019;7:e6988. doi:10.7717/peerj.6988

American Psychological Association. The first step to overcoming procrastination: Know thyself .

Svartdal F, Nemtcan E. Past negative consequences of unnecessary delay as a marker of procrastination . Front Psychol. 2022;13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.787337

Schrager S, Sadowski E. Getting more done: Strategies to increase scholarly productivity .  J Grad Med Educ . 2016;8(1):10-13. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-15-00165.1

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Procrastination and Homework

A Little Procrastination is Okay, But Too Much Can Hurt!

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Do you procrastinate? Most of us put things off from time to time, like when we're supposed to be studying for a test or starting our lengthy research paper assignments. But giving in to diversions can really hurt us in the long run.

Recognizing Procrastination

Procrastination is like a little white lie we tell ourselves. We think we’ll feel better if we do something fun, like watch a TV show, instead of studying or reading.

But when we give in to the urge to put off our responsibilities, we always feel worse in the long run, not better. And what's worse, we end up doing a poor job when we finally get started on the task at hand!

Those who procrastinate the most are usually performing below their potential.

Do you spend too much time on things that don’t matter? You may be a procrastinator if you:

  • Feel the impulse to clean your room before you get started on a project.
  • Rewrite the first sentence or paragraph of a paper several times, repeatedly.
  • Crave a snack as soon as you sit down to study.
  • Spend too much time (days) to decide on a topic.
  • Carry books around all the time, but never open them to study.
  • Get angry if a parent asks “Have you started yet?”
  • Always seem to find an excuse to avoid going to the library to start on the research.

You probably did relate to at least one of those situations. But don’t be hard on yourself! That means you are perfectly normal. The key to success is this: it is important that you don’t allow these diversion tactics to affect your grades in a bad way. A little procrastination is normal, but too much is self-defeating.

Avoiding Procrastination

How can you battle the urge to put things off? Try the following tips.

  • Recognize that a feisty little voice lives inside every one of us. He tells us it would be rewarding to play a game, eat, or watch TV when we know better. Don’t fall for it!
  • Think about the rewards of accomplishments, and put reminders around your study room. Is there a specific college you want to attend? Put the poster right over your desk. That will serve as a reminder to be your best.
  • Work out a reward system with your parent. There may be a concert you're dying to go to, or a new coat you've spotted in the mall. Make a deal with your parents way ahead of time— make an agreement that you can receive the reward only if you reach your goals. And stick to the deal!
  • Start with small goals if you’re facing a big assignment. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. Accomplishment feels great, so set small goals first, and take it day by day. Set new goals as you go.
  • Finally, give yourself time to play! Set aside a special time to do whatever you want. Afterward, you’ll be ready to get to work!
  • Find a study partner who will help you stay on track. Meet regularly to discuss your commitments and deadlines. It's a strange thing about human nature: we might be willing to let ourselves down easily enough, but we hesitate to disappoint a friend.
  • Give yourself ten minutes or so to clean your space before you get started. The urge to clean as a procrastination tactic is common and it is based on the fact that our brains desire the feeling of "starting with a clean slate." Go ahead and organize your space--but don't take too much time.

Still find yourself putting off those important projects? Discover More Procrastination Tips to help you manage your time effectively.

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How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework? Winning the Homework Game in 2024

How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework

  • Post author By admin
  • October 30, 2023

Explore powerful strategies for how to stop procrastinating on homework. Your path to academic success starts here.

Yet, there you are, wrestling with the age-old temptation of procrastination. We’ve all been there, right? It’s that eternal battle between what we should do and what we’d rather be doing.

But fear not! In this article, we’re about to embark on a quest to conquer that mighty dragon called procrastination.

We’ll be your trusty guides, offering practical tips, easy tricks, and a fresh perspective that will help you take the reins of your homework. No more last-minute panics or anxiety-ridden nights – just straightforward, effective solutions.

So, if you’re itching to bid procrastination farewell and say hello to a more productive, relaxed you, keep reading. We’re about to unveil the secrets of how to stop procrastinating on your homework and make your academic life a whole lot simpler.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Procrastination Puzzle

Let’s talk procrastination – that common struggle we’ve all faced. You’re sitting there, homework in front of you, but suddenly, cleaning your room or endlessly scrolling social media becomes way more appealing. Sound familiar? Well, we’re going to demystify this whole procrastination thing and make it as clear as day.

Procrastination often happens because of two things: “perplexity” and “burstiness.”

This is just a fancy way of saying that when a task seems as confusing as solving a Rubik’s Cube in the dark, we’d rather put it off. Our brains like to avoid stuff that feels too hard.

Our focus isn’t exactly a steady stream; it’s more like waves in the ocean. One moment, you’re all in, and the next, you’re daydreaming about what’s for dinner.

Understanding these two factors is like having the secret map to procrastination. It’s not about being lazy; it’s about dealing with tough tasks and a mind that loves to wander.

But here’s the good news: we’ve got some straightforward strategies and techniques to outsmart procrastination. So, let’s get to it and conquer this homework hurdle, once and for all!

How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework ?

Learn the best ways to stop procrastination on homework:-

Create a Dedicated Workspace

Okay, let’s talk about creating your dedicated homework space. It’s like building your fortress against procrastination. Here’s how to do it:

  • Chase the Quiet: Hunt for a quiet nook where the world won’t barge in every two minutes. It could be your bedroom, a library, or a peaceful corner in your house.
  • Comfort is Queen: Make sure your workspace is comfy. A cozy chair and good lighting can make a huge difference. You don’t want to feel like you’re serving time in a study prison.
  • Distraction Ditching: Kick distractions to the curb. That means your phone, the TV remote, and noisy siblings (if possible). Put your phone on silent or use one of those nifty apps to keep away from Instagram’s tempting grasp.
  • Materials at Arm’s Reach: Keep all your study stuff nearby. No more scavenger hunts for that elusive pen or your textbook.
  • Make It Yours: Personalize your study space. Add a dash of your personality with a motivational quote on the wall, a little plant buddy, or some chill music to set the vibe.

So, there you have it – your perfect little study sanctuary. Once you’ve got this spot nailed down, you’re all set to kick procrastination out the door and supercharge your homework game.

Set Clear Goals

Let’s dive into the art of setting clear goals for your homework – it’s like having your personal GPS for academic success. Here’s how to make it happen:

  • Task Breakdown: Break your homework into bite-sized pieces. Think of it like cutting a big sandwich into manageable, delicious bites. If you have a major project, break it into research, outlining, writing, and editing – each is like a mini-mission.
  • Deadlines that Talk: Now, give each of these tasks a deadline. Make it specific, like ‘Finish research by Wednesday’ or ‘Outline done by Friday.’ These deadlines aren’t just dates; they’re your milestones.
  • Picture the Finish Line: With your tasks and deadlines laid out, it’s like having a treasure map. You can see the ‘X’ marks where you need to be. It’s your visual guide to the finish line.
  • The Satisfaction of Checkmarks: As you conquer each task, put a glorious checkmark next to it. It’s like giving yourself a virtual high-five and a little victory dance.
  • Ready to Adapt: Life can throw curveballs, but that’s okay. Be flexible and adjust your plan if needed. Just keep your eyes on the prize – completing your homework successfully.

Armed with these clear goals, you’ll navigate your homework journey with confidence. It’s like embarking on a grand adventure with a trusty map in hand.

So, set those goals, and let’s make homework time not just productive but also a tad exciting!

Plan and Prioritize

Let’s dive into the intriguing world of planning and prioritizing your homework. Think of it as creating your personal strategy to outsmart procrastination. Here’s how to make it engaging:

  • The To-Do List Magic: Start by conjuring up a to-do list for your homework tasks. Write down all the missions you need to conquer. It’s like crafting your own adventure map for the day.
  • The Importance Puzzle: Now, it’s time to play detective. Analyze each task and decide how important it is. Some are like urgent quests, while others can wait for your heroic attention.
  • The Deadline Drama: Check for those homework deadlines. Some are sprint races, and others are marathons. Prioritize your tasks based on when they need to be vanquished.
  • Your Homework Battle Plan: Armed with your list and prioritization skills, you’re now the commander of your homework army. You know exactly which dragons to slay first.
  • The Procrastination Shield: With a clear plan in hand, procrastination’s evil powers are no match for your Jedi-like focus. You’ve got your homework forces in order!

So, get ready to turn your homework time into an epic quest, complete with battles and victories. Your map is ready, your strategy is set, and it’s time to conquer those homework challenges with style.

Onward, brave student!

Try the Pomodoro Technique

Alright, let’s dive into a nifty trick to zap procrastination – the Pomodoro Technique. Think of it as your superpower to stay laser-focused. Here’s how it rolls:

  • Time Blocks: Picture your homework as a series of quick missions, each lasting around 25 minutes – we call this a Pomodoro. It’s like a challenge you set for yourself.
  • Focus Mode On: During a Pomodoro, you’re in the zone. No distractions allowed. It’s like you’re a study ninja with your concentration shurikens.
  • Mini Victory Break: After each Pomodoro, you earn a tiny, 5-minute break. It’s like a quick victory dance, a chance to recharge for the next round.
  • The Fab Four: Once you’ve conquered four Pomodoros, you treat yourself to a more extended break, say 15-30 minutes. It’s like your homework marathon checkpoint.
  • Procrastination Kryptonite: The Pomodoro Technique is your trusty shield against procrastination. When you have a timer ticking, distractions can’t sneak in, and your productivity soars.

Ready to level up your homework game? Give the Pomodoro Technique a whirl, and watch your focus and productivity shoot through the roof. You’re not just a student; you’re a study superhero!

