Look, school didn’t just start.
Students have been going to school for a really long time.
What you’re experiencing isn’t new. Maybe it’s new to you, but students have been learning how school and the education system works for quite some time now.
And it’s in your best interest to learn from the ones who have gone before you.
We’ve got some tips to help you get through your homework faster and easier.
Find a Time for Focused Work
Here’s the thing, you may not need to spend a lot of time studying, but you do need to spend a certain amount of time focused exclusively on it.
It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, but it has to be a time when you are completely focused. You can’t be watching TV or texting or doing anything else for that time period.
People who accomplish great things do so by working in blocks of uninterrupted time. If you only remember one thing from today, this is the thing to remember.
You need to commit to a set period of uninterrupted time to focus on your work. This time period can last from 35 minutes to 90 minutes. The amount of time can vary from person to person and from day to day, but you need to put aside this block of time.
This is focused work. In other words — no distractions. No internet, phone, TV or music (unless the music is instrumental).
For a lot of people, ignoring their cell phone for any length of time is difficult, but you can do it.
Look, to get things done, sometimes you need to be selfish. You need to work on your own agenda.
When you are constantly responding to other people’s tweets or texts, you are letting their agendas interfere with yours. You need to focus on your own interests for a little while.
Commit to spending a set amount of time to studying each day. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, but it has to be a time that you can focus solely on the studying and at a time of the day when you are open to learning.
For a lot of people, the best time is in the morning right after breakfast. You will have to find your right time.
Think About Which Type of Learner You Are
Psychologists (and other smart people) have determined that people learn things in different ways.
Some people remember and learn things better when they hear them spoken, others respond better when they see them as written text. Most people fall into one of these categories.
You should determine the method that you find most effective and then use that method as often as you can. Don’t make things harder for you to learn — make things easier.
Determine Your Finest Hours
Find out which hours of the day are most productive for you.
For some people, it’s the morning. For others, it’s the evening. Learn which hours your brain works the best.
Commit your best hours to your most important classes. If you can do your best work in the late morning, then that is when you should be doing your most important homework and studying. Leave other times of the day for the less important tasks.
It’s much more efficient to knock out a paper in 90 minutes of dedicated time during your most productive times of the day than laboring for three hours late at night when you’re not at your best and you’re struggling with it.
Give the Teacher What They Want
This is pretty obvious, but just give the teacher what he or she said they wanted.
For example, if your teacher requests that a paper be in a certain format — make sure what you hand in is in that format. If they say they want five research sources for a paper — make sure you have five research sources.
Not that difficult.
Tick off all the required boxes. Don’t make it easy for the teacher to lower your grade on an assignment simply because you didn’t meet all of the requirements.
What? You’re too much of a free spirit to follow the rules? Just do it. Save your creative energy to fight the really important battles later in life.
Study Less But More Often
While getting a paper written or a large project done is best done in a big block of uninterrupted time, learning for tests is best done in numerous smaller blocks of time.
The best way to memorize something is to look at it often.
Many students find success in having key exam details on written notes or on their phone or tablet and quickly referring to them as often as they can during the day.
Your brain is young. It is trained to remember things that it experiences through repetition.
Don’t fight it. Just go with it. Let your brain work on its own.
Simply look at what you need to learn multiple times each day.
Let your brain to its job. Then don’t worry about it.
Go Slow But Steady
Work on projects regularly and ahead of time so that you have time to make changes, corrections and rewrites.
Professional writers will tell you they don’t get paid to write, they get paid to rewrite.
Fiction writers will tell you that the hard part of their job is writing and rewriting their ideas; the hard part is not coming up with the original ideas and plot lines in the first place.
In a perfect world, you should follow the same approach.
Get started ahead of time on all your projects so that you have time to look it over a day or two after you’ve written it. Then you’ll have time to correct it and improve it.
If you’ve got a big project and if you can’t find big blocks of time to work on it, or you are having trouble getting started, at least put in 15 minutes on it. Sometimes just beginning a project or spending 15 minutes on it can really make a difference.
Let’s be real. Most of the time you will not do this. You will not start early. It’s human nature to procrastinate.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Many people do things only when they have to do them and the put off the rest. But you should try to not put things off, you will always be glad if you actually start early.
Develop Rituals and Habits
The best way to get things done is to do them as part of a process where you don’t even really think about them.
You’re probably really good at tying your shoes and brushing your teeth. Good for you.
You’re good at them because you did those two things every day for years. You don’t have to think about them anymore.
You can kind of do the same thing with studying.
Make a routine. Set a goal to spend every day at a certain time doing some homework.
Set it up so that a regular daily event triggers this study time. Typical events would be right after breakfast, mid-morning coffee, lunch, afternoon coffee, or dinner or right when you get home from school.
Once this activity is part of your daily habit, you will have prepared yourself to automatically be in the study mode. You will be able to start and get in the study zone quickly.
We know that daily repeated patterns of activity kind of sounds the same as being stuck in a rut, but it’s really not. It’s simple, the more regularly you do something, the better you will get at it.
Many experts believe it takes about 30 consecutive days or more to develop a habit.
Partner With Smart Kids
If you’re in a class you aren’t too interested in, or a general education class that isn’t a part of your major, you may be struggling with the content.
You could just struggle on your own, or you could find someone who looks like they really understand this topic and get acquainted with them.
There’s nothing wrong with doing this. If this class is on a topic that you will not be involved with once you graduate — why not team up with someone else to get some help with it?
Now, we’re not saying you should take advantage of someone or deceive someone or anything like that, but if you can find someone that you like and the two of you can work together — why not do it?
And if you’re physically attractive, this could be a deadly arrow in your quiver of tactics. Just don’t be a dick about it.
Study Group Up
You could start or join a study group.
Study groups can work.
Besides helping with studying for exams, study groups can also help out with weekly homework.
Members of study groups can divide up the questions on weekly assignments and then share their answers with the rest of the group.
This type of group will often have only short meetings to get together and distribute the homework answers. Some of it can even be accomplished online.
Sometimes these groups don’t work too well if one or two members aren’t as committed as the other members, but it’s usually worth a try.