How can students do homework more effectively?


Photograph by Alefiyah Vahanvaty

Students tend to get overwhelmed with the amount of homework they need to complete.

From kindergarten to the last year of high school, homework continues to play an important role in the lives of all students.

After hours of procrastination, you may sit down to do your homework, but end up instead scrolling through your Instagram feed. As a result, you stay up till 11:00 p.m., attempting to tackle your assignments.

First, students must know the homework that they are supposed to have completed. Using an agenda or planner can help students stay organized. They simply need to write down the assignment and the day that it is due.  Then, when they get home they can refer to their agendas to help guide them through their tasks.

Personally, I find it helps to prioritize my assignments, putting them in order from most to least important, or from the hardest to the easiest. This approach provides me with a purpose and a direction, and helps me complete my assignments as efficiently as possible.

“When it’s too quiet I begin to get distracted, so while I’m in the comfortable spot I like to put some background music to lift my spirits and stay on task.”

— Melanie Santiago

Of course, procrastination is practically every student’s worst enemy. For example, when a student finds herself staring at three tests, as well as hours of homework, she can easily sink into the procrastination abyss.

One proven way students can cope with procrastination is to break down the assignments, to focus on one task at a time. This approach can help make the tasks at hand easier to accomplish.

A simple tip for students is to set deadlines for themselves.  For many people, deadlines can create a sense of structure, purpose, and urgency.  

Another key to success is minimizing unnecessary interruptions. For example, every ding on the phone is a distraction and every show on Netflix is a potential binge viewing.

“What distracts me a lot is definitely Netflix,” said sophomore Isabella Contino. “And all the Instagram memes that call to me.”

There are apps that are specifically made to help with these distractions. Apps like Mr. Time, Flora, and Eggzy help to limit such distractions. Studies showed that about 80% of students switch between homework or studying to technology.  It also revealed that students who switched less often had a much higher GPA. 

“Young people’s technology use is really about quelling anxiety,”

— Dr. Larry Rosen

Even family can be a distraction.  Siblings can create noise, making it more challenging for students to concentrate. Thus, it is important to find a quiet, comfortable space to complete homework.  If students choose to listen to music, they should opt for music that does not contain lyrics.

“Netflix, TV in general, and other family members can be really distracting so I like going somewhere in my house that’s isolated and comfortable to get things done,” said sophomore Melanie Santiago. “When it’s too quiet I begin to get distracted, so while I’m in the comfortable spot I like to put some background music to lift my spirits and stay on task.”

Ultimately, there are only 24 hours in a day, so it is important for a student to set a goal to get work done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“I could do homework more effectively if I set a time to do it and didn’t go on my phone during that time,” said sophomore Amber Pintarich.

The bottom line is that homework is a routine.  It is important for students to follow one in order to be successful with completing their tasks — whether it is on a bed, in the library, or at the kitchen table.