Time Blocking

Now, let’s dive into the genius strategy of time blocking – it’s like your superhero cape against procrastination. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Chunk Your Time: Imagine your day as a puzzle, and each puzzle piece is a time block dedicated to a specific subject or task. It’s like creating your own schedule with chapters.
  • The Zone of Zen: When you’re in a time block, it’s all about that one task – no distractions allowed. It’s like setting your focus laser on high power.
  • The Roadmap to Success: By assigning specific time blocks to different subjects, you’re essentially crafting a roadmap for your day. It’s like having a GPS for your productivity.
  • Procrastination’s Nemesis: Time blocking is your shield against procrastination’s sneaky tricks. When you’ve set aside a dedicated block for a task, distractions find it tough to creep in.

So, if you’re ready to level up your homework game and bid farewell to procrastination, time blocking is your go-to strategy.

It’s like having your personal organizer, ensuring you stay on the path to academic victory. Get ready to conquer your homework with style!

Visualize Success

Alright, let’s explore a nifty little trick to tackle procrastination head-on – the power of visualization. It’s like creating a mental blockbuster that inspires you. Here’s how it rolls:

  • Shut Those Peepers: Find a quiet spot before diving into your homework. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let’s get ready to roll. It’s like stepping into your very own imagination theater.
  • Paint the Picture: Picture yourself acing your homework, big smile on your face, a sense of accomplishment filling your chest. See the finish line clearly – it’s like you’re watching a movie about your success.
  • Feel the Feels: As you imagine your success, let the emotions flow. Feel the pride, the relief, the joy – like you’re already celebrating the victory.
  • Fuel Your Motivation: Use this mental movie as your secret weapon. When procrastination tries to knock, play this movie in your head, and let the inspiration flow. It’s like having a motivational coach inside your mind.

So, gear up to supercharge your homework motivation with your very own mental cinema. It’s not just about getting the work done; it’s about enjoying the journey and visualizing your triumphant destination. Let’s get started!

Change Your Perspective

Okay, let’s chat about a cool way to tackle procrastination – changing your perspective. It’s like putting on a pair of positivity glasses to see homework in a whole new light. Here’s how it goes:

  • Shift the Lens: Instead of seeing homework as a chore, look at it as a chance to grab some serious rewards. It’s like turning homework into a treasure hunt.
  • The Treasure Trove: Think about the good stuff that comes with completing your homework – better grades, more knowledge, and the sweet satisfaction of a job well done. It’s like picturing a chest full of academic gold.
  • Picture the Win: Imagine yourself reaping those rewards and enjoying the benefits. Feel the pride and personal growth that come with conquering your homework. It’s like watching your success story unfold.
  • Stay Fired Up: Whenever procrastination tries to creep in, remind yourself of these rewards and benefits. It’s like having your personal motivation guru in your corner.

Changing your perspective can turn homework from a dreaded task into an exciting journey. It’s all about focusing on the pot of gold at the end of your academic rainbow.

So, get ready to dive into your homework with a fresh outlook and a pocket full of motivation. Let’s roll!

Reward Yourself

Let’s talk about a fun and effective way to combat procrastination – rewarding yourself. It’s like sprinkling a little celebration into your study routine. Here’s how it works:

  • Task Triumph: After you’ve conquered a homework task, it’s time to treat yourself. Think of it as your personal victory lap.
  • The Reward Menu: Decide on some enjoyable treats or activities. It could be a snack, a short game, a walk, or even a quick dance to your favorite song. It’s like choosing from your own reward menu.
  • Keep it Proportional: Make sure the reward matches the task’s difficulty. Smaller tasks might call for a quick treat, while larger ones could earn you a more substantial celebration.
  • The Motivation Booster: Rewards act as motivation magnets. They keep you excited about completing your homework and make you eager to start the next task.
  • Stay Consistent: By regularly rewarding yourself, you’re building a positive association with homework. It’s like turning a chore into a fun game.

So, embrace the power of rewards and make your homework sessions a bit sweeter. It’s not just about completing the task; it’s about enjoying the journey with a dash of celebration.

Ready to dive into your homework with the promise of delightful rewards? Let’s do this!

Join or Create Study Groups

Alright, let’s dive into the wonderful world of study groups – your secret weapon against procrastination. It’s like forming a homework dream team. Here’s how it goes down:

  • Gather Your Crew: Round up some classmates who are in the same homework boat as you. It’s like building your Avengers of academics.
  • The Homework Campfire: Within your study group, share your homework struggles and victories. It’s like swapping adventure stories around a campfire.
  • Accountability Partners: Your study buddies keep you on your toes. You’re accountable to each other, and that’s a fantastic motivator. It’s like having your personal cheering section.
  • Brainpower Bonanza: When you work together, you tap into a treasure chest of ideas and knowledge. It’s like having your very own brain trust.
  • Homework Hangouts: Study groups make homework a lot more fun. It’s like turning a solo mission into a group quest.

By joining or creating study groups, you transform homework into a social event. It’s not just about getting the work done; it’s about enjoying the ride with your study pals.

Ready to tackle your homework like a dynamic duo or a fantastic four? Let’s get to it!

Accountability Partners

Alright, let’s dive into a savvy strategy to kick procrastination to the curb – meet your accountability partner. Think of it as enlisting your very own homework cheerleader. Here’s how the story unfolds:

  • Recruiting Your Partner in Crime: Find a friend or family member who’s game to join forces. They become your homework ally, your go-to teammate.
  • Sharing the Secrets: Open up about your homework goals and progress with your partner. It’s like making a pact to support each other’s success.
  • Daily Check-Ins: Keep the communication lines open, regularly updating your partner on your homework journey. The feeling of someone rooting for you is like a turbo boost for motivation.
  • Victory Celebrations: When you conquer your homework goals, it’s time for a celebratory high-five with your partner. It’s like having your very own personal victory party.
  • Boosted Commitment: With an accountability partner in tow, your commitment soars to new heights. It’s like having an extra dose of motivation on your side.

Teaming up with an accountability partner transforms homework into a shared adventure. It’s not just about the task; it’s about the bond and the joint commitment to success.

Ready to tackle your homework with your trusty sidekick? Let’s do this!

Eliminate Distractions

Let’s talk about a crucial strategy to tackle procrastination – eliminating distractions. It’s like creating a fortress of focus for your homework time. Here’s how to do it:

  • Detect Your Distractions: First, identify what’s been pulling your attention away during homework. Is it your smartphone, noisy neighbors, or the TV? It’s like finding the enemy’s weak spots.
  • Homework Sanctuary: Now, create a dedicated homework space where distractions are minimal. It could be a quiet corner, a library, or a cozy coffee shop – your fortress of focus.
  • Gadget Control: If your smartphone is your kryptonite, set it to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode or place it out of reach. It’s like locking away the distraction in a hidden vault.
  • Noisy Neighbors? Use Noise-Canceling Headphones: If outside noise is the culprit, invest in noise-canceling headphones. It’s like putting on a silencing superhero cape.
  • Stay on Guard: While in your homework zone, keep an eye on potential distractions and steer clear of them. It’s like having your own watchtower to protect your focus.

By eliminating distractions, you’re creating an environment where procrastination finds it tough to survive. Your homework time becomes a sacred space for productivity. Ready to transform your space into a distraction-free fortress of focus? Let’s get started!

Use Technology Wisely

Alright, let’s dive into the world of tech to outsmart procrastination – using technology wisely. It’s like having your very own digital homework genius. Here’s how the story unfolds:

  • Explore the App Universe: There’s a galaxy of productivity apps out there. Your mission? Find the ones that click with your needs. It’s like building your arsenal of homework helpers.
  • Time-Taming Wizards: Picture calendars and task managers as your trusty time-travel companions. They keep your homework schedule in check. It’s like having a digital time guardian.
  • Distraction Defenders: Some apps are like your digital bodyguards, shielding you from distracting websites and notifications. It’s like a digital fortress of focus.
  • Study Superpowers: There are apps for research, note-taking, and study techniques . They’re like having your personal digital tutor on speed dial.
  • Accountability Allies: You can even recruit apps to track your progress and keep you on your homework toes. It’s like having a virtual coach in your corner.

With tech as your ally, you’re turning your digital devices into powerful tools for conquering procrastination. They become your homework superheroes, not villains.

Ready to gear up and turn your digital world into a homework powerhouse? Let’s roll!

Break Tasks into Smaller Steps

Alright, let’s unveil a classic procrastination-busting move – the art of breaking down your tasks into bite-sized bits. It’s like turning a daunting mountain into a collection of manageable molehills. Here’s the deal:

  • Task Checkup: When you face a homework task that seems as colossal as a mountain, take a breath and assess it. What are the smaller, more doable steps hidden within this giant? It’s like uncovering the secret map to success.
  • Mini-Missions: Divide that mammoth task into tiny, conquerable chunks. If you’re dealing with a research paper, think of steps like “Gather Sources,” “Craft an Outline,” “Write Introduction,” and so on. It’s like creating your own homework adventure roadmap.
  • One Bite at a Time: Focus on one mini-task at a time. As you finish each one, savor the sweet taste of progress. It’s like ticking off items on your homework checklist.
  • Overwhelm Be Gone: Slicing your homework into smaller pieces transforms the impossible into a series of manageable victories. It’s like turning an epic quest into a collection of thrilling chapters.

By conquering your homework one mini-challenge at a time, you’re taking the driver’s seat to victory. Procrastination doesn’t stand a chance when you’re the master of these bite-sized tasks.

Ready to dive into your homework with the confidence of a conqueror, one step at a time? Let’s roll!

