I get it. We all have our moments when we want nothing more than to just lay in bed and watch tv. But, there are looming stresses of school assignments and tests and quizzes that never seem to leave us alone. Over my years in high school, I have found that it’s a lot easier to just do the work than sit and think about not wanting to do it. And that has come mostly by following these tips for staying focused on these school assignments.
Make a plan
I cannot tell you how many times I stress myself out over an assignment that isn’t even that much work. I think it is going to be a big production so I push it off and constantly worry about it. Then, I finally look at the work and realize I spent more time stressing over it than it is actually going to take me to do the assignment.
Avoid all of my mistakes and just deal with it from the beginning. When you get a long assignment, make a plan right away about how you are going to do the work. Pushing it off is only going to make it worse.
Split up the work
In the plan that you want to make, try to split up the work into bite-sized pieces so the assignment is more manageable. Studying for a half hour every night sounds a lot better than studying for 5 hours one night.
In this step, you want to be really specific about your goals for yourself. Plan out what you want to do, when you want to do it, and about how long it is going to take you. The more specific you are, the better. While you don’t have to follow this plan down to the minute, having it as an option is so helpful!
Now that you split everything up, you don’t have to stress over the assignment anymore. You have a plan, so you know everything is going to get done on time if you follow through.
Another benefit is that you will be more motivated to keep going. If I told you you had to do a five hour assignment in one night, it is extremely difficult to keep going and motivate yourself. But, if I said all you have to accomplish is one hour each night of the week, you have smaller goals. Instead of only “rewarding” yourself at the end of the entire assignment, you are creating small goals that can be “rewarded” each time.
Just to clarify, by rewards, I do not mean you need to go out and buy yourself something special. The reward in this case could just be finishing the assignment and feeling accomplished. This feeling will keep motivating you to continue working until you finish.
Small time increments
Another way to split up the assignment is by working in shorter time increments. It is so much easier to stay focused on school when you only have to focus for a short time. Working for hours on end is not going to result in your best work. Work for smaller amounts of time and take breaks in between.
Personally, I focus best when I work for 25 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes. This is a long enough time for me to actually get work done, but I don’t get too tired. Try out different time increments and see what works best for you.
Listen to study music
I am going to be honest, I have no clue about the science behind this. BUT, I can tell you from experience that listening to study music seriously makes a difference. In one of my classes, I got these super long assignments that used to take upwards of three or four hours. When I was trying to focus one time, it was really loud, so I put on study music to drown out the noise. Now its been about six months and I listen to the exact same music every time I do this assignment. Like I said, I don’t know what it is about the music, but it helps me stay focused on school SO WELL!
What used to take me three to four hours, I am now about to do in only two! Just listening to this music helps me concentrate and focus SOOO much better.
Click here to check out my go-to study music. There are also hundreds of videos on youtube with other music, so try some out and find your favorite!
Know your why
If you have a long assignment or big test, you need to have a reason to do it. You need to “know your why” if you want to motivate yourself. Giving yourself a tangible reason to keep going is so powerful.
Figure out your motivation to complete the assignment and then remind yourself of it constantly! Whether it be a physical reason or just the feeling of accomplishment, either will push you to keep going.
I love to keep a message board right next to my desk for some constant motivation to keep working! Check out my top 15 favorite quotes I’ve had on my board!
Get rid of distractions (aka your phone)
I am not even joking when I say I physically throw my phone across my room when I am working. Just a few taps on my phone and I can be sucked into Instagram for hours, with my assignment basically forgotten.
If you are anything like me, just the presence of my phone next to me is sometimes enough to get me distracted. So, just get rid of it. Don’t even have the looming thought of a distraction nearby. Move your phone to the other side of the room or put it in another room entirely.
When all else fails, just keep going
My last tip to help you stay focused on school is to just keep working.
It’s like running a mile. If you are trying to run the fastest mile you can, you can’t stop. If you need a break, you would slow your pace and jog for a bit before getting back to the running. But, if you stop altogether, it makes it 100 times more difficult to start running again.
This is the same with school work. If you have to “slow down,” that’s fine. But, try your absolute hardest not to stop completely! You will stay focused on the school work so much better if you just keep going.
And always remember, you WILL finish the assignment. So just keep working till you get to that point!
If you want more of my BEST study tips, check out this article about My Life-Changing Study Tactics for a Successful Year! You are going to love it!!