Start with the Most Challenging Task

Alright, let’s reveal a ninja move against procrastination – tackling the most daunting task head-on. It’s like facing your homework Goliath right from the start. Here’s the game plan:

  • Task Scouting: Look over your homework lineup and find the one that gives you the biggest case of the homework jitters. It’s usually the toughest or the least exciting.
  • The Brave Kick-Off: Instead of procrastinating, dive straight into that challenging task. It’s like stepping onto the battlefield with your mightiest sword.
  • Early Triumph: When you conquer the most challenging task first, it’s like scoring a winning goal in the big game. You feel an instant rush of accomplishment.
  • Smooth Sailing Ahead: With the toughest challenge in your rearview mirror, the rest of your homework feels like a walk in the park. It’s like downhill coasting on a bike after a steep uphill climb.

By taking on the biggest challenge right from the start, you not only slay the dragon but also set the stage for a super productive homework session.

Procrastination doesn’t stand a chance when you lead with your strongest move. Ready to jump into your homework like a true hero taking on a formidable foe? Let’s roll!

Stay Organized 

Alright, let’s unveil a nifty trick for outsmarting procrastination – the power of staying organized. It’s like having a magic wand to create order in your homework realm. Here’s how it plays out:

  • Declutter Detective: First, size up your homework space. Is it a chaotic jungle, or a serene sanctuary?
  • Your Homework Haven: Carve out a special space just for your homework materials, notes, and assignments. It’s like creating a secret haven amidst the homework hustle.
  • A Place for Everything: Give each item a designated home. Your textbooks, notes, pens – they all get their own cozy corners. It’s like having a treasure map for your academic gear.
  • Supercharge Efficiency: When everything’s in its place, you’ll spend less time hunting for stuff and more time conquering your homework. It’s like turning your workspace into a well-oiled homework machine.
  • Procrastination-Proof: An organized space is like a fortress against procrastination. It’s like having a homework superhero shield that repels distractions.

By embracing the way of the tidy and organized, you’re setting the stage for homework success. Procrastination struggles to survive in a well-ordered kingdom.

Ready to dive into your homework with the cool, collected vibe of a Zen master? Let’s get this organized party started!

How can I stop procrastinating immediately?

Got a procrastination emergency? No worries; we’re diving into action right now. Here’s your swift and snappy plan:

The first step is often the hardest. So, pick a task, any task, and just start. Set a timer for a quick 5 minutes and tell yourself you’ll give it your all during that time. Starting is the name of the game.

Distraction Defenders

Silence your phone, shut irrelevant tabs, and create a laser-focused workspace. It’s like rolling out the red carpet for your homework superhero.

Divide your task into itsy-bitsy mini-goals. Completing these tiny triumphs will give you a boost of victory and keep you charging forward.

Pomodoro Power

Work for 25 minutes like a champ, then treat yourself to a 5-minute breather. Rinse and repeat. It’s a dynamite method for maintaining your focus.

Imagine Victory

Close your eyes and picture the glorious moment when you finish your task. Feel the satisfaction deep in your bones.

Accountability Ace

Share your task with someone else. Knowing someone’s got an eye on your progress amps up your commitment.

Deadline Dash

Set a lightning-quick deadline for yourself. Creating a touch of urgency can fire up your motivation.

Reward Time

Promise yourself a sweet reward as soon as you conquer that task. It could be a treat, a fun video, or whatever floats your boat.

Stay Positive

Focus on the awesome feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when the task is done, rather than the effort it takes.

Push Past Resistance

Remember, procrastination is a mind game. Push through that initial resistance; it’s just a mental mirage. Keep pushing, even if it feels tough.

With these strategies, you’re equipped to kick procrastination to the curb right this instant. Ready to grab that task by the horns and show it who’s boss? Let’s do it!

You’ve just embarked on a journey to conquer the procrastination dragon that’s been haunting your homework world. With these powerful strategies in your arsenal, victory is within reach.

We began by understanding why procrastination sneaks in and learned that it’s a battle anyone can win. We explored the secrets of creating a dedicated workspace, setting clear goals, planning, and using clever techniques like the Pomodoro method and time blocking.

We harnessed the power of visualization, shifted our perspective, and discovered the sweet rewards of staying organized.

We learned to embrace the bravery of starting with the most challenging task and the wisdom of technology, accountability, and the support of friends and family.

We crafted a homework sanctuary where distractions dare not tread, and we honed the art of breaking tasks into manageable steps.

And if the procrastination beast dared to raise its head, we had a lightning-fast action plan ready to slay it immediately.

Remember, every step you take toward conquering procrastination is a step toward your academic success. With focus, determination, and these strategies, you can turn your homework time into a productive, fulfilling adventure.

So, gear up, and let’s banish procrastination to the shadows. Your homework journey is just beginning, and you’re the hero of this tale. Go forth and conquer!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i find the right workspace for homework.

Your workspace should be quiet and free from distractions. It could be a corner in your room, a library, or a cozy café, wherever you can focus best.

What’s the Pomodoro Technique, and how does it work?

The Pomodoro Technique involves working in short, focused intervals (typically 25 minutes) followed by a short break. This helps maintain concentration and reduce procrastination.

Is it essential to set clear goals for homework?

Yes, setting clear goals is crucial. It breaks down your tasks into manageable chunks with specific deadlines, making it easier to stay on track.

How can I change my perspective on homework?

Shift your focus from the effort required to the rewards of completing your homework. Think about the sense of achievement and knowledge gained.

Why are study groups and accountability partners helpful?

Study groups provide a support system and the opportunity to discuss assignments. Accountability partners help keep you on track by sharing your goals and progress.

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Psychology of Procrastination: 10 Worksheets & Games (PDF)

Psychology of Procrastination

Perceptions of procrastination range from being the topic of jokes to being associated with mental illness (Svartdal, Granmo, & Farevaag, 2018). But what is the truth about this ubiquitous behavior?

As a college instructor, I deal with student procrastination every semester, often resulting in end-of-term complications.

I’ve been guilty of it myself. Although I’m much better than I used to be, I’m still curious about procrastination.

How does it affect wellbeing and physiology?

More importantly, how can we overcome this tendency? Is there an app for that?

To get these answers, let’s explore procrastination, beginning with the psychology of procrastination.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Productivity Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients become more productive and efficient.

This Article Contains:

What is procrastination according to psychology, 6 causes according to research, 2 real-life examples of procrastination, how to overcome procrastination: 3 techniques, procrastination coaching and therapy: 2 tips, using cbt to overcome procrastination, 5 helpful worksheets, apps, & games, 12 questions, tests, & questionnaires for clients, top 2 books on the topic, positivepsychology.com’s helpful resources, a take-home message.

Procrastination has existed throughout history and across cultures, appearing in folk tales and songs. In 44 BC, the Roman politician Cicero denounced Antonius’s chronic slowness and procrastination as “hateful” (Steel, 2007).

Is procrastination merely slowness? According to Klassen, Krawchuk, and Rajani (2008, p. 916), “procrastination consists of the intentional delay of an intended course of action, in spite of an awareness of negative outcomes.”

Reviewing the history of procrastination, Steel (2007) stated that although it has existed throughout history, it increasingly assumed negative connotations with the start of the industrial revolution.

We know that technologically advanced societies mandate various commitments and deadlines, whereas agrarian and undeveloped societies do not (Steel, 2007).

Bearing in mind the connotation of procrastination as negative, we can assume there are associated consequences.

Physiological consequences of procrastination

Procrastination is linked to higher levels of stress and lower wellbeing (Jaffe, 2013; Stead, Shanahan, & Neufeld, 2010; Hairston & Shpitalni, 2016). Specifically, “[a]nxiety and depression are positively correlated with self-report and behavioral measures of procrastination” (Stead et al., 2010, p. 175).

Hairston and Shpitalni (2016) link procrastination to negative affect and self-reported sleep disturbances.

Other adverse effects of procrastination include “increased stress, lower task performance, reduced wellbeing, regret and suffering, and risk of mental and physical illness” (Svartdal et al., 2018, p. 2).

Considering the overall cultural condition of time poverty, why do people avoid tasks, preferring to peruse the internet or occupy themselves with Candy Crush?

Procrastination meaning

The following is not a comprehensive list of the causes of procrastination; however, it reflects common correlations.

1. Neuroticism

Neuroticism is similar to worrying, trait anxiety, or negative affect (Steel, 2007). Subcategories of note include irrational beliefs, cognitions, or thoughts; low self-efficacy and self-esteem; self-handicapping; impulsivity, sensation seeking; and depression.

Steel’s (2007, p. 81) research shows that the correlation between procrastination and neuroticism “appears to be due almost entirely to impulsiveness.”

2. Impulsivity

Impulsive people procrastinate, preferring to focus on desires of the moment (Steel, 2007; Svartdal et al., 2018) rather than the drudgery of tasks. This form of procrastination stems from pursuit of “ immediate gratification , neglecting or ignoring longer term responsibilities” (Steel, 2007, p. 70).

3. Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness includes variables such as distractibility (self-control), poor organization (structuring and planning life), low achievement motivation (goal setting, enjoyment of performance), and a gap between intention and action (Steel, 2007).

According to Steel (2007, p. 81), “procrastination does appear to be representative of low conscientiousness and self-regulatory failure.”

4. Lack of self-confidence or low self-efficacy

Stemming from a fear of failure, both low self-efficacy and low self-esteem are associated with procrastination (Steel, 2007). Low self-efficacy is seen as irrational doubts in our ability to do well. Low self-esteem is the belief that “any failure to perform to standard suggests inadequacy as a person” (Steel, 2007, p. 69).

5. Discomfort dodging (task aversion)

Discomfort dodging includes putting off a task “because some parts of it are associated with uncomfortable and, possibly anxious, feelings” (Knaus, 1979, p. 5). The goal of discomfort dodging is to avoid bad feelings.

6. Perfectionism

In his 1979 book Do It Now , William J. Knaus included a chapter on the association between perfectionism and procrastination. He states that perfectionism is unrealistic and linked to fear of failure. Others (Dexter, 2020; Phillips, 2019) also cite perfectionism as a source of procrastination.

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Procrastination is not new and does not discriminate.

Hannah Lamarque (2017) describes some famous procrastinators that few would expect.

1. Bill Clinton

This former president was notorious for failing to follow through and being cursed by distraction. So notorious was his latent reputation that in 1994, Time Magazine published an article about it. Further, his own vice president, Al Gore, characterized him as “punctually challenged” (Lamarque, 2017).

2. Leonardo Da Vinci

One of the greatest and most well-known artists of all time also contended with procrastination. It’s hard to conceive, considering his body of work, but Da Vinci struggled with focus. The Mona Lisa, one of his most notable masterpieces, took 16 years to complete.

Other works such as the Virgin of the Rocks took 13 years. So intense was Da Vinci’s proclivity for procrastination that his own benefactor threatened bankruptcy to motivate him.

It’s reassuring to know that procrastination is an equal opportunity malady. To offer a hand to those who struggle with it, let’s review some expert advice.

Visualization

1. The 5-minute rule

When the brain is overwhelmed by a task, it can result in anxiety and avoidance. Bariso (2021) suggests a simple technique he calls the five-minute rule.

He advises committing to the task for five minutes with the stipulation that you can quit after that time if the task is overwhelming. Also known as chunking, this method breaks tasks into feasible portions.

Because task initiation often creates the roadblock, this method helps procrastinators clear the first hurdle. Thank you, Mary Poppins.

2. Visualization (mental rehearsal)

Visualization is an ongoing process that can be productively directed (Peper, Harvey, Lin, & Duvvuri, 2014). Imagining successful completion of a task makes the realization more likely. This process is familiar to athletes and artists.

These five steps can guide the process.

  • Think of a past behavior or conflict that ended in disappointment.
  • Understand that under the circumstances, you handled it the only way you could.
  • Consider, “How could I have handled this with the wisdom I have now?”
  • Now, think back to that same situation. Immerse yourself in it as if it is recurring, using all of your senses. Be as specific as possible. This time, imagine yourself behaving masterfully.
  • Congratulate yourself for programming your own future.

3. Mindfulness

In Unwinding Anxiety , Judson Brewer (2021) discusses both procrastination and the worry loop that leads to it.

Brewer describes the standard habit loop as trigger, behavior, result. Avoiding a project can feel better in the moment than starting it. He suggests using mindfulness to build awareness of feelings associated with procrastination.

In the future, try doing a task early or on time, noticing what that feels like. The positive feelings associated with timely task completion can be used to build a new habit loop.

This video , created for medical students, introduces a useful equation for understanding procrastination and suggests seven remedies.

Knowing that there are ways to overcome procrastination, here are two tips for the therapist who has to deal with this phenomenon.

1. Appreciative inquiry

Appreciative inquiry was developed by Cooperrider and Srivastva (1987), with the help of graduate students at Case Western University in the 1980s. The concept is based on “powerful assumptions about human change that are positive and life generating by nature” (Binkert & Clancy, 2011, p. 287).

This strengths-based and solution-focused paradigm is premised on human potential and social constructionism. Adherents believe that clients can reinvent themselves through language, using three fundamental principles:

  • “what people focus on becomes their reality;
  • the language people use creates their reality; and
  • in every individual, something works” (Orem, Binkert, & Clancy, 2007, p. 40).

The application to coaching is realized through asking life-enhancing appreciative inquiry questions , watching for pivotal moments as clients begin to view themselves in a new light, and helping the client move forward, taking parts of their past that are positive and comforting (Binkert & Clancy, 2011).

2. Motivational interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an optimistic approach to change based on research, experience, and the belief that clients are more likely to change when they believe they can (Souders, 2019).

Drawing on the strength of self-talk, MI techniques encourage change talk. Grounded in self-determination theory, MI attends to three basic psychological needs:

  • Relatedness

Self-determination theory techniques are also used by professional sports coaches, such as Pete Carroll (Stetka, 2016).

This interdisciplinary method helps clients reduce ambivalence often associated with change. Its application is common in psychology and fields such as medicine and criminal justice.

This SlideShare was originally developed to help criminal justice practitioners implement MI. It explains concepts such as change talk, rolling with resistance, and using the acronym OARS.

CBT

In CBT, the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and feelings is explored and discussed. Research shows that anxiety and avoidance may explain procrastination. As reviewed earlier, procrastination is a behavior used to avoid uncomfortable feelings (Dexter, 2020).

This therapeutic approach focuses on the present and is goal oriented. It utilizes cognition to treat emotional and behavioral disorders and operates with the premise that changes in thoughts can be highly effective for treating deep-seated issues (Orem et al., 2007).

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has been proven effective as a tool to improve self-esteem and self-worth (McKay & Fanning, 2016), sometimes associated with procrastination. Using the power of self-talk to recognize and tame the inner critic, this method ignites the client’s rational, healthy voice (Sutton, 2021).

Below are three worksheets to help clients work through issues related to procrastination as well as a collection of apps and therapy games .

1. Reward Replacement Worksheet

Using procrastination as their behavior change goal, clients can use the Reward Replacement Worksheet to analyze the costs and rewards of procrastination and consider behavior change.

2. Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults

This Problem Solving Worksheet helps clients identify a problem, break it into smaller steps, and set a course of action, listing the pros and cons of each option.

3. Building New Habits

Building New Habits walks clients through the habit loop, including reward implementation, creating motivation for positive action.

4. HabitHub App

HabitHub

HabitHub, a habit and goal tracker app , motivates clients to complete to-do lists with easy-to-understand color schemes for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Task reminder options range from many to few. I have incorporated this app for health and wellness routines as well as work-related tasks. Yes, there’s an app for that.

Available for Android . Available for iOS (coming soon).

5. Triskelion eLearning game

Triskelion

Triskelion from Gamelearn is a role-playing simulation course for overcoming procrastination and maximizing personal productivity and time management skills.

Students learn to plan and prioritize projects and discover techniques that can be used daily to manage tasks, improve efficiency, and achieve goals.

Request a demo .

As we have seen through motivational interviewing, powerful questions can lead clients to revelations, evoking new thoughts about their own potential. Below are six examples from Catherine Moore, author of 100 Most Powerful Life Coaching Questions (2019):

  • What will success look like?
  • How will you know you’ve achieved your goal?
  • How might you turn these steps into a plan?
  • How will you prepare for each step?
  • How do you plan to motivate yourself when obstacles arise?
  • What are some ways to motivate yourself to get started?

I’ve added four questions of my own:

  • What one word describes how you feel during or after procrastination? Explain.
  • What type of tasks do you tend to procrastinate on the most?
  • If your self-talk is negative, do you know where that voice comes from?
  • Think of a time you felt amazing about the work you do. How did it feel? Why?

These questions allow the client to reflect on emotions that when overlooked, create non-productive habit loops, keeping in mind that what gets rewarded, gets repeated.

Procrastination can be prevalent among students. This questionnaire from the Oregon State University’s Academic Success Center website, cleverly named Procrasti-Not, is geared toward students and holistic in nature. The questions seek to identify which life domains are more prone to procrastination.

Thoroughly getting on top of a topic means extending your knowledge, and reading our recommended books are just what you need.

1. Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastination and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy

Eat that frog

Eat That Frog is touted as one of the most popular time management books in history and is available in 42 languages.

The author embraces the premise that hitting your most undesirable task first thing in the morning means you start the day having accomplished a great thing.

Further, Tracy addresses perseveration that leads to procrastination.

Find the book on Amazon .

2. Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind – Judson Brewer

Unwinding Anxiety

This book reviews the state of anxiety in current times and how anxiety drives bad habits (procrastination being one) and addictive behaviors.

Brewer presents a solution-focused program for overcoming anxiety.

We have a selection of resources that can aid mental healthcare practitioners with procrastinating clients.

The article 100 Most Powerful Life Coaching Questions [+PDF] by Catherine Moore (2019) provides helpful questions and resources for therapists, coaches, and anyone else looking to uncover issues. Moore also explains the GROW model and provides specific questions for coaching managers and leaders.

A series of simple worksheets are helpful for walking clients through individual steps toward their goal, using the acronym GROW. The worksheets include the following step-by-step process.

  • G Stands for Goal helps clients identify goals.
  • R Stands For REALITY allows clients to identify where they are with their goal and identify obstacles.
  • O Stands for Options helps clients identify options and their energy resources for reaching their goals.
  • W Stands For WAY FORWARD aids clients in setting up steps and sub-steps for reaching their goal. One of the strengths of this worksheet is the accountability piece and establishing a reward system for the accomplished goal.

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others enhance their wellbeing, this signature collection contains 17 validated positive psychology tools for practitioners . Use them to help others flourish and thrive.

Surprisingly, it has been my pleasure to explore procrastination. I’ve discovered apps, worksheets, questions, books, and other valuable resources that I’ve already implemented to improve work hygiene.

In 1979, Knaus described distractions such as “chain-smoking, overeating, sleeping, playing solitaire, doing pushups” (1979, p. 21). Forty-two years later, technological advancements have situated the temptation to procrastinate in the palm of our hands – no pushups necessary.

Students have been the target of many procrastination studies, but they’re not alone.

We are all different, and when addressing the gap between intention and action, it’s vital to create a plan that suits your personality type.

This article was completed on time, and it felt like an accomplishment because for me, procrastination is no joke.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Productivity Exercises for free .

  • Bariso, J. (2021, June 13). Emotionally intelligent people embrace the 5-minute rule . www.inc.com. Retrieved July 5, 2021, from https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/emotionally-intelligent-people-embrace-5-minute-rule.html
  • Binkert, J., & Clancy, A. L. (2011). Appreciative inquiry. In L. Wildflower & D. Brennan (Eds.), The handbook of knowledge-based coaching: From theory to practice . Jossey-Bass.
  • Brewer, J. A. (2021). Unwinding anxiety: New science shows how to break the cycles of worry and fear to heal your mind . Avery.
  • Cooperrider, D. L., & Srivastva, S. (1987). Appreciative inquiry in organizational life.  Research in Organizational Change and Development ,  1 (1), 129–169.
  • Dexter, M. (2020, March 28). Social anxiety and procrastination: What “I can’t” might really mean . National Social Anxiety Center. Retrieved July 17, 2021, from https://nationalsocialanxietycenter.com/2020/03/28/social-anxiety-and-procrastination-what-i-cant-might-really-mean/
  • Hairston, I. S., & Shpitalni, R. (2016). Procrastination is linked with insomnia symptoms: The moderating role of morningness-eveningness. Personality and Individual Differences , 101 , 50–56.
  • Jaffe, E. (2013, March 29). Why wait? The science behind procrastination. Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved July 5, 2021, from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination
  • Klassen, R. M., Krawchuk, L. L., & Rajani, S. (2008). Academic procrastination of undergraduates: Low self-efficacy to self-regulate predicts higher levels of procrastination. Contemporary Educational Psychology , 33 (4), 915–931.
  • Knaus, W. J. (1979). Do it now . Prentice-Hall.
  • Lamarque, H. (2017, January 12). Top 10 most famous procrastinators in the world . Career Addict. Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.careeraddict.com/top-10-most-famous-procrastinators-in-the-world
  • McKay, M., & Fanning, P. (2016).  Self-esteem . New Harbinger.
  • Moore, C. (2019, October 22). 100 Most powerful life coaching questions [+PDF] . PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved August 4, 2021, from https://positivepsychology.com/life-coaching-questions/
  • Orem, S. L., Binkert, J., & Clancy, A. L. (2007). Appreciative coaching: A positive process for change . Jossey-Bass.
  • Peper, E., Harvey, R., Lin, I. M., & Duvvuri, P. (2014). Increase productivity, decrease procrastination, and increase energy. Biofeedback , 42 (2), 82–87.
  • Phillips, L. (2019, October 24). Procrastination: An emotional struggle. Counseling Today. Retrieved July 22, 2021, from https://ct.counseling.org/2019/10/procrastination-an-emotional-struggle/#
  • Souders, B. (2019, November 5). 17 Motivational interviewing questions and skills . PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved August 2, 2021, from https://positivepsychology.com/motivational-interviewing/
  • Stead, R., Shanahan, M. J., & Neufeld, R. W. (2010). “I’ll go to therapy, eventually”: Procrastination, stress, and mental health. Personality and Individual Differences , 49 , 175–180.
  • Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin , 133 (1), 65–94.
  • Stetka, B. (2016). How to coach like an Olympian. Scientific American Mind , 27 (4), 45–49.
  • Sutton, J. (2021, July 24). How to boost self-esteem: 12 Simple exercises & CBT tools . PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved August 2, 2021, from https://positivepsychology.com/self-esteem-boost-exercises/
  • Svartdal, F., Granmo, S., & Farevaag, F. S. (2018). On the behavioral side of procrastination: Exploring behavioral delay in real-life Settings. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 .
  • Tracy, B. (2017).  Eat that frog! 21 Great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.  Berrett-Koehler.

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Sally

Brilliant article. I see aspects of myself in all the 6 causes of procrastination listed, nice to see them listed like this, where one can examine why they think the way they do… complete with references for further reading and tools for therapy. Procrastination can become a severe, career/lifestyle destroying problem left unchecked, negative beliefs formed over a lifetime. Guilt, shame and disappointment become unbearable by midlife. I am still procrastinating my social life more than a year after covid lockdowns, and struggles with productivity when working from home resulted in me forming rigid beliefs such as I am simply not capable of working in the afternoon, at all, even after returning to the office. When it gets this far, really need therapy not just an ADHD diagnosis and throw some meds at it. (meds not helpful in my case, I tried). There are so many “how to beat procrastination 10 tips” type articles that are basic, patronising and really just cover how to set goals followed by “just start it, go on!”. I’d also add one potential cause: Demand avoidance, which we all do to some degree. But when its pathological demand avoidance it can be associated with autism

Kopano Mochotlhi

A highly informative article that must be read by all people who wants to deal with mind strongholds of procrastination which are obstacles to our Divine Predestined success and prosperity.

Helen Pasquale

Well researched and informative article.

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25 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to do Homework

April 28, 2023 by Chukwuemeka Gabriel Leave a Comment

Are you having trouble doing your homework, here is an article that lists tips to help you stop procrastinating and find the right motivation to do homework.

Keeping up with schoolwork can be tiring and stressful even for intelligent students. From an early age, dealing with homework and school is never easy. But, there must be a solution to overcome the fear and anxiety to face what must be done.

If you are a student having trouble creating a balance between school, homework, and other activities, you need to find the right motivation to get things right.

Are you a student who finds it difficult to get things done at the right time? Allow me to tell you that procrastination is a very bad habit and you need to let it go.

Yes, everyone deals with the problem of procrastination but is more of a problem if you are a student. You have to submit your homework and test at the appropriate time, so you see why it’s bad to procrastinate as a student.

To help you overcome this problem, we have listed more than 20 tips to stop procrastinating and find the motivation to do your homework.

Tips to Stop Procrastinating

How Do I Stop Procrastinating as a Student?

If you don’t try, you may never find a solution to a problem, that’s a fact. We all have our issues and how we handle their matters.

When it comes to students procrastinating and feeling tired to do their home, there are simple steps to take to attend to these problems. 

If you are a parent and your child is having trouble building a balance with school work, here are simple steps to take to make things better.

Firstly, as a parent, you need to understand why students procrastinate. You may think that your child is naturally lazy or care less about schoolwork.

That may not be the case, as procrastination is common even in adults.

Secondly, a student struggling with procrastination needs the right motivation to overcome their fears. Everyone struggles at a point in life and only the right words of encouragement can help in such situations.

If a student feels reluctant to do the work involved in getting the right results, he or she should not expect an excellent outcome.

Lastly, a word of encouragement from a parent can go a long way to help the student overcome the problem of procrastination.

Also Read: 21 Time Management Apps For Students

Why You Procrastinate on Homework

Exhaustion and anxiety are some of the factors affecting your self-control and motivation. You procrastinate on your homework, why? Because these factors are the problem you are dealing with.

Fear is natural, but when it gets the best of you over motivation, it becomes a huge problem. Distraction and unclear instruction also contribute to why you procrastinate doing your homework.

Self-control matters and it’s the motivation you need to even start. You have to be in charge to get things done as a student.

Yes, there will be exhaustion and anxiety, but once you are in control and have the right motivation, you should have no problem doing your homework and stop procrastinating.

You need to rejuvenate your confidence and find the right motivation to do your homework, so here are tips to help you stop procrastinating. 

#1. Find Out Why You Are Procrastinating

Every puzzle needs to be solved and the best way to do that is to figure things out. Procrastination is a huge problem not just for students, but for everyone out there who needs to get things done.

It’s more of an issue when it comes to academics. Delaying and giving excuses to do schoolwork is very bad. Procrastinating is packed with fears, exhaustion, anxiety, etc.

So, what is one way out of many ways to solve this problem?

Firstly, you need to stop coming up with excuses for not doing your homework. Search within yourself and find out what is stopping you from getting started.

Are you having this trouble because you are not interested in the topic or subject?

Whatever the case may be, you need to figure out why you are procrastinating.

#2. Challenge Yourself to a Quiz to See How You Procrastinate 

One of the tips to stop procrastinating and find the motivation to do your homework is to put yourself to the test.

If you want to change your behaviour to overcome procrastination, you need to be more self-aware.

Ask yourself these questions:

How often do I procrastinate and how badly is it affecting my state of mind?

Is it a problem to procrastinate and if yes, how bad is it? 

What tasks do I tend to avoid in school?

Once you find the answers to these questions, you are in for a big change.

#3. List What You Are Procrastinating on

Generally, most students are likely to procrastinate whenever they feel overwhelmed or stressed.

What if I told you that you can make things easier by listing the specific tasks you are putting off? It’s a simple trick and perhaps you should try it out.

#4. Keep Your Homework on Your Desk

What we are looking for are simple tips to help you stop procrastinating and find the right motivation to do your homework .

Keeping your homework far from where you can easily start looking into it is a no-no. The hardest part for most students is to start doing their homework.

Putting your homework on your desk will remind you that you need to get started. When you leave it in your bag or any place that is not your desk, it will be hard for you to start.

#5. Break Down the Task into Smaller Steps

Here is one of the useful tips to help you find the motivation to stop procrastinating and do your homework.

Let’s say you have a history report to write and you have just a few days to submit it. Here is something you should do to make things easier for yourself.

Apply these simple steps to get your history report done in no time.

  • Read the history textbook thoroughly and ensure you are satisfied
  • Conduct online research to get more information
  • Gather your information 
  • Create an outline for your work
  • Write the introduction and the body paragraphs
  • Write your conclusion
  • Edit and proofread your report

#6. Create a Timeline with Specific Deadlines

As a student, you need to be time cautious and creating a timeline and deadline will stop procrastinating.

Making out time to do your school work and giving yourself a deadline is one big step to stopping procrastination.

#7. Spend More Time with People Who Are Hardworking and Focused

The company you keep say a lot about you and how much you intend to succeed in school.

When you leave the best brains in your class and decide to hang out with unserious students, do not expect the best results.

Associating with people who are motivated and hardworking comes with a better result. The more you hang with such people, the more you become like them.

The friends you keep in school should motivate you and add value to life and academics. Ensure you are in a circle of friends with positive mindsets .

#8. Tell Two or Three Persons about the Task You Intend to Complete

Telling others about the task you intend to complete gives you the advantage to follow through with your plans.

It’s called accountability, as you will be seen as an individual known for his or her words.

Also Read: 30 Motivational and Inspirational Quotes for Students

#9. Change Your Environment

One of the simple tips to stop procrastinating and find the motivation to do your homework is changing of environment.

Perhaps your current environment is affecting you and you need to move. Believe me, I have been in that situation where I needed to leave my comfort zone just to make sure am not distracted doing my school work.

It’s bad to lay in bed and do your homework, never do that. If your environment is a contributing factor to your procrastination problem, then it’s time you do something about it.

#10. Speak to People Who Have Overcome their Procrastination Problem

If by any chance you have a friend who has gone through this problem in the past, try reaching out to them. 

There are questions you should ask them and whatever answer they give you, take them seriously.

#11. Use the 3, 2, 1 Method

Create a countdown for yourself to stop procrastinating and motivate yourself to do homework.

Once it’s go-time, stop whatever you are doing and start working on that task. Creating this pattern in your mind will help you combat procrastination.

#12. Give Yourself False Deadlines

Let’s say you have a maths assignment that has to be submitted in two weeks’ time. Even if the assignment has no deadline, try creating one for yourself.

By doing so, you will likely finish your assignment before the deadline for submission. When you think you have all the time in the world to do your homework, that’s procrastination taking over.

#13. Give Yourself a Gold Star

A teacher may decide to award students with gold stickers if they score 100 on a math test. This is something most students would want. 

Never feel left out if you never received a gold sticker from a teacher. Once you try to give yourself that small affirmation , you will be motivated.

#14. Reward Yourself in Bigger Ways

Rewarding yourself is one of the tips to stop procrastinating and find the right motivation to do your homework.

Everyone deserves a reward after accomplishing a difficult task. Give yourself a bigger reward whenever you achieve something great/

#15. Consider the Consequences of Procrastination

Try asking yourself what will happen if you procrastinate. Maybe you will miss important deadlines at school or you will be unable to complete your school work.

Perhaps the history report you want to submit won’t get enough attention as it’s supposed to.

#16. Write a Letter to Your Future Self

We all want to be better as we advance in life and you should not expect less. Will you be going through the issue of procrastinating? Perhaps everyone you know will be facing this challenge, not just you.

What’s important is to be a better version of yourself in the future. So, here is something important you need to do.

Write a letter to yourself reminding yourself how you felt in the difficult moments and why you need to stop.

Whenever you are moving in the wrong direction, bring out that letter and read it.

Also Read: How to Create a Google Classroom: Guide to Create Classes and Contents

#17. Be Kind to Yourself

Generally, no one is impeccable and this should remind you that you are human.

When you procrastinate, remind yourself that you are only human and things like this happen. Don’t make it a habit because this is where it becomes a problem.

Speak to yourself that you will do better next time and ensure you do it.

#18. Visualize Success

Take a few seconds to visualize how you feel after finishing your homework. It feels right and satisfying knowing you have completed all your schoolwork.

There is a huge relief when you complete your task. Visualizing success perhaps is an inspiration to start doing your homework.

#19. Create a Study or Work Space

Creating a workspace is one of the tips to stop procrastinating and find the right motivation to do your homework.

If your classmate feels comfortable reading in the library, it doesn’t mean the same thing will work for you.

Where is the perfect place for you to study? Is it your room, the library, or a specific corner of the quad?

Wherever you think is best for you, study there and concentrate on your work.

#20. Set Aside Time for Recreation

Whether you are in high school or college, try to make out time for other activities.

Creating a timetable for recreation and study will help balance things.

#21. Use the Pomodoro Technique

This technique involves taking short breaks when doing your homework.

Do your homework for 25-minute long stretches, with 5 minutes breaks in between.

#22. Begin with the Best or Worst Part

Whether it’s the best or worst part, you have to find a perfect method to start your homework.

Choose your pattern and make the best out of it.

#23. Concentrate on Your Goals Instead of Your Assignment

It’s better you focus on your end goals of completing the homework and earning good grades rather than concentrate on the fact that has an aversion to your homework.

Also Read: How to Record a Meeting on Microsoft Teams

#24. Write Down Why You Want to Complete the Task

You will be motivated once you understand why you want to accomplish something so badly. 

One simple tip to motivate yourself to do your homework is to think positively. Here are a few important things to write down:

  • Master the topic and learn useful information
  • Learn to accept challenges
  • Become a more focused student that knows what he or she wants
  • Fulfil your responsibility as a decent student 

#25. List the Negative Feelings You Will Have If You Don’t Complete the Task

What are the feelings you experience when you don’t finish your homework?

Are they positive feelings that you want to experience over and over again? If the feeling is not positive, you must challenge yourself to finish your schoolwork.

We have shown you tips to stop procrastinating and find the right motivation to do your homework. It’s important you practice these tips if you are having trouble doing your homework.

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  • 20 Highest Paying 4 Week Online Certificate Programs
  • How to Write an Erasmus Motivation Letter
  • 15 Free Courses Online With Certificates
  • https://www.daniel-wong.com/2016/01/18/stop-procrastinating-on-homework/
  • https://solvingprocrastination.com/homework-procrastination/
  • https://fairygodboss.com/career-topics/how-to-stop-procrastinating

About Chukwuemeka Gabriel

Gabriel Chukwuemeka is a graduate of Physics; he loves Geography and has in-depth knowledge of Astrophysics. Gabriel is an ardent writer who writes for Stay Informed Group and enjoys looking at the world map when he is not writing.

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procrastinating online homework

10 Tips on How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework

  • June 4, 2023
  • | Author: Virtue Map Team

procrastinating on the homework

You do not like to tidy up, but you are happy to take on household chores as soon as you remember the importance of the homework deadline. I hate cooking more than anything, but I can spend hours cooking if you only have an important homework assignment for tomorrow.

Have you ever wondered why it happens ? Have you ever asked yourself why I can’t do my homework? These are the surprises of procrastinating homework, that are able to surprise us every time we have to do one or another task immediately.

Why is it hard for Some People is Hard to do Homework?

People may procrastinate because of various reasons , such as:

  • Feeling anxiety and fear that they will not be capable to complete the homework assignment;
  • Wrong order of priorities;
  • The belief that the homework task is boring;
  • Thinking that homework will take little time, so it can be done later;
  • Lack of motivation and perseverance to do homework;;
  • High expectations of teachers and parents;
  • There is no understanding of why it is necessary to do homework;
  • Lack of energy due to inappropriate daily routine or diet;
  • It is difficult to concentrate due to personal problems or an unsuitable environment for doing homework;
  • Perfectionism or the desire to complete a task perfectly.

How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework? 10 Tips to Push You Forward

1. be honest with yourself and admit that you procrastinate.

One of the most common reasons why people cannot get rid of procrastination is that they do not recognize that they are procrastinating homework. And when asked why they did not complete one or another task on time, they find many reasons to make excuses.

So, in order to get rid of a problem, you first need to acknowledge it. And consciously monitor your speech and actions in order to ensure that they do not lead to procrastination.

2. State very clearly the reasons that lead you to procrastinate

After you have acknowledged that procrastination is causing you discomfort, it is time to name the reasons. Ask yourself why is it so hard to do homework? What exactly makes you anxious or afraid?

Naming the reasons will allow you not to blindly surrender to emotions, but to assess the situation rationally. When you clearly name the reasons, you may find that most of them are just ridiculous and not worth looking into.

3. Set clear and motivating goals

Another tip that can help to do your homework more effectively is to be clear about why you need to do it. This reasoning should not be superficial, but essential and inspiring for the work.

It is possible that the goal of finishing the school year with excellent grades or passing well in exams will not be very inspiring. In this case, try to deceive yourself. Use homework as a way to accomplish other goals. For example, if I achieve the goal set this month – I will allow myself to go to a concert of my favorite music group with my friends. If not, I will have to skip it, etc.

4. Break big goals into small ones, they will seem easier to overcome

Large projects can be really intimidating. In fact, they often paralyze people before they even begin to complete the assignment. Therefore, it is important to divide the task into several performance stages, and if necessary – to divide these stages into separate tasks.

This way the studying will no longer seem insurmountable. Step by step, one task at a time, you will soon have completed the entire project. And all this is only because a set of small tasks seems easier to overcome than one big task for our brain.

5. Surround yourself with people who have set goals and are purposefully pursuing them

Such a company will not only encourage you when it is difficult or inspire you when you lack motivation, but will also testify by example that the set goals are achievable. Of course, only if you devote enough time and effort to it.

As it is said, if you want to reach your goal slowly, go for it alone, if you want to reach it quickly, invite at least a couple of people to help you.

6. Tell others about the assignments you have to do

This is one of the effective ways to stop procrastinating with your homework and not only talk about the homework to be done, but actually do it.

You probably wonder, how does it work? Actually, this is another psychological trick that shows that when we have spoken about our plans to others out loud, we do not want to disappoint them. Therefore it becomes an additional motivation that helps to keep studying easier and to avoid procrastination at the same time.

7. Improve your time management: plan your schedule and stick to it

This is almost the most important thing: developing the habit of planning and sticking to that plan. Today, there are many ways to choose from that can help you plan your time and use it effectively. While some people still use a paper must-do list, others write their tasks down in a productivity app .

It doesn’t really matter which way you choose. The thing that is really significant – to choose one of the most popular ways to organize your agenda. And after that to start putting it into practice in your daily life. You will soon be surprised how much planning can do.

8. One task at a time

We often hear praise for those who know how to do several things at once. But it clearly does not work. When doing several tasks at once, our brain keeps switching back and forth from one thing to another. That is why we get tired faster, make more mistakes, and work less efficiently.

Therefore, if you want to save time and do more tasks in a shorter period of time, always follow a consistent order: one task at a time.

9. Choose a place to do homework with as few distractions as possible

If you want to prepare your homework effectively, then you need to provide the right environment for it. Choose a place where you have enough space to sit down comfortably and place the necessary tools nearby. It should be a quiet place – silence helps you concentrate for studying better.

It is also recommended to put aside all devices that may distract you. Be strict with yourself – give yourself a limited amount of time for homework (this will help you focus) and during this time do not use smart watches, phones or the computer unless your homework assignment requires it or the technology is useful for productivity .

10.  Reward yourself for successfully completed assignments

Do not forget that doing homework should be fun! Therefore, always reward yourself after successfully completing tasks. This will lead to self-satisfaction and the work done, and will also provide motivation to perform other assignments.

What kind of reward could this be? Whether it’s an episode of a newly released series or ice cream – use your imagination! And you will get rid of such questions as how to not procrastinate on homework, etc.

How to Indicate that You are Procrastinating on Studying?

Here are some of the symptoms that indicate you are prone to homework procrastination:

  • Even though you know you have to do a task right away, you keep putting it off;
  • Accomplishing small tasks that require only a little time and concentration also take a lot of your time;
  •  You keep postponing frustrating tasks or the ones that might be boring;
  • You wait until the deadlines for the completion of the work start to really cause you to worry about not being able to make it;
  • If you have the opportunity, you prefer to postpone work until tomorrow, even if you know that the amount of tasks the next day may not be manageable;
  • You would describe your busyness as a waste of time.

Is it common to procrastinate on homework?

Of course. Every task that requires you to leave your comfort zone can cause fear, confusion, and reluctance to do it. The same emotions are caused by tasks that seem uninteresting or too difficult. Most people have to deal with these emotions in order to stop procrastinating.

Can procrastinating on homework indicate ADHD?

There is no direct relationship between procrastination and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The reasons why people with ADHD fail to complete tasks are different from those who succumb to procrastination.

People call me lazy. Is it true that laziness and procrastination are the same thing?

Not really. Laziness can be described as an unwillingness to do anything at all. Meanwhile, procrastination is characterized by active action, but paying attention to things that are not important. For example, knowing that there is only one day left to finish an important homework project, a person still chooses to first wash the floor of the room, download a long-watched movie, to clean and organize the computer desktop, etc.

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David Schwartz LMFT

Adolescence

5 ways to help teens stop procrastinating and get things done, shifting responsibility from parents to teenager can be a good first step..

Posted September 14, 2022 | Reviewed by Davia Sills

  • Teenagers don't always work on our schedules. It's important for adults to make clear what's expected of them.
  • Shifting responsibility from the adult to the teenager can help empower the adolescent and build self-esteem.
  • Showing an adolescent the importance of being responsible and meeting deadlines without prompting is a valuable skill to learn.

If you have teenagers in your house, chances are they don’t always “jump to it” when you have something you’d like them to do. Whether it’s getting their homework done, helping with chores around the house, or getting up at a decent hour on weekends, they’re most likely on their own schedule, which may be much, much slower than yours. As a result, there are conflicts that most likely occur between family members as you try to get teens to adhere to a schedule you find more reasonable.

One of the problems parents face is that teenagers don’t have the same priorities as adults. They don’t particularly care if they do their homework promptly and responsibly. They’ll get around to it. Chores are no fun, and often they wait until parents are at their wit’s end before complying. If you’ve had to raise your voice repeatedly to get anything done around the house by your teen, you know the reality of this situation.

The good news is that, developmentally, teens are in a place where they can be motivated to become more responsible. The first step in doing this is to start to shift the responsibility from yourself to them. That means they need to be responsible for getting their chores done or their homework completed. After all, if you continue to manage their choices, they won’t learn to function effectively in the world. Starting with the awareness that it may seem almost impossible for teens to become more self-motivated and responsible, here are some ideas to help teens to start taking responsibility for their own actions.

1. Shift Responsibility to the Teen.

Up until now, chances are you were a lot more invested in your adolescent completing their responsibilities than they were. Self- motivation to do chores or homework can be rare indeed. The good news is that can change. It all comes down to the proper motivation. Millions of people go to jobs every day that they’re not crazy about. They do it because the reward outweighs the alternative. The same can be applied to motivating teenagers.

Teens want things from us. They want to be driven places, or if they’re driving, they want to use the car. They want to go to parties and stay out late with their friends. These are all things that require a teenager to be responsible. These are privileges that require parental trust to help keep them safe. When you shift the responsibility of getting things done from yourself to the teenager and reinforce it with a rewards system that gives them something they want if they comply, you help them develop a sense of responsibility and empowerment. While you may have to remind them to complete their tasks at first, chances are they will get the message and complete their chores to get the rewards they want.

2. Let Them Set the Time to Accomplish Their Goals.

As parents, we watch our kids appear at times to be unmotivated. As a result, we wind up managing their time for them. We tell them when to do their homework. We remind them to do the dishes. We set their bedtimes. Doing these things puts the responsibility to honor their commitments on our shoulders. We wind up having to continually remind them to get things done, and this is frustrating for us and for them.

Maybe it’s time to let teenagers start managing their own time. This can shift the responsibility for getting things done from the adult to the teenager. Explain that they’re older now, and you expect them to be more responsible. Talk with them about the importance of being able to be self-motivated and accomplishing their goals. Be specific about what needs to be done and the deadline for getting it done. Explain that the more responsible they are, the more privileges they will get in the household.

3. Excuses Better Be Valid.

Kids love to make excuses for why they’re not getting things done. Let them know that excuses no longer cut it. They need to take care of their commitments within the time limits agreed upon. With teenagers, often their excuses are just a way to get out of taking responsibility for their behaviors. By holding teens to their word and not allowing excuses to easily “get them off the hook,” you are helping them understand that their commitments matter and are expected to be met.

4. Expect Them to Do What They Say They’re Going to Do.

When your teen gets older and starts working or getting into a serious relationship, their bosses and partners are going to expect them to honor their commitments. This is an important life skill that the sooner they learn, the better off they will be. Let teens know that when they agree to something, you expect them to follow through and complete what they’ve promised. You’re not being rigid or unfair by expecting them to keep their word.

Immigrant parents and teens often differ in how easily they adapt to their new home.

5. Have Clear Expectations.

It’s not bad parenting to expect your child to contribute something to the household. Whether it’s chores, taking care of younger siblings, or just getting good grades, these are not unreasonable expectations for your teen. It’s actually unfair of parents to have no expectations for their children during most of their young life and then criticize them for lazing around the house all day.

Expectations are a good thing. They help prepare the child for adulthood and can give them a sense of being able to accomplish things. Having clear expectations is also a great way to build self-confidence .

Admittedly, it’s not easy to motivate teens. Whether you choose a reward system or just structure a schedule they can adhere to, the important thing is to help motivate your teen to start taking responsibility for their own behaviors and choices. As children reach their teenage years, developing a sense of responsibility can make a big difference in their ability to succeed. It’s a vital life skill that can help them feel empowered, which can lead to increased self-esteem .

David Schwartz LMFT

David Schwartz, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who works with adolescents, adults, couples, and families in Westlake Village, California.

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New York City schools went online instead of calling a snow day. It didn’t go well

New York City’s plan to have students go remote instead of a snow day didn’t go quite as planned. Many students, teachers and administrators were unable to log in to their accounts. City officials blamed on a technology contractor. (Feb. 13) (AP Video: Joseph B. Frederick)

A woman plays with a child that is sledding in New York's Central Park Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Technology glitches kept many New York City teachers and students from virtual classes Tuesday — the first attempt by the country's largest school system to switch to remote learning for a snow storm since the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A woman plays with a child that is sledding in New York’s Central Park Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. Technology glitches kept many New York City teachers and students from virtual classes Tuesday — the first attempt by the country’s largest school system to switch to remote learning for a snow storm since the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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A person works to clear wet and heavy snow from a sidewalk during a winter storm in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NEW YORK (AP) — When New York City officials got wind of the major winter storm headed their way, they rewound the clock four years, reopened their coronavirus pandemic playbook, and announced that instead of canceling school, teachers and students would once again meet online. No snow day.

Mayor Eric Adams said it was important to give children enrolled in the nation’s largest school system stability considering the massive upheaval to education the pandemic had caused throughout the country. Some school districts in other states have done the same since adopting the technology essential in 2020 to make virtual school days possible.

Unfortunately for Adams, the plan didn’t go so well: Many students, teachers and administrators were unable to log in to their accounts — a problem that city officials blamed on a technology contractor.

Naveed Hasan, a Manhattan resident, said he struggled to get his 4-year-old daughter logged on because of the district’s technical issues even though his 9-year-old son was able to gain access. He hoped to take both out for sledding later in the day.

Nelson Taylor, of Providence, R.I., left, uses cross-country skis while making his way along a residential street, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Providence. Parts of the Northeast have been hit by a coastal storm that's dumping snow and packing strong winds in some areas, while others aren't getting as much snow as anticipated. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“It honestly worked out for the best,” Hasan said. “I’d rather not have the youngest on a device all day anyways.”

Schools nationwide shuttered classrooms for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and some did not reopen fully for more than a year. Some children barely logged on , and many struggled with the social isolation.

The months spent with online education were marked by widespread learning losses . Young students often struggled with the technology, and some parents said online learning was a factor in their decision to delay enrolling their kids .

In a November 2020 survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, 39% of district leaders said they had converted snow days to remote learning. Another 32% said they would consider the change. But in recent years, some districts, including Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, have reverted to prepandemic snow day policies. School systems in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, among many others, closed in response to Tuesday’s storm.

Connecticut does not allow remote learning on a snow day to count toward the minimum 180 learning days in the school calendar. The state weighed factors such as the challenges of setting up remote classrooms on short notice, and local officials also reported that parents and students wanted traditional snow days, said Irene Parizi, chief academic officer for the state Department of Education.

“Let them have their snow day and go sledding and have their hot chocolate and things like that,” Parizi said.

With schools closed in Columbia, Connecticut, Susan Smith spent the day at home with her three children, ages 14, 11 and 8. She said she likes traditional snow days, but would also like to see remote learning on some bad weather days.

“I still remember being a kid and really looking forward to snow days, so I don’t want to completely wipe that off the map with remote learning,” Smith said.

Adams defended the decision to have NYC schools operate virtually.

“Using this as a teaching moment to have our children learn how to continue the expansion of remote learning is so important,” the mayor said in an interview on WPIX-TV Monday evening. “We fell back in education because of COVID. We cannot afford our young people to miss school days.”

Gina Cirrito, a parent on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, said she appreciated the structure the remote classes provided for her three sons, even if Tuesday morning was a bit of rough sledding in her household.

“I know people around the country get really frustrated with the idea of these remote days and not just letting the kids have a day,” she said. “But I don’t think the teachers are asking above and beyond and to be honest, they’re so far behind. If there’s a way to keep their (students’) brains a little engaged, I’m all for it.”

Cirrito said the family had to work through some early morning logistics, including making sure everyone had a functioning computer and a quiet spot in the apartment to work — only to run into the district’s login issues.

By about 9:15 a.m. her sons — ages 10, 13 and 17 — had settled into the day’s routine.

“For the kids, it’s like riding a bike. Like, ‘Here we go again,’” Cirrito said.

New York City officials did not say how many students were prevented from accessing online classes but they blamed the problem on their technology contractor, IBM. While both teachers and students recently participated in simulations to prepare for remote instruction, IBM was not involved in those walk-throughs, officials said at a news conference.

“IBM was not ready for prime time. That’s what happened here,” said New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks.

In a statement, IBM said it had been “working closely with New York City schools to address this situation as quickly as possible.”

“The issues have been largely resolved, and we regret the inconvenience to students and parents across the city,” the statement read.

The morning technical glitches only added to the stress for teachers already scrambling to pivot lessons and assignments to remote work, said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, which represents roughly 200,000 NYC public schools teachers and staff.

But Mulgrew said educators anticipated trouble after their experience with distance learning during the pandemic. He noted that by 12:30 p.m., 900,000 students and teachers were utilizing the district’s remote learning system — a testament, he said, to how teachers were able to keep their classes engaged despite the morning challenges.

“It’s also a good lesson for students,” he said. “This is what happens when things go wrong. You don’t get frustrated or angry. You got to figure it out.”

Mulgrew added that this year’s school calendar only allows for one or so snow days, “so you want to save that, just in case.”

Still, Hasan, a software developer, wondered whether students and teachers alike would have been better served with a snow day, even as he acknowledged Tuesday’s accumulations in the city might not have warranted it in a bygone era.

“It’s like a mental health day for kids to just go and play,” he said. “It’s already enough of a challenge for parents to figure out how they are going to do their work.”

Ma reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writer Jake Offenhartz in New York and Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

PHILIP MARCELO

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  2. 10 Tips on How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework

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  3. 10 tips to help your teen out of the Procrastination Trap

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  4. This Is How to Stop Homework Procrastination

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  1. Procrastinating Homework 📚 (Roblox Story Time) [Long Version] #shorts

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COMMENTS

  1. 4 tips for college students to avoid procrastinating with their online work

    1. Manage motivation One of the main reasons students procrastinate is that they do not see their coursework as relevant to what they're doing now or expect to do later on. When students find...

  2. Homework Procrastination: Why You Procrastinate on Homework and How to

    You procrastinate on homework because issues such as exhaustion and anxiety outweigh your self-control and motivation. These issues include personal factors, like fear and perfectionism, and situational factors, like distractions and unclear instructions.

  3. 30 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to Do Homework

    2. Figure out why you're procrastinating. Procrastination is a complex issue that involves multiple factors. Stop thinking of excuses for not doing your homework, and figure out what's keeping you from getting started. Are you procrastinating because: You're not sure you'll be able to solve all the homework problems?

  4. 5 Ways to Do Your Homework on Time if You're a Procrastinator

    1 Organize your notes and files into categories. Procrastinating is easy if your notes are such a mess that you can't find anything you need! Take the time to organize your notes and files. [1] Keep one binder or file folder for each class, and put your notes and assignments in chronological order. [2] 2

  5. How Do I Stop Procrastinating in Online School?

    Procrastination is a common challenge for many online students, since online students find they must be self-motivated to get work done. The lack of face-to-face interaction with an instructor makes it easy to get distracted or put off classwork until the last minute.

  6. Why Do Students Procrastinate? Causes & Tips

    Causes of procrastination on homework among students include: Lack of motivation Low self-confidence Fear of failure Lack of understanding Trouble concentrating Perfectionism Low energy levels Poor organization skills Effects Of Procrastination On Homework

  7. How college students can avoid procrastinating with online work

    2020 How college students can avoid procrastinating with online work Four tips, including this one: Create a good learning space Originally published in The Conversation By Kui Xie Cyphert Distinguished Professor; Professor of Learning Technologies; Director of The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning, The Ohio State University Sheng-Lun Cheng

  8. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you've got SAT studying to do. It's just more fun to watch people make scones. D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you're reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time. 5.

  9. 4 tips for college students to avoid procrastinating with their online

    2. Manage goals, tasks and time. College life can get hectic. Many college students must juggle coursework, social events and work commitments at the same time. Getting more organized helps stave ...

  10. How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework: 9 Helpful Tips

    1. Make a plan. The first step to avoiding homework procrastination is to make a plan. Having a plan gives you something to stick to and helps you stay on track. Start by knowing what work you need to do and when it's due. Then, break down the work into smaller tasks that you can complete.

  11. Online Procrastination: How to Stop Procrastinating on Digital Devices

    Online procrastination occurs when people unnecessarily postpone something they should be doing, by instead doing something else on a digital device (e.g., a computer or phone), often while also using the internet. For example, if a student should be doing their homework, but instead browses social media on their smartphone, then that student is engaging in online procrastination.

  12. How to Stop Procrastinating in College: 7 Tips

    Hannah Muniz Updated on March 23, 2023 Learn more about our editorial process Many college students procrastinate on studying and completing assignments. Procrastination means putting off tasks, even though doing so will negatively affect you. Students can avoid procrastinating by creating a schedule and breaking up tasks.

  13. Why You Procrastinate and How To Stop

    February 22, 2022 How To Stop Procrastinating Practical strategies to start getting things done When you have a huge to-do list, the best thing is to prioritize and tackle tasks in order of importance. But our modern world is full of distractions that can tempt you to procrastinate.

  14. How to Stop Procrastinating? Tips for Students!

    Overwhelm If there's a lot going on in your school life and/or personal life, you may feel unsure how or where to even start. Anxiety You could feel worried or anxious about the potential outcomes of whatever you have to get done, be it a homework assignment or test results. Perfectionism

  15. Procrastination: Why It Happens and How to Overcome It

    Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline. Some researchers define procrastination as a "form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences."

  16. Procrastination and Homework

    Rewrite the first sentence or paragraph of a paper several times, repeatedly. Crave a snack as soon as you sit down to study. Spend too much time (days) to decide on a topic. Carry books around all the time, but never open them to study. Get angry if a parent asks "Have you started yet?"

  17. How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework? Winning the ...

    October 30, 2023 No Comments Explore powerful strategies for how to stop procrastinating on homework. Your path to academic success starts here. Yet, there you are, wrestling with the age-old temptation of procrastination. We've all been there, right? It's that eternal battle between what we should do and what we'd rather be doing. But fear not!

  18. 11 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

    1. Get rid of catastrophizing One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they catastrophize, or make a huge deal out of something. It may be related to how tough, how boring, or...

  19. Psychology of Procrastination: 10 Worksheets & Games (PDF)

    According to Klassen, Krawchuk, and Rajani (2008, p. 916), "procrastination consists of the intentional delay of an intended course of action, in spite of an awareness of negative outcomes."

  20. Teach Your Teen How to Stop Procrastinating Homework (without Nagging

    Winston Sieck Louise Rasmussen Contact Teach Your Teen How to Stop Procrastinating Homework (without Nagging) You send him off to school. Drive him to soccer practice. Then there's dinner. And, you know, a little TV. Says he's getting homework done. But there doesn't seem to be that much. Gets it all done in school. Hmm. . Hmm.

  21. 25 Tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find Motivation to do Homework

    English Are you a students who needs to keep up with schoolwork, discover simple tips to Stop Procrastinating and Find the Motivation to do Homework.

  22. 10 Tips on How to Stop Procrastinating on Homework

    As it is said, if you want to reach your goal slowly, go for it alone, if you want to reach it quickly, invite at least a couple of people to help you. 6. Tell others about the assignments you have to do. This is one of the effective ways to stop procrastinating with your homework and not only talk about the homework to be done, but actually do it.

  23. 5 Ways to Help Teens Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done

    Talk with them about the importance of being able to be self-motivated and accomplishing their goals. Be specific about what needs to be done and the deadline for getting it done. Explain that the ...

  24. Winter weather: New York City used online learning, not a snow day. It

    Schools nationwide shuttered classrooms for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and some did not reopen fully for more than a year. Some children barely logged on, and many struggled with the social isolation.. The months spent with online education were marked by widespread learning losses.Young students often struggled with the technology, and some parents said online learning was a factor ...